Monday, 19 October 2015

Steve Hackett

Glasgow Concert Hall

18th October 2015

Is there such a thing as too much Genesis Revisited?  For a huge number of fellow Proggers I am sure the answer would be a resounding No, but I am not so sure.  Steve Hackett’s 2014 show in Glasgow had been a full-blown Genesis job, and whilst much of it was really enjoyable, there is no doubt some of the band’s better-known songs have not really worn well with time.  I am thinking here of stuff like Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, the grossly over-inflated (and equally over-rated) Supper’s Ready and pretty much anything from Trick of the Tail - a deal of which I politely sat through last time around.

This evening’s show – promoted as Wolflight to Acolyte - promised to be a rather more balanced set; although in reality, everything from the man’s back catalogue between 1980 and 2014 was ignored.  His current album Wolflight was, as may have been expected, heavily featured. 

My gig-buddy this evening had lent me the album, and I had been more than a touch pleasantly surprised at the quality.  One or two of the tracks are a touched over-produced perhaps, as Hackett and co-producer Roger King in true prog manner kitchen-sink it at times.  Consequently it is the less busy compositions which work best, particularly The Wheel’s Turning, the lilting Loving Sea, and the decidedly heavy metal-tinged Black Thunder - although the last named was sadly absent from this evening’s set.

Steve Hackett - Glasgow 2015

Nad Sylvan & Steve Hackett

But it was, I felt, the judicious choice of Genesis tunes which made this evening so pleasurable; Hackett eschewing most of the more obvious candidates to dust down some "Cinderella songs", as he put it.  Can-Utility and the Coastliners (played live by Genesis on only two or three occasions, we learned) was a joy.  This intricately constructed piece building through a twelve-string intro to the rattling climax always struck me as one of the stronger pieces on Foxtrot and yet, as Hackett stated, puzzlingly ignored by the band.

Picking up an acoustic he then diddled away with some vaguely flamenco-influenced doodling - grinning when someone shouted out requesting "Tales of The Riverbank" – before commencing the instrumental After the Ordeal; another sadly underutilised nugget. 

The Cinema Show followed.  A slightly odd choice this one, I felt, as it is really little more than a Tony Banks showcase, with the guitar contribution to the second part of the song restricted to rhythm.  However keyboard player Roger King and Rob Townsend playing soprano sax, between them handled Banks’ part with ease.  And there was one further twist on the menu as, rather than ending the song on a flourish, the band slowed things right down as on the Selling England album, allowing Sylvan to intone Peter Gabriel's pun-ridden nonsense poem Aisle of Plenty.  This along with Harold the Barrel was probably the one Genesis seventies song I would have least expected to hear.

After a slightly muggy-sounding run through of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (the track not the album!), we arrived at the climax of the show: The Musical Box.  And again as last year; what a tour de force.  Singer Nad Sylvan, although acting like a bit of a knobhead at times, tackled the song as if it were his own.  Superb.

The harmonies during Loving Sea sounded remarkably (and suspiciously)
true to the studio version on Wolflight I felt.

Nad Sylvan - Glasgow 2015

Steve Hackett - Glasgow 2015

Roine Stolt

Steve Hackett & Roger King

Steve Hackett - Glasgow 2015

Steve Hackett - Glasgow 2015


Spectral Mornings 
Out of the Body 
Every Day 
Love Song to a Vampire 
The Wheel's Turning 
Loving Sea 
Icarus Ascending 
Star of Sirius 
Ace of Wands 
A Tower Struck Down 
Shadow of the Hierophant (Instrumental section only)


Get 'em Out by Friday 
Can-Utility and the Coastliners 
After the Ordeal 
The Cinema Show 
Aisle of Plenty 
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 
The Musical Box 

Clocks - The Angel of Mons 
Firth of Fifth 

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