Steve Hackett – Live at The Oakville Centre, 2nd March 2017

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Steve Hackett made a welcome to Canada this week for a show at The Oakville Centre For The Performing Arts in Ontario. This was the penultimate performance of the North American leg of Steve’s  new ‘Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett’ 2017 tour.

Review and photos by Tim Darbyshire

This was Steve Hackett’s fifth appearance at The Oakville Centre in just over three years and it’s always a pleasure to see him and his band play here. There’s not a bad seat in the house and the sound is always crystal clear in this compact 470 seat venue.  Despite being a frequent visitor, this year’s set list was very different to last year’s, such is the quality of Steve’s solo back catalogue as well as the depth of his work with Genesis.

This tour sees him showcasing new material from his as yet unreleased new studio album ‘The Night Siren’ (out later this month on Inside Out) as well as celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Genesis classic ‘Wind And Wuthering’.

The first half of the set focussed on the new material, including ‘In The Skeleton Gallery’ and ‘Behind The Smoke’ interspersed with some classic solo Hackett songs such as ‘Every Day’,  ‘The Steppes’ and ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’.  ‘Hierophant’ ended the first part of the set with a climactic crescendo including Nick Beggs sitting cross-legged on the stage pounding his bass pedals with his fists.

Without having yet heard the ‘The Night Siren’, the songs played tonight seem to indicate that the new album is carrying on the Hackett tradition of a multicultural cross-genre collaborative approach, in a similar vein to 2015’s ‘Wolflight’, with many guest musicians from around the world. Rob Townsend (wind instruments) certainly proved his mettle on the newer songs with an impressive display and a variety of styles.

The second half concentrated on the ‘Wind And Wuthering’ album – ‘Eleventh Earl Of Mar’, ‘Blood On The Rooftops’ (with drummer Gary O’Toole providing the vocals), ‘In That Quiet Earth’, ‘Afterglow’ – and other familiar Genesis classics including ‘Firth of Fifth’ and ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’.  Nad Sylvan once again handles the vocals for the Genesis material and seems to be developing his own style with the songs more and more.  Roger King plays Tony Banks’ keyboard parts effortlessly – including the notoriously tricky piano intro to ‘Firth Of Fifth’.  The major surprise of the night was the inclusion of ‘Supper’s Ready’ for the first time on this tour (at the expense of ‘One For The Vine’, ‘Dance On A Volcano’ and ‘Inside And Out’). With Steve and his band due to play ‘Supper’s Ready’ with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra the following night, I guess it’s not surprising they felt like giving it an outing. The appreciative audience was treated to ‘The Musical Box’ as the encore.

Backed as ever by his highly talented band (including the returning bassist Nick Beggs), Steve Hackett and co once again delivered a stellar performance lasting over two hours. Seeing Steve up close and playing the solo in ‘Firth of Fifth’ will always be a highlight of the show for me.

Touring continues in Europe in late March, April and May in Europe and the UK.  Steve seems to be currently on a two year new album/new tour cycle  – if so, hopefully he’ll return to Canada/North America next year when he is rumoured to be playing the Montreal and Quebec areas.

Set List – Steve Hackett, The Oakville Centre – 2nd March

Every Day
El Nino
Out of The Body
The Steppes
In The Skeleton Gallery
Behind The Smoke
Shadow Of The Hierophant (closing section)
Eleventh Earl Of Mar
Blood On The Rooftops
…In That Quiet Earth
Afterglow
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
Firth of Fifth
Supper’s Ready

Encore
The Musical Box

Steve Hackett: Guitars, Vocals
Nad Sylvan: Vocals
Nick Beggs: Bass
Roger King: Keyboards
Gary O’Toole: Drums
Rob Townsend: Wind Instruments

Click here to read my review of Steve’s performance with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on March 3rd

Click here to read my interview with Steve Hackett, discussing ‘The Night Siren’

NEW Steve Hackett Interview – December 2016

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I caught up with Steve to discuss the forthcoming new album, the 2017 Tour and all other things Hackett-related. Many thanks to Steve for being so generous with his precious time, and also thanks to Jo Hackett facilitating the interview.

Tim Darbyshire – Hi Steve!

Steve Hackett – How are you doing Tim?

Tim – I’m good thanks how are you?

Steve – Fine thank you.

Tim – Thanks for your time tonight.

Steve – That’s alright.

Tim – Ok, so the new album, when is that due out?

Steve – Well, I think it’s going to be out in March.

Tim – Does it have a title yet?

Steve – We do have a title yes, but I haven’t officially given it out yet, so once the record company says ‘green light’ , then I will. All this stuff is being agreed at the moment – I’m just finally assembling the order of the songs. We had an order on Friday, but with some record company input there were a few changes, so we now have a new order as of today – and if it still passes muster tomorrow then that’s the one we’ll go with.

Tim – But the album is completely finished, it’s all in the can?

Steve – It’s basically in the can yes, bar the odd tweak it’s all in the can. It’s mastering at the moment, we’ve done the mixes so it’s basically down to the mastering. We’ve done a 5.1 mix as well as a stereo mix and we’ve done mastering for vinyl, except we’re doing it all over again due to the changed order. It’s a knock on effect, domino effect but in a good way I think.

Tim – So there will be a deluxe version with the 5.1 mix, maybe a double cd?

Steve – That’s right, yes I think in terms of formats there will be a blu-ray, and various things across the board basically. I’m finding it hard to keep up at the moment to be honest – I’ve been working flat out on this for over a year, but it’s coming to fruition and I’m very pleased with it. We’ve got people from all over the world on it.

Tim – So there are guest musicians besides your normal band?

Steve – Yes, there are guests on it, quite a lot of guests. There are about twenty people on it, from as far afield as Israel and Palestine working together on it.

Tim – That’s a good thing.

Steve – Azerbaijan, Hungary, The States. Some stuff was recorded in Italy, some in Budapest, some in London, it’s like an ‘on location’ kind of thing – and it’s got that kind of feel about it. I think it’s got a very….I’ve never used the word international before…… but it has a kind of international feel to it. There are aspects of World Music on it, it’s basically a rock album – but it does keep wandering off into other genres, crossing borders all the time.

Tim – Sounds like a very nice eclectic mix.

Steve – Yes, it is a nice eclectic mix and I’m just playing it to people for the first time. I’m just at my mother’s tonight in fact – she hasn’t been very well – and I’m playing it to her and she loves it already. It’s making her feel better, so it’s doing its job already! Music is supposed to heal, and that’s what it’s doing at the moment, and I’m pleased about that.

Tim – I hope she gets well soon, I know she’s a big supporter of your music.

Steve – Thank you, yes she’s been a huge support and huge enthusiast, all of those things. I think she will recover, but for several weeks she’s been ill with the lurgy basically – I think she’s on the road to recovery, but she’s having to fight this and it’s a little harder for her because of her age. There aren’t too many concessions to age with my Mum!

Tim – So early 2017 sees you back on the road, and I see you’ve got Nick Beggs back in the band.

Steve – Yes, Nick Beggs and we’ve got Nad as well with the regular band. We’ll also be celebrating the 40th year of ‘Wind and Wuthering’, so we’re doing quite a bit of that album – not all of it – but we’re doing what I think are the strongest tracks.

Tim – I was reading online that you’ll be playing ‘One For The Vine’ and ‘Inside And Out’, which is an interesting selection.

