Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights : Live In Birmingham Review

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Wuthering Nights was filmed at the Birmingham Symphony Hall during 2017’s Genesis Revisited & Classic Hackett tour. This tour marked the 40th anniversary of Wind & Wuthering,  Steve’s last album with Genesis in 1977.  Review by Tim Darbyshire, special thanks to Chip Ruggieri (Chipster PR & Consulting) for the review copy.

Released on the InsideOut label, this new live concert film blu-ray/double audio cd documents Steve Hackett’s successful 2017 tour. In keeping with recent tours, the first part of the show is solo material, both old and new, and the second part is Genesis material.

As well as celebrating Genesis anniversaries,  Steve is still creating new music and his latest album – ‘The Night Siren’ – is represented by three songs, the fast paced instrumental ‘El Nino’, ‘In The Skeleton Gallery’,  and the album opener ‘Behind The Smoke’. It’s a testament to the quality of the new material that it sits comfortably with the classic solo Hackett songs and is equally well received by the enthusiastic crowd.  Two surprises in the set are ‘Rise Again’ from ‘Darktown’ and Serpentine Song from ‘To Watch The Storms’.

The highlight of the solo material for me is the full version of  ‘Shadow of the Hierophant’ with special guest Amanda Lehmann providing the vocal and long time Hackett drummer Gary O’Toole shining as the song reaches its crescendo. Nick Beggs adds to the spectacle by sitting cross-legged and pounding his bass pedals with his fists.

It scarcely seems possible that it’s 40 years since Steve left Genesis after the 1977 Wind And Wuthering tour,  and here we are presented with five tracks from the sessions that produced the album.  ‘One For The Vine’ – probably my favourite Collins-era Genesis track – is given a welcome airing, with Rob Townsend’s sax/flute giving the song a hitherto unheard dimension. The surprise of the set though is the inclusion of ‘Inside And Out’ a song that failed to make the cut back in 1977, but was released on the ‘Spot The Pigeon’ EP of the same year. Similar to ‘The Cinema Show’ in structure, the long  instrumental outro cements my opinion that it deserved to be included on ‘Wind And Wuthering’.

Crowd favourites ‘Firth of Fifth’,  ‘The Musical Box’ and ‘Los Endos’ close out the show and it seems Steve can do no wrong at the moment with 2018’s current ‘Tour de Force’  continuing this success. As expected the concert is very well filmed, with multi-angles highlighting the prowess of the band’s technique and the imaginative light show making this blu-ray pleasurable viewing as well as an accurate reminder of the live show itself. The blu-ray disc also includes a behind the scenes documentary and 3 music videos from Steve’s 2017 studio release ‘The Night Siren’.

This is the fourth concert film/live audio cd released by Steve in the last four years. Some may say it’s too much, but I’m pleased there’s a decent memory released from each tour – no need to search out sub-standard bootlegs or youtube clips. It’s a must buy for anyone who attended the shows in 2017, and will surely be of interest to all Genesis/Hackett fans.

One minor gripe is the packaging for the North American blu-ray/2 cd version which comes in a clunky old fashioned double cd box, whereas the European version (2 dvds and 2cds) follows the fold out digi-pack versions of earlier releases. That said, one blu-ray disc is better than 2 dvds!

Catch Steve on tour throughout 2018:

More information:  www.hackettsongs.com

1 March – Auditorio Blackberry, Mexico City, Mexico
3 March – Teatro Diana, Guadalajara, Mexico
6 March – Teatro Nescafe de las Artes, Santiago, Chile
8 March – Ciudad Universitaria (Sala de las Americas), Cordoba, Argentina
10 March – Teatro Gran Rivadavia, Buenos Aires, Argentina
11 March – Teatro Gran Rivadavia, Buenos Aires, Argentina
13 March – Teatro El Circulo, Rosario, Argentina
15 March – Gran Teatro Nacional, Lima, Peru
20 March – Espaco Araujo Vianna, Porto Alegre, Brazil
22 March – EDA, São Paulo, Brazil
23 March – Vivo Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
24 March – Teatro Municipal de Niteroi, Niteroi, Brazil
25 March – Teatro Palacio das Artes, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

4  July – Centralina Live, Foro Italico, Rome, Italy
6  July – Summer Festival, Mirrano, Italy
8  July – Anfiteatro Vittoriale, Gardone Riviera, Italy
14  July – Pistoia Blues, Piazza Duomo, Pistoia, Italy

With Orchestra:

1 October – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
3 October – Manchester Bridgewater Hall
4 October – London Royal Festival Hall
5 October – Birmingham Symphony Hall
7 October – Gateshead The Sage 1
8 October – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
10 October – Ipswich Regent
11October – London Palladium

 

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The band:
Steve Hackett (guitars/vocals)
Roger King (keyboards)
Gary O’Toole (drums/percussion)
Rob Townsend (saxes/flutes)
Nick Beggs (bass, stick & twelve string)
Nad Sylvan (vocals)
Plus special guests John Hackett and Amanda Lehmann.

CD 1:
1. Every Day
2. El Nino
3. The Steppes
4. In the Skeleton Gallery
5. Behind the Smoke
6. Serpentine Song
7. Rise Again
8. Shadow of the Hierophant
CD 2:
1. Eleventh Earl of Mar
2. One For the Vine
3. Acoustic Improvisation
4. Blood on the Rooftops
5. In That Quiet Earth
6. Afterglow
7. Dance on a Volcano
8. Inside and Out
9. Firth of Fifth
10. The Musical Box
11. Los Endos

BluRay
1. Every Day
2. El Nino
3. The Steppes
4. In the Skeleton Gallery
5. Behind the Smoke
6. Serpentine Song
7. Rise Again
8. Shadow of the Hierophant
9. Eleventh Earl of Mar
10. One For the Vine
11. Acoustic Improvisation
12. Blood on the Rooftops
13. In That Quiet Earth
14. Afterglow
15. Dance on a Volcano
16. Inside and Out
17. Firth of Fifth
18. The Musical Box
19. Los Endos
– Bonus Content-
Official videos
Behind the Smoke
Fifty Miles from the North Pole
West to East
Wuthering Nights, Live in Birmingham – Behind the Scenes Documentary 32:32

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