Concert Reviews

Steve Hackett (Live 2017)

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 30, 2017    
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Steve Hackett - Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea (UK) - 10 May 2017

The Steve Hackett resurgence continues with another expansive tour, this time in support of his new album 'The Night Siren'; albeit the Promoters insist that the shows must feature a significant proportion of Genesis material to warrant the size of venues he's now playing.

As the self-confessed curator of the Museum Of Genesis, Hackett's doing a fine job of delivering the music in a live environment. This time around he focussed on the 'Wind & Wuthering' album which celebrates its 40th Anniversary, consequently we get splendid renditions of 'Eleventh Earl Of Mar' and 'One For The Vine', neither having been heard live for many years. Vocalist Nad Sylvan does a fine job with both. In addition to the usual suspects from that album, 'Blood On The Rooftops', '...In That Quiet Earth' and 'Afterglow', he rolled out the fabulous 'Inside And Out' which undoubtedly should have appeared on '...Wuthering' but was released on a subsequent EP. I don't believe I was alone in seeing this as one of the evening's highlights, alongside the evergreen 'Firth Of Fifth'. Interestingly, despite '...Out' not being an album track, it featured in Genesis' set during their 1977 tour.

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The first part of the evening was, as usual, devoted to Hackett's solo material and the opening triumvirate of the wonderful 'Everyday', 'El Niño' and 'The Steppes' was a splendid start. I was particularly pleased to see the return of the latter as it's a favourite, but frankly the extended sax intro from Rob Townsend left me bemused; in discussion with other punters during the interval this seemed to be a view shared by many.

Two other tracks from the new album followed, 'In The Skeleton Gallery' and 'Behind The Smoke' were very good, but momentum seemed to be lost with 'Serpentine Song' and the very strange choice of 'Rise Again'. With so much good material available from his more recent albums, the choosing of a track from one of his less popular releases feels like a missed opportunity.

A hugely powerful version of the closing section of 'The Shadow Of The Hierophant' rounded out this part of the set; Gary O'Toole got to show his considerable prowess with some amazing drumming.

Special mention for the sound and lighting, the former was impeccable and the latter superb and really enhanced the show.

Gary Marshall

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