Steve – Yes, ‘Inside And Out’ wasn’t on the original album, but if it had been a cd it would have been on the original album as I think it’s very strong. To my mind, stronger than some of the tracks that ended up on the album, but I think it’s a favourite of fans and deserves to be more widely heard, so we’ll be doing that as well and I’m looking forward to it.

Tim – What was your involvement in that track originally, from a writing viewpoint?

Steve – Mainly the instrumental stuff at the end. That and guitar parts in the song itself.

Tim – It has a kind of latter day ‘Cinema Show’ feel to it.

Steve – I think it has some aspects of that, in that it has 12-string then it expands away from that. It’s very much in the Genesis tradition – well shall we say early Genesis – where songs started small and became very big, so you’ve got that dynamic range being covered within a song that is also a story. I think that’s something the band did very well.

Tim – You did actually play it live towards the end of the 1977 tour didn’t you?

Steve – We did, we played it in 1977, it was part of the live show so it couldn’t have been so bad!

Tim – And ‘One For The Vine’, that’s another epic song isn’t it?

Steve – Yes it is an epic, it’s a favourite of many people, many fans including my wife who said ‘Why don’t you do that?’. I cracked under torture! I’m just kidding, seriously…..when I left the band I saw them playing it live a few years later at Hammersmith (1980), and I thought it was very very strong live – perhaps stronger than on record, it just seemed to work so very well. I thought, ah I finally see what this is all about, which is often the case, some songs work extremely well live, it’s all about the band, it’s all about the performance, the response of the crowd, the lights – the whole thing, the show, the presentation.

Tim – Will you be playing ‘In That Quiet Earth’, ‘Afterglow’?

Steve – Yes we will be doing ‘In That Quiet Earth’, ‘Afterglow’, we’ll be doing ‘Blood On The Rooftops’……what else, we’ll be doing ‘Eleventh Earl Of Mar’ again as well. We were doing that at the beginning of touring the Genesis stuff about three years ago, or was it four years ago, but then we sidelined it. To do a set of things from ‘Wind and Wuthering’ I think we really have to do that, I think that’s all of the ones that we’re doing…..the ones that are more dramatic live. I know there’s other songs on there which are catchy and what have you, but for my money that’s the strongest live stuff.

Tim – I also read you’re bringing ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ back in?

Steve – That’s right, yes

Tim – And you’ll be playing ‘Anyway’ for the first time?

Steve – That’s right, yes, I’ll be playing ‘Anyway’ for the first time since 1975. Yes we haven’t done that one for a very long time, and I look forward to doing that one – at the suggestion of Nad funnily enough, he said why don’t you do that, so again I said ok if you like that. I think it’s a very good tune. I’m hoping I might be able to play the three-part guitar harmony because these days we have intelligent harmonisers, so I’m hoping I can get close to it, we’ll see how we go.

Tim – Will it be similar to the last tour where you do a set of solo material then a set of Genesis songs?

Steve – I’ve started a tradition of being two bands in one, I think. Whatever we play of the solo material – we’ll be doing some stuff off the new album – I’m fully aware what most fans tend to want is a reminder of what they were doing when their hormones were raging, and so the plan is to have one eye on the future and one on the past. I try to deliver all things to all people……

Tim – It seems you need to play two hours of solo stuff and two hours of Genesis then everyone will be happy!

Steve – Yep, I might get to that point, but I probably would have to have two bands, because I don’t think one band would be able to stand the pace of that….. then I’d be going one better than Bruce Springsteen wouldn’t I? Four hours on stage, we’re heading towards Wagner here if we do that.

Tim – Wishful thinking. There seems to be a trend these days of announcing part the setlist ahead of time. Is that promoter driven or fans wanting to know?

Steve – Yes, that’s true I seem to have given away most of the setlist off the top of my head. I think there’s a trend towards that, people like to know what they’re going get these days. It’s driven I think mainly by fans, so I’ve said I’ll do one of the tracks on ‘Darktown’ – ‘Rise Again’ – that was a favourite at the time and in a way it’s a vocal style I’ve adopted again on this new album – starting the melody down the octaves, a kind of intoning voice and then it becomes a cry. It’s a vocal style that I feel comfortable with, so very happy to be playing that. We’re also going to be doing ‘The Steppes’ – people have asked for that – and ‘Serpentine Song’ which I believe is off ‘To Watch The Storms’, another favourite. So, I do respond to people’s suggestions but I can’t keep everyone happy……

When we do the show with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra that’ll be a different set, that will involve ‘Supper’s Ready’ and various other things so we’re kind of learning two sets, kind of heading a little to what you were talking about, the three, four hour show, but often these sets end up being two and a half hours or slightly more.

Tim – We’re coming to the Buffalo show, so really looking forward to that.

Steve – I’m looking forward to that, I’m looking forward to the Cruise, I’m looking forward to the tour, to everywhere we’re going to play. I’m also looking forward next year to covering places I’ve not been to before like Australia, New Zealand, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Singapore – the world seems to be opening up to this music which has had quite a gestation period to achieve its…..if I said ‘target audience’- I mean hardly because back in the day it was all a shot in the dark. It’s nice that it’s survived in the affections of so many people.

Tim – It has matured with age?

Steve – I think so, yes, like a wine in a cask, I think for some songs the prime time is now, having been in that period of fermentation shall we say, fermenting in the affections of people for a very long time.

Tim – Going back to the Buffalo show, is there a lot of preparation work you have to do with the orchestra? I guess they’ll be reading sheet music?

Steve – Yes, they’ve been doing arrangements and there’s some arrangements which I played live when I was in Iceland doing two shows with the band called Todmobile – who have also worked with Jon Anderson, doing great versions of not just Genesis stuff, but Yes stuff as well. They did a great job, so there are some charts from that and some charts that the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra have come up with.

It’s all not so much dipping your toe in the water as jumping straight in. I love what orchestras bring to rock music, I love the marriage of the two. Ever since we started experimenting with mellotrons, using that as a kind of surrealistic time machine – I always felt that if for instance I talk about my early heroes The Beatles, they were at their most interesting when they had as wide a sound canvas as possible.

That use of the orchestra, the way it worked with them and obviously mellotron as well, it was a great combination of things, so we kind of use everything, anything we can lay our hands on. I think that’ll be a very interesting show. Obviously you have to take risks – the biggest risk is who’s going to count 1, 2, 3, 4? Normally it’s the drummer, will it be the conductor?! It all has to be in sync, you have to have an agreement with an orchestra.

Tim – Might this become more than a one-off venture?

Steve – Well it’s a one-off, but if it works of course it means that we have the facility and the possibility of working with this thing more in the future. Not that I would want to have an orchestra that I was carrying round – I don’t want to flounder on that rock – I think you’d have to use different orchestras in different places. But it is starting to happen with me more, I worked with an orchestra in Germany a while back, I worked with an orchestra or two in Iceland, and it went very well in both cases, and now we’re doing it with the Buffalo people. It’s all a case of the more risks you take, the more inclusive and immersive the whole thing can be.

Tim – So the Genesis days, 40 to 45 years ago now, six great studio albums you were involved with, as we’ve just been saying it seems to be getting better with age. At the time though was it a bit of a struggle, financially and personally?

Steve – Well yes, I think all bands have their problems, as you say to finance it…..to finance it there was a lot of investment, not just financial but emotional as well. But it was worth it, it was a huge challenge from beginning to end for me, but my heart is still very much there in lots of that music.

Tim – Why do you think maybe it isn’t for the other four?

