Since our interview with Steve Hackett back in march this year he has now embarked on a new tour taking in the UK, Europe, and Australia.
The aptly named, Genesis Revisited with Hackett Classics 2017 tour arrived in Sheffield last night and we sent a photographer/reviewer along to see the show.
His previous Genesis revisited shows have been a resounding success and it is easy to forget that Hackett has a wealth of excellent solo material as well. This tour somehow puts things right and back into perspective with a show of 2 clear halves. As the audience poured into the venue there was an expectation that something special was going to happen tonight. Steve and his band of superb musicians did not disappoint.
Opening the show with fan favourite “Everyday”, the Steve Hackett classics were first on the menu. With no Amanda Lehmann tonight we were treated to the pure musical genius that is Steve Hackett handling all the guitar parts. Showing no sign of being “Too Shy”, Nick Beggs drove the complex rhythms with ease on bass. What then followed was some of Hackett’s finest compositions mixed in with a number of songs from his latest release, “The Night Siren”.
From his early works we were treated to “The Steppes”, “Serpentine Song” (featuring Steve’s brother John guesting on flute) and “Rise Again”. The band provides a perfect musical complement to these great songs .. a special mention multi-instrumentalist Rob Townsend, who really can, in Steve’s words, “play just about anything”. Songs from “The Night Siren” were interspersed with these classics. This album is an ethereal blend of World Music and classic Prog Rock. Showcased tonight we were treated to “El Niño”, “In the Skeleton Gallery” and “Behind the Smoke”. The latter being particularly poignant in its topic of the plight of refugees across the world. The final song of the classics set us up for the second half very nicely indeed. “Shadow of the Hierophant” was scheduled to feature on the 1972 Genesis Album “Foxtrot”, however, did not get its record debut until Steve revisited the song on his debut solo album. A fitting end to the first half of the show.
After a short interval, the entrance of Nad Sylvan could mean only one thing.. Genesis Revisited. Let’s face it, Nad has some huge shoes to fill and to be fair he does it well .. very well indeed. His theatrical vocal performance and huge range is something to behold. The man was born to perform and he was outstanding. Opener “Eleventh Earl of Mar” set the scene. Genesis’ last truly great prog LP, “Wind and Wuthering” is celebrating its 40th anniversary so from the album and its associated EP we heard “One for the Vine”, “Blood on the Rooftops”,(Drummer, Gary O’Toole handling the vocals superbly !), “In that Quiet Earth” , “Inside and Out” (why this track never made it onto the actual album is a mystery to many and tonight showed just how good a song it really is) and of course the majestic “Afterglow”
We must also salute the keyboard virtuosity of Roger King. As the piano introduction to “Firth of Fifth” rang out, it took me back my youth and hearing it for the first time, fair brought a shiver down my spine. Closing with “Musical Box” and the encore “Los Endos” we were once again reminded of the virtuosity of each band member as they shone through each song.
Steve Hackett may come across as shy and retiring to many, but once up on stage, the songs were performed with pure love. There is no cold clinical production of tunes on show here tonight. The Prog Rock banner is still being held high and alive .. and long may it be that way.
Thank You, Steve and the band, you gave us a truly memorable night.