Steve Hackett - 'Genesis Revisited: Live At The Royal Albert Hall' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 01, 2015    
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A terrific collection.

I've been known to express my opinion on the cynical approach of re-releasing albums with bonus material in an effort to get the fans to buy the same thing twice and I suppose there could be an argument that this package falls into that category given this is the second live release inside eight months. However, for Genesis/Steve Hackett diehards (like me) I believe there's more than sufficient variety on offer to make this a compelling purchase.

Whilst the core of the set is the same as that from the Hammersmith version released in the autumn, six tracks don't reappear having been replaced by five other classics. There are a couple of different guests on show and two returnees singing alternative songs. The band is once again sensational and I'm in awe of Lee Pomeroy's versatility as he moves seamlessly between double neck bass/12 string, guitar and bass pedals.

'Dance on a Volcano' is a great start but it is trumped by a superb rendition of 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' where Nad Sylvan carries the vocals every bit as well as Peter Gabriel did back in the day.

Two of the replacement tracks follow and these bring the first guest appearances. To my mind Ray Wilson has made 'Carpet Crawlers' his own and here he doesn't disappoint. The additional backing vocals certainly add something extra to the song, as they do on other tracks. Next up is Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic...) who trades solos with Hackett on 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed', with Sylvan excelling once more as he does on the equally splendid 'Fountain of Salmacis'.
Wilson puts in another appearance later in proceedings with 'I Know What I Like', sharing lead with Sylvan very effectively before regular cohort, John Wetton, lends his considerable vocal prowess to the wonderful 'Firth of Fifth'. Amanda Lehman joins Hackett for 'Ripples', but for me this doesn't really work with a female vocal.

Despite Hackett being a personal favourite, I recognise that he's not infallible and that he's at his best when his solos, such as that on the iconic 'Firth..', are structured; ad lib is not his forte. Consequently, each of 'In That Quiet Earth', 'I Know...', 'Supper's Ready' and 'Los Endos' have sections that aren't as tuneful as they could be as he goes off piste. That's a minor quibble as overall this is a terrific collection which is filmed and edited in a fitting manner.

By the time you read this review Steve Hackett will be rehearsing the third leg of this jaunt with fresh songs being added to the repertoire. Live CD/DVD #3 anyone?

Gary Marshall

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