Steve – I think in a way there are two types of Genesis. There is the earlier band, the pre-video era – I like to think of it as the pre-pop era as well – and many of the fans loved that music. In the end, for the last two years with the band we were playing arenas and filling them, so there was a huge audience for that kind of music, so I think it proved itself to be hugely commercial and has sold ‘billions’ since. It all depends on your perception, I can understand it in terms of a band that becomes more streamlined, less personalities, less politics……and so I think it’s very easy to throw out the baby with the bath water and for them say everything prior to that time was a problem because of da da da da da……

But I don’t think fans see it like that, and many fans that love the early work of the band – who I suspect are the same fans who listened to Pink Floyd and Yes, and ELP and Procol Harum and many bands who were very melodic with an emphasis on musicianship. I think that they felt disenfranchised by the new direction of the band, but I’m certainly not going to complain, because once you leave a band it’s going to become whatever it becomes, and I totally respect what it became and think the band was interesting in all its incarnations but obviously I’m drawn to something that is closer in spirit to this pan-genre approach which includes what orchestras can do and what big bands can do, and a kind of music that is able to turn on a dime and bridge generation gaps and do all sorts of things that I think a three or four minute pop single doesn’t do.

So all I can say is that I’m interested in prolonging the life – certainly live – of the music that I considered to be weird and wonderful and a kind of musical odyssey and journey and all those things that Peter Gabriel still describes it as. There’s a lot of good stuff, and I’m only too happy to go and play that stuff again.

Tim – Would you say that ‘Voyage of the Acolyte’ sowed the seed that maybe you’d rather go out solo on your own?

Steve – Well I think certainly composition by committee has its limitations for groups. I think groups can write wonderful things together, but at the same time it’s impossible to keep a lid on it. If one guy wants to go and do solo things, and you know the others don’t really want him to go and do it…… Pete wanted to have a solo career in parallel with Genesis and certain factions in the band made that impossible, so in the end one’s allegiance has to be to the music, or the totality of what music can become – at the same time it doesn’t mean that I disown those songs, those songs don’t become orphans just because I say ‘no son of mine’ (to quote a particular song).

I still love those songs, they’re all shared-brain children with the other guys and I care hugely about them, otherwise I wouldn’t be playing them again.

Tim – Have you had any feedback from the others? Have they seen the show at all?

Steve – No no, the other guys don’t come to the shows. Genesis is a very competitive band, the individuals are all very competitive.

Tim – Even now?

Steve – Yes, they don’t do that sort of thing, it’s an unspoken rule. You have to be able to speak ‘Genesis’ to understand it, and I totally respect it you know, if you’re that competitive with your thinking you won’t do that. I think everyone wants the other guy to do well, but maybe just not quite as well as you’re doing yourself if you know what I mean? It’s a very British repressed fucked up kind of thing, but hey, what the hell.

Tim – So ‘Wind and Wuthering’ is forty years old, when you recorded it was the writing truly on the wall for you?

Steve – Oh yes, the writing was on the wall for me at that time I think, it wasn’t that I didn’t love the album – I certainly thought the album was very strong, but politics played its part with all of this, and you can’t keep a good Hackett down! I had to get out there and work with other people, I couldn’t have still-born brain children and that was what was on offer so I had to go out and work with other people. Wonderful people as it happens, wonderful then and wonderful now.

I still love all the guys of course, all hugely talented and they’ve all written wonderful songs and done wonderful stuff, you can’t knock that you know. Genesis was a force of nature, it’s sad there is no band at the moment but you’ve got to respect everyone’s right not to play that stuff or not to be that thing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate those early years because I gave it everything I could, gave it my full attention, writing and shaping the live show and trying to do some things by stealth – noticing things that other people didn’t notice, trying to put those things right. I’m writing a book at the moment, so I’ll put the record straight for all those that have collective amnesia with this.

Tim – Great, I was going to ask about an autobiography as it’s been a few years since Alan Hewitt’s book.

Steve – Yes, I’m working on it at the moment, once I’ve got the album out of the way I’ll be concentrating on that.

Tim – You’re always so busy.

Steve – I’m a busy boy, yes!

Tim – I’m sure it’ll be a very interesting read, I did enjoy Mike Rutherford’s, Phil Collins’ and Peter Gabriel’s recent books.

Steve – Yes, Phil has just done his and I enjoyed reading their books and I’ll get my own back with mine!

Tim – Is there any thought to doing any more studio recordings of Genesis material?

Steve – I’ve got it on a back-burner, but it’s not a priority at the moment. There are many things that we’ve done live that I haven’t recorded, or re-recorded, so there’s always the possibility of that at some point but I’m not looking at ‘Genesis Revisited 3’ at the moment. I think it’s also important for music to have a future, much as it’s nice to keep the museum doors open, I think to pension yourself off is not a good idea if you’re hot to trot in terms of new stuff – look what guitars can do now for instance, look what technology affords one and what experience brings to it, so I’m still as passionate about it all as I ever was.

Tim – It sounds like you have a nice balance between creating new music and celebrating the past?

Steve – Oh well that’s it, that’s the whole point isn’t it? I think if I saw for instance a Paul McCartney gig, I know I’d be very happy to hear him do ‘Band On The Run’, but I’d also be very happy if he breaks into ‘Eleanor Rigby’ you know, and ‘All My Loving’ and all that – I think they’re gorgeous songs from out of the jewel box.

I have much the same affection for the songs that I think were rather wonderful that we did at one time – I’m allowed to be a fan of the other people in the band, a team of great writers who came up with wonderful stunning material and it’s great to have been part of that, it’s great to have written with everybody.

Tim – It’s important that you’re keeping it alive.

Steve – That’s the idea, keeping it alive.

Tim – Great Steve, thanks for you time tonight, looking forward to seeing you in Oakville and Buffalo next year.

Steve – Brilliant, I look forward to it as well, absolutely. Thank you.

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For all the latest Steve Hackett news visit Steve’s website.

Steve Hackett 2017 Tour Dates:

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Read my April 2016 interview with Steve Hackett here.

Read my Steve Hackett 2016 Live review and see photos here.

 

Anthony Phillips – Private Parts & Pieces V-VIII: 5CD Deluxe Box Set

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The latest instalment of Anthony Phillips reissues – courtesy of Esoteric Recordings (Cherry Red) – features the more obscure ‘Private Parts & Pieces V – VIII’ and include a bonus 5th cd – ‘Private Parts & Extra Pieces II’.  All the albums have been newly remastered and are housed in a high quality clamshell box.  The package is once again adorned with stunning  artwork by Peter Cross and an informative 24-page booklet with insight from Ant in conversation with Jonathan Dann. …….Review by Tim Darbyshire.

The albums included are ‘Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve’ (1985), ‘Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon’ (1986), ‘Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ (1987),  and ‘Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England’ (1992).

‘Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve’ is the first cd in the ‘Private Parts & Pieces’ series to feature just one instrument. All twelve pieces, named after the months of the year, are performed on  12-string guitar. There’s some lovely parts of course, but ‘Twelve’ was never a favourite of mine back in the day due to its one dimensional approach, and listening to it again now after a long absence, my feelings haven’t changed.

‘Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon’, subtitled ‘Piano Pieces 1971-1985’ is a collection of piano based material gathered over the years. Interestingly, these include ‘Winter’s Thaw’ and ‘The Old House’ from 1971 which were among the demos Ant played to Mike Rutherford in 1972 with the view to making a solo album. Also included is a version of the Genesis song ‘Let Us Now Make Love’. The band never recorded the song in the studio, but a radio session version from 1970 has subsequently appeared on two Genesis box sets.

