Van der Graaf Generator at Arles Amphitheatre
Arles, France
Forum Musical
6th August 1976

Undercover Man
Still Life
Childlike Faith in Childhood's End
Meurglys III, The Songwriters Guild
The Sleepwalkers

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Photos above courtesy Jean-Marie Saunier
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Photos courtesy Daniel Mercurin
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The "Heron and Dove" Tour

The "Mini Festival Tour" which consisted of
05 AUG 76 Luxembourg, Schwebsange, Hall du Vin
06 AUG 76 France, Arles, Les Arenes, Forum Musical
07 AUG 76 Netherlands, Amsterdam, Paradiso
has become known as the "Heron and Dove" tour since a newly surfaced CD cover (made by the mystery person who produced and sold the CD of the Paradiso show) featured two small propeller planes; a de Havilland Heron, and a Dove. The CD was obtained by Sean Tassé the day after the RFH gig in May 2005. The tour had been dubbed the "Heron and Dove tour" by the CD seller, who was almost certainly Mike Farady. Jim: "Mike Farady was at the RFH show, I talked to him at the bar for a while at the after-gig party upstairs (we'd had a bit of a correspondence for months before that gig so it was nice to actually meet in person), and his name is the first one listed for the crew in the liner notes." I (Phil) also recall meeting him at the after show party having been introduced by Jim.

The sleeve also tells us that the Heron pilot was Roger Brown and the Dove pilot Dickie Bird.

HB: "This could be when Gordian hired us a Piper Dove from Biggin Hill to fly there."
There is also a story in The Book, related by HB, about an exploding Thermos flask. HB: "The flight would have been between Arles & Amsterdam. Schiphol was definitely where the ambulance picked up me & Rod (Illingworh) directly from the plane on the tarmac." After returning to Letchworth in the UK, HB recalls "visiting the medical centre down the road trying to explain what had happened to my shoulder. I've often tried to place that but this makes total sense. So '76 definitely. (Imagine their look of horror that I'd survived a plane crash or something...)"

GE (from The Book): "In Arles it was an old amphitheatre and I remember circling it in the plane to check it out before deciding whether to go to the gig first or the hotel first. The promoter had some kind of deal with the hotel where he managed to book it at a discount because it hadn't been fully built or quite finished. So there were a few things that weren't sorted out about it, including the lift. I recall being stuck in the lift with Archie Shepp and Christian Vander of Magma. Not for too long, thankfully. Archie was a bit drunk, I think. And Christian Vander was completely silent, kind of scary."