‘Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ reverts to the more broader palette commonly associated with Ant’s ‘Private Parts & Pieces’ series. ‘Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ includes a number of improvised synthesizer soundscapes – partly due to the acquisition of a Roland Jupiter 8 – and the album did generate some interest in the emerging New Age  genre. It’s an atmospheric collection, but a more pleasant and balanced collection than the previous two with guitar and keyboard sharing the workload.

‘Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England’ was originally released in 1992, 5 years after ‘Private Parts & Pieces VII’. This is – in my opinion – the best of the albums in this set. It’s more like a traditional solo album, with two tracks containing vocals – ‘Unheard Cry’ and ‘Sanctuary’ – and saxophone complimenting the guitars and keyboards.   Ant’s career at this stage had been bolstered by his signing to Virgin Records. Virgin were issuing his entire back catalogue on CD for the first time and the impressive ‘Slow Dance’ had just been released.  ‘New England’ also differs from other ‘Private Parts’ releases in that all the material was written specifically for the project.

This set is completed by ‘Private Parts & Extra Pieces II’, which once again sees Ant delving into his seemingly endless archives. All 19 tracks on this cd are previously unreleased, and are a nice mix of guitar and keyboard pieces.

‘Private Parts & Pieces V-VIII’ is available now from Burning Shed.

Hopefully ‘Slow Dance’ will be the next in this excellent reissue series……..

My review of ‘1984’ is here.

My review of ‘Sides’ is here.

My review of ‘Wise After The Event’ is here.

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Tracklisting:

DISC ONE:PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES V:
TWELVE

1. JANUARY
2. FEBRUARY
3. MARCH
4. APRIL
5. MAY
6. JUNE
7. JULY
8. AUGUST
9. SEPTEMBER
10. OCTOBER
11. NOVEMBER
12. DECEMBER

DISC TWO:
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VI: IVORY MOON

SUITE: SEA-DOGS MOTORING:
1. (I) SUNRISE OVER SIENNA
2. (II) BASKING SHARK
3. (III) SEA DOG’S AIR
4. (IV) SAFE HAVENS
5. TARA’S THEME (FROM MASQUERADE)
6. WINTER’S THAW
7. THE OLD HOUSE
8. MOONFALL (FROM MASQUERADE)
9. RAPIDS

BONUS TRACK
10. LET US NOW MAKE LOVE

DISC THREE:
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VII: SLOW WAVES, SOFT STARS

ICE FLIGHT:
1. (I) FLIGHT OF THE SNOW PETREL: GLACIER BAY
2. (II) FLIGHT OF THE WHALE-BIRDS: BLIZZARD MOUNTAIN
3. (III) FLIGHT OF THE ALBATROSS: ICE ISLAND
4. (IV) WHITE HEAVEN
5. (V) CATHEDRAL OF ICE
6. BEACHRUNNER
7. END OF THE AFFAIR
8. THE GOLDEN PATHWAY
9. BEHIND THE WATERFALL
10. CARNIVAL
11. THROUGH THE BLACK HOLE
12. PLUTO GARDEN
13. SOSPIRANDO
14. ELEVENSES
15. GOODBYE SERENADE
16. BUBBLE AND SQUEAK
17. VANISHING STREETS
18. SLOW WAVES, SOFT STARS

DISC FOUR:
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VIII:
NEW ENGLAND

1. AUBADE
2. INFRA DIG
3. SANCTUARY
4. LA DOLOROSA
5. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (I)
6. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (II)
7. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (III)
8. LAST GOODBYES
9. SUNRISE AND SEA MONSTERS
10. IONA
11. CATHEDRAL WOODS
12. IF I COULD TELL YOU
13. JAUNTY ROADS
14. SPIRALS
15. PIECES OF EIGHT (I) PRESSGANG
16. PIECES OF EIGHT (II) SARGASSO
17. PIECES OF EIGHT (III) SEA-SHANTY
18. IN THE MAZE
19. UNHEARD CRY
20. NOW THEY’VE ALL GONE

DISC FIVE:
PRIVATE PARTS & EXTRA PIECES II:

1. CATHEDRAL WOODS LINK
2. JONGLEUR
3. SANCTUARY (PIANO MIX)
4. EMERALD FOREST
5. UNHEARD CRY LINK
6. SKYLARKS OVER THE WATER
7. SIR ISAAC (FROM MASQUERADE)
8. ACROSS THE FORBIDDING HORIZON
9. END OF THE AFFAIR II
10. AUTUMN FALLS
11. BEACHRUNNER II
12. HIGHLAND DAWN
13. SANCTUARY LINK
14. UNHEARD CRY (GUITAR DEMO)
15. MOONFALL (FROM MASQUERADE) (DEMO)
16. PLUTO GARDEN (ALTERNATE MIX)
17. CATHEDRAL OF ICE (ALTERNATE MIX)
18. A PLACE TO REST
19. THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS

Steve Hackett Announces 2017 UK Tour

stevehackettuktour2017

Steve Hackett has announced a 15-date UK Tour to coincide with the release of his as yet untitled new studio album. 2017 also marks the 40th Anniversary of Genesis’ classic ‘Wind And Wuthering’ album – the last studio album to feature Steve – and several songs from this album will be performed by Steve and his band. Once again, the tour will consist of Genesis and solo material, and is being billed as ‘Genesis Revisited With Classic Hackett 2017’.

Further US/Canada dates are expected before the UK Tour, as Steve will be on the 2017 version of ‘Cruise To The Edge’ in February, and a date with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on 3rd March has already been announced.

The full press release from Steve’s HackettSongs website is below:

Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett 2017 tour

Steve Hackett Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett 2017
2017 UK & Ireland tour dates revealed… other countries to follow!

Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited with Hackett Classics 2017 tour

Performing tracks from the classic album Wind and Wuthering

New album due spring 2017!

2017 UK & Ireland tour dates revealed…

Former Genesis guitarist and prog legend Steve Hackett is returning with an exciting new show for a 15 date UK tour next spring after his outstanding performance at this year’s inaugural Stone Free Festival.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering, Steve and his band will be performing several tracks from the album as well as fan favourites such as ‘The Musical Box’ and other Genesis numbers never performed before by Steve’s band such as ‘Inside & Out’ and ‘Anyway’.

“I’m excited to bring my latest show involving a new set of Genesis and Hackett numbers to the UK in 2017!” – Steve Hackett

With an established solo career spanning over 40 years, Steve will also be performing some of his popular hits such as ‘The Steppes’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Every Day’ and the first ever live performance of ‘Rise Again’ from his 1999 album Darktown. Steve will also be introducing fans to new music from his forthcoming album, which is due out early spring 2017.

Joining Steve on the tour are musicians Roger King (keyboards), Gary O’Toole (drums/percussion), Rob Townsend (saxes/flutes), Nick Beggs (bass, stick & twelve string) and Nad Sylvan on vocals.

Since the 1970’s Steve has had a remarkable musical career, releasing more than 30 solo albums, seven Genesis albums and working alongside Steve Howe of YES with supergroup GTR. Renowned for being one of the most innovative rock musicians of our time, in 2010 he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame.

Continuing to impress with his outstanding live shows ‘Genesis Revisted with Classic Hackett’ is a tour not to missed in 2017.

April 2017

  • 26 April – Vicar Street, DUBLIN, IRELAND
  • 28 April – St. David’s Hall, CARDIFF, UK
  • 30 April – Hexagon, Reading UK
  • 1 May – Symphony Hall, BIRMINGHAM, UK
  • 3 May – City Hall, SHEFFIELD, UK
  • 4 May – Colston Hall, BRISTOL, UK
  • 5 May – Bridgewater Hall, MANCHESTER, UK
  • 7 May – Philharmonic, LIVERPOOL, UK
  • 8 May – Guildhall, PORTSMOUTH, UK
  • 10 May – Cliffs Pavilion, SOUTHEND, UK
  • 11 May – Royal Concert Hall, NOTTINGHAM, UK
  • 13 May – New Theatre, OXFORD, UK
  • 14 May – Corn Exchange, CAMBRIDGE, UK
  • 16 May – Royal Concert Hall, GLASGOW, UK
  • 17 May – Sage, GATESHEAD, UK
  • 19 May – Palladium, LONDON, UK

Steve Hackett – Exclusive 2017 Genesis show with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

 

SH BPO2

According to  HackettSongs.com, Steve Hackett and his band  will be performing a ‘Genesis Revisited’ show with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) as part of the BPO Rocks season.  Tickets are already on sale for the March 3rd 2017 show, available from the BPO website.

The only details on HackettSongs describes the show as follows: Exclusive Genesis show with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra with Steve and his band on March 3!  Following the Cruise Feb 7-11, Steve will also be playing various N American dates all to be arranged shortly. Watch This Space!
Kleinhans Music Hall, Friday 3 March 2017, 8:00pm…

Other than Steve’s welcome return to the 2017 edition of ‘Cruise To The Edge‘, no confirmed North American dates have been announced yet, just hoping Canada is once again included in the tour which will presumably be around mid February to March 2017.

The BPO website adds little detail, other than to muddy the waters slightly with the following: Genesis lead guitarist and rock innovator Steve Hackett displays his chops in the world premiere of his symphony show, concert featuring Genesis classics and solo hits.  

Whether the show is Genesis exclusively or Genesis with Solo material, the chance to see Steve performing these songs with an orchestra is not to be missed.

Steve Hackett BPOSH BPO3

 

Anthony Phillips – 1984 Reissue Review

Esoteric Arts have just released ‘1984’ the latest album in their excellent Anthony Phillips deluxe reissue series – review by Tim Darbyshire

AP 1984 1

This is a 3 disc deluxe digi-pack edition of the album. Disc 1 contains the new 2016 stereo mix of the album. Disc 2 contains the bonus material and is identical to the second disc of the 2008 Voiceprint version. Disc 3 contains the new 2016 5.1 surround sound mix of the album on  DVD-A. Also included is a two-sided poster and a 16-page booklet with photos and extensive liner notes – including the customary excellent new essay written by Jonathan Dann. There is a short forward written by Steven Wilson, as this is his favourite Ant album.

Originally released in 1981 ‘1984’ is a radical departure from the more pastoral feel of the albums that preceded it – ‘The Geese And The Ghost’, ‘Wise After The Event’,  ‘Sides’, ‘Private Parts And Pieces’, and ‘Private Parts and Pieces II: Back to the Pavilion’. With relatively few audible guitar parts, ‘1984’ is an instrumental electronic album – mostly synth based with some vocal effects and a variety of percussion. It was also the first Anthony Phillips album not to feature the intricate artwork of Peter Cross.

The album itself is based around 2 long form pieces – ‘1984 Part One’ and ‘1984 Part Two’ bookended by ‘Prelude ’84’ and ‘Anthem 1984’. It’s never dull, often melodic and to these ears at least,  has survived the test of time. All synths and drum machine programming is done by Ant, with percussion provided by Morris Pert of Brand X fame. Use of drum machines was becoming de rigueur at the turn of the ’80s, see Genesis and ‘Duke’ for example….

Stylistically, ‘1984’ remains an anomaly in Ant’s back catalogue. ‘Slow Dance’ (released 1990) also contains long instrumental pieces, but these are orchestrally lush. Ant followed up this album with 1983’s ‘Invisible Men’ – a collaboration with Richard Scott which was totally song-based.

Time for a slight gripe; despite being a decent digipack, I’m baffled why Esoteric chose to change the format of these deluxe reissues. All the others to date have been housed in rigid clamshell style boxes – see photo below. ‘1984’ bucks this trend and also looks slightly odd as the thick spine doesn’t have the  artist or title on it.

Track Listing:

CD 1:

1: Prelude ’84
2: 1984 Part One
3: 1984 Part Two
4: Anthem 1984

CD2:

1: Prelude ’84 (Early Stage Mix)
2: Ascension
3: 1984 Part One (Early Stage Mix)
4: Sally Theme
5: Science And Technology
6: Respect
7: Church
8: Military
9: Power In The Land
10: 1984 Part Two (Early Stage Mix)
11: Anthem 1984 (Early Stage Mix)
12: Poly Piece (Demo)

DVD: 5.1 Surround Mix

1: Prelude ’84
2: 1984 Part One
3: 1984 Part Two
4: Anthem 1984

AP 1984 1AP 1984 2AP 1984 3AP 1984 4AP 1984 5AP spines

 

 

Anthony Phillips – Sides (Deluxe Reissue)

Esoteric Recording’s excellent series of deluxe reissues of founding Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips’ back catalogue continues with Ant’s fourth solo album – 1979’s ‘Sides’. Review by Tim Darbyshire.

Hot on the heels of the reissue of ‘Wise After The Event’ comes ‘Sides’. Following the same clamshell boxed format as the other reissues, this set is a 4-disc deluxe edition of the album. Disc 1 contains a 2016 stereo remix of the album. Disc 2 contains the bonus material (as on the Voiceprint 2010 double cd re-release). Disc 3 contains a remastered version of the original stereo mix of the album. Disc 4 contains a 2016 5.1 surround sound mix of the album on DVD-A. The deluxe edition also includes a double-sided full colour poster and a 20-page booklet with photos and extensive liner notes including a new essay written by Jonathan Dann. The whole package is once again adorned by beautifully intricate artwork from Peter Cross.

Musically speaking, ‘Sides’ is a departure from the pastoral progressive style Ant had developed on ‘The Geese And The Ghost’ and ‘Wise After The Event’. Ant’s record label at the time asked for a more song based approach to appeal to a wider mainstream audience. Consequently, for me the album has less appeal than its predecessors. That said, there’s still plenty to enjoy on ‘Sides’ – ‘Magdalen’ and ‘Nightmare’ especially are more progressive sounding, whilst ‘I Want Your Love’ and “Lucy Will’ are lovely ballads.

As ever, Ant is supported by an impressive list of musicians on this album, notably Michael Giles, John G Perry, Dale Newman, Morris Pert, John Hackett and Mel Collins along with producer Rupert Hine.

The new stereo mix  (by Simon Heyworth and Andy Miles) sounds fresh and warm, as does the 5.1 surround mix.  Although not my favourite album by Ant, I did enjoy revisiting ‘Sides’ for the first time in many years. Next up in the series is ‘1984’, Ant’s predominantly keyboard based 1981 album which will be released by Esoteric on June 24th.

AP Sides 1AP Sides 2AP Sides 3AP Sides 4

Track Listing:

DISC ONE: CD:
SIDES NEW STEREO MIX
1. UM & AARGH
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE
3. LUCY WILL
4. SIDE DOOR
5. HOLY DEADLOCK
6. SOUVENIR
7. SISTERS OF REMINDUM
8. BLEAK HOUSE
9. MAGDALEN
10. NIGHTMARE

DISC TWO: CD:
SIDES DEMOS, OUT-TAKES AND EXTRAS
1. UM & AARGH (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
3. SISTERS OF REMINDUM (ALTERNATIVE MIX)
4. LUCY WILL (ORIGINAL MIX)
5. MAGDALEN (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
6. SIDE DOOR (ORIGINAL MIX)
7. UM & AARGH (7” SINGLE VERSION)
8. SOUVENIR (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
9. BLEAK HOUSE (ALTERNATIVE MIX)
10. NIGHTMARE (ALTERNATIVE MIX)
11. CATCH YOU WHEN YOU FALL (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
12. BEFORE THE NIGHT (DEMO)

DISC THREE: CD
SIDES THE ORIGINAL STEREO MIX RE-MASTERED
1. UM & AARGH
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE
3. LUCY WILL
4. SIDE DOOR
5. HOLY DEADLOCK
6. SOUVENIR
7. SISTERS OF REMINDUM
8. BLEAK HOUSE
9. MAGDALEN
10. NIGHTMARE

DISC FOUR: DVD
SIDES THE 2016 5.1 SURROUND SOUND MIX
1. UM & AARGH
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE
3. LUCY WILL
4. SIDE DOOR
5. HOLY DEADLOCK
6. SOUVENIR
7. SISTERS OF REMINDUM
8. BLEAK HOUSE
9. MAGDALEN
10. NIGHTMARE

 

 

Steve Hackett – New Live Blu-Ray / 2DVD Coming in June

LiveInLiverpool

Inside Out have announced details for Steve Hackett’s new live album, ‘The Total Experience Live In Liverpool’ which will be released on June 24th 2016.

The release is from his recent  ‘Acolyte To Wolflight With Genesis Classics’ tour and will be available in a 2CD/2DVD digi-pack, a standalone Blu-Ray, and a digital audio download.

All pre-orders from the HackettSongs website (ordered before June 24th) will be personally signed by Steve.

Steve explains why he chose to film the 2015 Liverpool show:

“When Inside Out told me that I could film a gig on the British leg of the 2015 tour for release, I thought that we should do it away from London (and) I felt doing it in Liverpool had a certain ring to it” – explains Hackett enthusiastically – “This is an extraordinary city and the Philharmonic Hall is an extraordinary venue. Besides, it’s not as if Liverpool is known for having any good music – there’s never been a good band from there. Ha!” Hackett’s love for Liverpool goes back to his time with Genesis: “We played there a few times in the ’70s, and the fans have always been very good to me there. And as a huge Beatles fan, I also know the landmarks there, such as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. I have been on the Magical Mystery Tour. So, the city means a lot to me from that point of view as well. The Beatles set the benchmark for all of us who have followed; we take our imagination from them.”

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of his first solo album ‘Voyage Of The Acolyte’ and following his latest ‘Wolflight’, the ‘Acolyte to Wolflight with Genesis Revisited’ tour was Steve’s effort to represent the many chapters of his career. Featuring two sets – one highlighting his solo work, the second paying tribute to Genesis – the two hour performance was greeted with enthusiasm by both fans and critics.

“It wasn’t an easy job to decide what to include, but I think there was a good balance between old and new.” – Hackett comments. “What I have always born in mind when choosing the songs is what they mean to the fans. Time has a way of turning them into an emotional calendar for people. These songs take on an importance and become part of their lives. So, when I do them live, authenticity is important. I am aware that what I have to do is find a connection between nostalgia and what things can sound like in a contemporary setting”. Liverpool was one of the dates with Amanda Lehmann guesting on ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’, which was performed in its full version with an extended drum solo showcasing Gary O’Toole’s skills, a triumphant closing to the first set.

A multi-camera shoot, the recording was done with no prior rehearsals, but Hackett had every confidence in the people he was working with. Paul Green, who did the filming and editing, and Ben Fenner, who mixed the audio, work with Steve regularly and knew exactly what he was looking for. “Paul was also very innovative” – Hackett reveals – “He used one particular technique to show what Gary was doing on drums, and it is an unusual effect I have never seen before. The drums seem to arc, because of the lens he’s using. It gives a very different perspective to the whole viewing experience.” The acoustics in the Philharmonic Hall were very impressive on the night, albeit rather challenging; Ben, who does the live sound for the band, took that challenge with superb results. What you hear in the mix, though, is exactly what the band sounded like on the night with no extensive ‘fixing’ in the studio, as live should be.

Line Up (on this recording):

Steve Hackett – Guitar, Vocals
Roger King – Keyboards
Nad Sylvan – Vocals, Tambourine
Gary O’Toole – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Rob Townsend – Saxophone, Woodwind, Percussion, Vocals, Keyboards, Bass Pedals
Roine Stolt – Bass, Variax, Twelve String, Vocals, Guitar

With special guests: John Hackett, Amanda Lehmann.

THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE LIVE IN LIVERPOOL track listing:

2CD + 2DVD Digi-pack

CD1
1. Corycian Fire Intro
2. Spectral Mornings
3. Out Of The Body
4. Wolflight
5. Every Day
6. Love Song To A Vampire
7. The Wheel’s Turning
8. Loving Sea
9. Jacuzzi
10. Icarus Ascending
11. Star Of Sirius
12. Ace Of Wands
13. A Tower Struck Down

CD2
1. Shadow Of The Hierophant
2. Get ‘Em Out By Friday
3. Can-Utility And The Coastliners
4. After The Ordeal
5. The Cinema Show
6. Aisle Of Plenty
7. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
8. The Musical Box
9. Clocks
10. Firth Of Fifth

DVD1
1. Corycian Fire Intro
2. Spectral Mornings
3. Out Of The Body
4. Wolflight
5. Every Day
6. Love Song To A Vampire
7. The Wheel’s Turning
8. Loving Sea
9. Jacuzzi
10. Icarus Ascending
11. Star Of Sirius
12. Ace Of Wands
13. A Tower Struck Down
14. Shadow Of The Hierophant
15. Get ‘Em Out By Friday
16. Can-Utility And The Coastliners
17. After The Ordeal
18. The Cinema Show
19. Aisle Of Plenty
20. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
21. The Musical Box
22. Clocks
23. Firth Of Fifth

DVD2
Live In Liverpool – Behind The Scenes
Somewhere South Of The River – rehearsal documentary
Videos: Corycian Fire, Wolflight, Love Song To A Vampire

Blu-ray
1. Corycian Fire Intro
2. Spectral Mornings
3. Out Of The Body
4. Wolflight
5. Every Day
6. Love Song To A Vampire
7. The Wheel’s Turning
8. Loving Sea
9. Jacuzzi
10. Icarus Ascending
11. Star Of Sirius
12. Ace Of Wands
13. A Tower Struck Down
14. Shadow Of The Hierophant
15. Get ‘Em Out By Friday
16. Can-Utility And The Coastliners
17. After The Ordeal
18. The Cinema Show
19. Aisle Of Plenty
20. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
21. The Musical Box
22. Clocks
23. Firth Of Fifth

Digital album
CD1
1. Corycian Fire Intro
2. Spectral Mornings
3. Out Of The Body
4. Wolflight
5. Every Day
6. Love Song To A Vampire
7. The Wheel’s Turning
8. Loving Sea
9. Jacuzzi
10. Icarus Ascending
11. Star Of Sirius
12. Ace Of Wands
13. A Tower Struck Down

CD2
1. Shadow Of The Hierophant
2. Get ‘Em Out By Friday
3. Can-Utility And The Coast-liners
4. After The Ordeal
5. The Cinema Show
6. Aisle Of Plenty
7. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
8. The Musical Box
9. Clocks
10. Firth Of Fifth

Steve Hackett – Live in Quebec/Montreal/Gatineau 2016

Just four months after last visiting Ontario, Steve Hackett made a welcome return to Canada last weekend with three shows as part of the 2016 leg of his ‘Acolyte To Wolflight’ tour – Quebec Grand Theatre 8th April, Theatre Maisonneuve Place Des Arts, Montreal 9th April, and Theatre du Casino, Gatineau 10th April.

Review and photos by Tim Darbyshire

Three nights in a row with Steve Hackett and his band, three blistering shows and three wildly enthusiastic audiences – there is absolutely no doubt, French Canada loves its prog bands!

As with the first leg of the ‘Acolyte To Wolflight’ tour in 2015,  the show was divided into two halves, the first was the solo material with Steve and band showcasing tracks from the 2015 album ‘Wolflight’ as well as his first album ‘Voyage of the Acolyte’ (released in 1975). Favourites from 1978’s ‘Please Don’t Touch’ and 1979’s ‘Spectral Mornings’ complimented the set. From the opening sounds of ‘Spectral Mornings’ through to the closing bars of a rousing ‘Shadow Of The Heirophant’ Steve had the crowd totally under his spell.

The second set was primarily Genesis numbers, crowd-pleasers ‘Firth of Fifth’,  ‘The Musical Box’  and ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ alongside a welcome addition of ‘The Cinema Show’ and deeper cuts like ‘Can-utility and the Coastliners’ and ‘After The Ordeal’.  The highlight for me was ‘The Cinema Show’, with Roger King outdoing Tony Banks during the instrumental workout.

By the time the band left the stage after the encores of ‘Clocks’ and ‘Firth Of Fifth’ nearly three hours had passed, and I struggle to recall an audience as enthusiastic for the material as those in Quebec and Montreal especially.

Steve will be continuing work on a new studio album (among  other projects) after this tour, and we have the ‘Live In Liverpool’ DVD from the ‘Acolyte To Wolflight’ tour to look forward to around June of this year.

Let’s hope we see Steve back in Canada before too long……

 

Friday 8th April – Grand Theatre Quebec

quebec3-smallquebec2-smallquebec1-small

Saturday 9th April – Theatre Maisonneuve, Place Des Arts,  Montreal

montreal2-smallmontreal1-smallmontreal3-small

Sunday 10th – Casino du Lac Leamy, Gatineau

gatineau8-smallgatineau7-smallgatineau6-smallgatineau5-smallgatineau4-smallgatineau2-smallgatineau1-small

Band Line up and Setlist (all 3 nights)

Steve Hackett – Guitar, Vocals
Roger King – Keyboards
Nad Sylvan – Vocals
Roine Stolt – Bass, Guitar
Rob Townsend – Flute, sax, keyboards
Gary O’Toole – Drums, Vocals

Setlist:
Set 1
Intro/Spectral Mornings
Out of the Body
Wolflight
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 Heirophant

Set 2
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

Encores:
Clocks – The Angel Of Mons
Firth of Fifth

 

 

 

Steve Hackett Interview – Quebec 8th April

I caught up with Steve Hackett in Quebec City before the first of his three Canadian shows last weekend.  Below is a transcript of our conversation, where Steve answered questions on the current ‘Acolyte to Wolflight’ tour,  the recent ‘Premonitions’ box set,  his days in Genesis, and other stuff. Special thanks to Jo Hackett for helping to arrange the interview and of course to Steve for being so generous with his time.

I began by welcoming Steve back to Canada…..

Steve Hackett: Thank you. Thank you.

Tim Darbyshire: It was a real surprise that you came back to Canada so soon because we just saw you in Ontario in November last year.

Steve: That’s right. Yes

Tim: Why so soon?

Steve: Why so soon … well, I think we left it long enough and it’s time to come back and do it again. I’m very pleased to be back here because we were doing other parts of Canada before so it’s very nice to be back here in Quebec. Usually we leave it about two years at a time.

Tim: We saw the shows in Lindsay and Oakville last year. So are we expecting any set changes this time around?

Steve: No, it’s basically the same show.

Tim: Ok

Steve: Same show, same personnel, same show because as I say we are doing places that we didn’t do with that show last time.

Tim: I guess we are running out of Genesis songs you want to perform now?

Steve: Well, I don’t know about that, it’s funny, there’s a lot of stuff from the Genesis canon that I never thought I’d be doing again including stuff in the set at the moment.. Yeah you know some of the favourites, I wouldn’t say they’ve been done to death but they’ve certainly been exploited thoroughly…Supper’s Ready first and foremost. I’m also answering the call of fans for certain songs which they wanted to hear such as Cinema Show.

Tim: I’m pretty surprised that you played Cinema Show last time around.

Steve: Yes well I think that it has got something – there’s a nostalgic feeling to it. The first part of it is a love song, and the second part is a work out and I think it works very well live, people like it very much.

Tim: Absolutely

Steve: Then we go straight into Lamb Lies Down On Broadway … and keep it coming into Musical Box, so in many ways they are all favourites of various factions of the audience, … I’m sorry if I sound a little bunged up I’ve got a cold at the moment I’m struggling with.

Tim: Snap, me too.

Steve: Yes it’s really taken over in the past 24 hours, it’s gone ballistic.

Tim: I hope you’re okay to perform anyway.

Steve: Well yes I mean many a time I stood there with a cold, yes that’s par for the course.

Tim: The show must go on.

Steve: The show must go on indeed. The show is the most important thing.

Tim: It seems like the first few shows you’ve hit the ground running. You and the band seem on top form from what I’ve read.

Steve: Yes the band have been doing very well – the response has been terrific to this stuff. Many of the areas we haven’t played before with the band have received it with open arms, you know, sold out, it’s done very well.

Tim: That’s great.

Steve: And of course, here in French Canada – you know a long term supporter of this genre and all the other genres …..so no problem with that.

Tim: Rob, Roger, and Gary have been with you so long now as well.

Steve: They have. They have.

Tim: Team Hackett seems like a well-oiled machine.

Steve: Well you know there are times when the people that inhabit it.…that team… sometimes they are stretched to the limit to make it all happen. There are various things that we do, sometimes conditions have to be made in order to keep trucking … that’s part of the game too.

Tim: So future tours then, have you thought about doing whole albums? That seems to be quite in vogue at the moment.

Steve: Well it has been suggested to me, I know it’s in vogue, but I’m inclined not to follow the crowd. I tend to think that to cherry-pick and do the best of available things creates more of an element of surprise. And I do think that to do an entire album from start to finish, even though that’s possible – you are embracing the entirely predictable and so far I haven’t done that. I won’t say that I’ll never do that. I am tempted with certain albums but I think that variety is what drives me with this stuff and I also like doing the solo stuff as well – it’s nice to be doing solo stuff again rather than just Genesis stuff which is tried and tested. I was out there as you know for many years with solo stuff that was also tried and tested and did very well, but you know I wanted to make people’s dreams come true with this Genesis Revisited thing and I did nothing but that for about three years.

Tim: Well you are the only one keeping that dream alive – and thank you for that.

Steve: Well that’s right I am keeping that dream alive I think it was hard fought for back in the day and I think that music always needs to be hard fought for – it’s got to be what you believe in and I believe in that stuff – music that meanders takes its time and allows itself to breathe. And back in the day when I was first doing those Genesis selections it felt like much more vulnerable because they weren’t yet regarded as classics but with the passing of time people will indulge in quieter moments whereas at one time with Genesis every time we would go quieter we would get heckled … and that doesn’t happen in general these days unless we’ve got an audience that’s shared with someone else, but in the main … people will accept ..they will accept things that they wouldn’t accept way back in the day.

Tim: So I mean you must be pleased how people are taking to the Wolflight material as well.

Steve: Yes that was a surprise because I hadn’t recorded any solo material for a while and the nice thing is it’s done as well as the Genesis re-recordings did – it validated itself. I guess the Genesis stuff has created a bridge to the past but also a door to the future in terms of saying – I am at one with the spirit of the great music that we once did and here’s my version of it.

Tim: It’s good like you said it’s a bridge between the old and the new – is there going to be a new album, is that what you are working on after this tour?

Steve: I am working on a new album and that’s taking shape very nicely. We are I think about two and a half songs into that at the moment and it’s going very well.

Tim: The creative juices are flowing.

Steve: Yes it’s all still going on and I’m very happy that the fingers are working and the imagination is working and I don’t think any musician can ask for anything more.

Tim: That’s great. Can we talk about the Premonitions Box Set and the reissues?

Steve: Sure.

Tim: Are there any plans for Highly Strung and Cured to get the 5.1 treatment?

Steve: Well at the moment we don’t have the source material for that. In the case of Defector and Acolyte the upmix is something that is created by the push of a button. Having said that, they actually sound very good – those surrounds that were done from the remasters – the L1 Stereo widening remasters that were done a few years ago.

Tim: By Ben Fenner?

Steve: By Ben Fenner that’s right, and created the basis for those upmixes and I find there’s some extraordinary things that happened within that and I think that technology works in a way that makes it very creative so I am thrilled with the level of surprise that that brings.

Tim: And the new Steven Wilson mixes … are you happy with those? They sound good to me.

Steve: Yes, very happy with those – I particularly enjoyed the Spectral Mornings remix, the surround version of that. The albums you mentioned Highly Strung and what was the other one?

Tim: Cured.

Steve: Cured, yes – it’s entirely possible that we can do something similar but it will have to be an upmix rather than anything from the masters unless those masters present themselves.

Tim: So this is the record company that actually lost the masters? Is that correct?

Steve: Well back in the day I gave them all to Charisma for their safe keeping.

Tim: Or not so safe keeping.

Steve: Not so safe keeping in that the ownership of that stuff ended up going – at least for 25 years – from Charisma to Virgin to EMI and all around the houses – and a lot of the stuff has been lost.

Tim: So these are the only albums not under your control then, the first six?

Steve: Well they aren’t under my control until about 5 years time – probably 4 years by now actually – and then they will be under my control. So I might do something with them.

Tim: It’s a lovely box set.

Steve: Good I’m glad you like it. Thank you. I was very proud of the box – I thought that it worked very well. And it’s a proud moment for me to have a box set.

Tim: And there’s three cds coming out standalone aren’t there very soon?

 Steve: Yes there’s going to be some more stuff coming and there’s also supposed to be a vinyl box set …

Tim: I know a lot of people still love it.

Steve: Exactly. Yes there are many people who love their vinyl – we try to please.

Tim: I love holding it and touching it but I like the blu-rays and the 5.1 stuff now.

Steve: Sure of course. I think you find most artists prefer the cleanliness, compactness, and all that. I do like to hold something physical I must admit – I don’t get off greatly on the idea of something that’s streamed from another planet.

Tim: I think we’re a different generation.

Steve: I think so. It’s as close as owning the music as you can and I think anyone who owns the record owns the music. The true owners of course, are never the artists. It’s always the audience. It’s always the listeners. And the listener is the true owner.

Tim: Do you have a few moments to chat about the Genesis days?

Steve: Sure. I’m probably okay for about 5 minutes because I have to get my stuff ready to go to the show soundcheck.

Tim: So you joined in 1970/71 – I think the albums got better ; Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound, and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – which would you say is your favourite?

Steve: Purely in terms of the material – I think Selling England By The Pound, that takes some beating….but whether those are the definitive performances or not doesn’t really matter – be it live versions or whatever, they change over time, I’ve done revisits to this stuff but I think it’s the thinking that went with that material at that time. I think all of the albums have got something to offer – they all have something extraordinary to offer – all of those albums that I was involved with with Peter Gabriel and the subsequent two albums with Phil – for me they are all extraordinarily imaginative.

Tim: Absolutely, I think people used to ask ‘do you like Gabriel Genesis or Collins Genesis?’ but now for me anyway, I like Hackett Genesis … Trick Of The Tail and Wind And Wuthering are great albums too.

Steve: It’s nice that it survived and it certainly feels good to me.

Tim: Were you aware you were in a special band at the time or did it just become obvious afterwards?

Steve: I was aware I was in a band that…..how can I best put it ? In 1973 when we were touring America for the first time, and John Lennon mentioned that we were one of the bands that he was listening to, it reinforced my opinion, at the time, that we were probably the most exciting band on the planet when we were doing the best of Selling England, the best of Foxtrot, and the best of Nursery Cryme, doing that live, you know those three albums we were drawing on, it felt like the band was mighty – even though we were only playing to 500 people a night. It still felt that the band had transcended it, perhaps the limits of the audience.

Tim: Yes, I listened to tapes from back then and there’s a certain energy in the room, definitely.

Steve: Yes, that’s right. I know that there have been a lot of bootlegs from that era which personally I would sanction, and release ourselves, but yes there’s lot’s of good stuff, especially from the Roxy in LA in 73, good stuff, very good stuff…

Tim: There’s some great Lamb soundboards out there as well.

Steve: Yes, there’s a whole bunch of Lamb ones that hit the streets.

Tim: It seems amazing that you finished the Selling England tour in May 1974 and by November – six months later The Lamb was out and you were playing it – four sides of new music to American audiences … It just seemed so quick.

Steve: I know yes, there was a healthy output at that time. But we even felt it was slow at that time that we weren’t managing to write as quickly as we needed to but .. we were going it some, back in the day.

Tim: What was Headley Grange like then?  Was it really as spooky as they say?

Steve: Yes, it was kind of run down and spooky and dangerous – all sorts of things. I nearly lost my life there.

Tim: With the wine glass was it?

Steve: It wasn’t that, no, I was in a bathroom and I had just washed my hands at the sink and then I walked back to the door and the whole of the floor gave way. I could have been standing there. We had to tape that off. Whether you put that down to anything malevolently supernatural or whether it was just extremely dilapidated we’ll never know.

Tim: But you were staying there, weren’t you, sleeping there?

Steve: Yes, we were staying there. There were weird sounds at night that would keep me awake night after night. It was probably the rats.

Tim: It just sounds like it was a tricky time anyway, for a lot of you personally as well. Peter had well documented issues and I know you were in a difficult time as well, I mean, the whole period seems crazy that The Lamb came out of it.

Steve: Yes, that’s right it was a difficult time, no doubt about it.

Tim: Difficult birth but it certainly flourished.

Steve: Yes, fraught with problems but then anyone who hears it, is not necessarily aware of what we were going through individually.

Tim: It’s an incredible piece anyhow. Thanks very much for your time Steve.

Steve: It was a good talk, all the best.