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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Steve Hackett – Live In Gatineau, Quebec – 13th February 2018

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Following his appearance on 2018’s Cruise To The Edge, Steve and band are spending February and March in North and South America, on a tour billed as ‘Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited, Solo Gems & GTR 2018 Tour de Force!’ I caught the show at the Theatre du Casino in Gatineau, Quebec. Words and photos by Tim Darbyshire.

Steve Hackett is a regular visitor to Canada and it’s always a pleasure to see him and his band play here. Despite being a frequent visitor, this year’s set list was noticeably 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.

Gatineau’s Theatre du Casino was the venue for the fourth and final Canadian concert on this tour and first hour or so of the concert contained the solo material, with the focus  being on Steve’s second solo album – 1978’s ‘Please Don’t Touch’ – which is 40 years old.  Two instrumentals – ‘Please Don’t Touch’ and the bombastic ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’ – book-ended the solo portion of the set which also focused on Steve’s 2017 eclectic ‘The Night Siren’ release. Three songs are played from the latest album – ‘Beneath The Smoke’, ‘El Nino’, and ‘In The Skeleton Gallery’. The new material sat comfortably alongside the older material, with the beautiful ‘Icarus Ascending’ from ‘Please Don’t Touch’ being a personal highlight of the solo music.  ‘When The Heart Rules The Mind’ is being given a rare outing on this tour – Steve has recently re-recorded this song from the GTR project (with Steve Howe) from the mid-1980s.

The Genesis section of the show was predictably packed with classic songs, all delivered by Steve and his talented band in customary faultless fashion. There’s one change to the touring band this year, with Jonas Reingold replacing Nick Beggs on bass and 12-string guitar. Jonas is quickly able to show us his talents during ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ which opens the Genesis section and a welcome return of ‘One For The Vine’ and ‘Inside And Out’ (from the ‘Wind And Wuthering’ sessions) follows.   ‘Fountain of Salmacis’ from 1971’s ‘Nursery Cryme’ leads us into crowd favourite ‘Firth Of Fifth’ which of course means we get to hear Steve’s iconic solo, and Roger King’s piano introduction. The pace is maintained with a powerful rendition of  ‘The Musical Box’ before ‘Supper’s Ready’, for many people still THE Genesis song, closes the main set.

After 2 hours and 40 minutes, the encore ‘Los Endos’ brings proceedings to a close and leaves the crowd cheering for more.  Hopefully Steve and band will be back next year, maybe with another new album to promote.

Set List – Steve Hackett, Theatre du Casino, Gatineau – 13th February 2018

Please Don’t Touch
Every Day
Behind The Smoke
El Nino
In The Skeleton Gallery
When The Heart Rules The Mind
Icarus Ascending
Shadow Of The Hierophant (closing section)
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
One For The Vine
Inside And Out
The Fountain Of Salmacis
Firth of Fifth
The Musical Box
Supper’s Ready
(Encore)
Los Endos

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

 

Steve Hackett – Live at Massey Hall, Toronto – 12th February 2018

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Following his appearance on 2018’s Cruise To The Edge, Steve and band are spending February and March in North and South America, on a tour billed as ‘Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited, Solo Gems & GTR 2018 Tour de Force!’ I caught the show at Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall, which also happened to be Steve’s 68th Birthday. Words and photos by Tim Darbyshire.

Steve Hackett has visited Canada for the past six years and it’s always a pleasure to see him and his band play here. Despite being a frequent visitor, this year’s set list was noticeably 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.

Toronto’s Massey Hall was the venue for the third of four Canadian concerts this tour and the first set contained the solo material, with the focus this time being on Steve’s second solo album – 1978’s ‘Please Don’t Touch – which is 40 years old.  Two instrumentals – ‘Please Don’t Touch’ and the bombastic ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’ – book-ended the set which also focused on Steve’s 2017 eclectic ‘The Night Siren’ release. The new material sat comfortably with the older material, with the rocky ‘El Nino’ being a personal highlight.  ‘When The Heart Rules The Mind’ was given a rare outing – Steve has recently re-recorded this song from the GTR project (with Steve Howe) from the mid-1980s.

After the break, Steve’s latest bass recruit – Jonas Reingold – was given the chance to showcase his talents as the band launched into the Genesis portion of the show. Although it has been said many times,  Steve deserves endless credit for keeping the old music alive and recognizing its importance.  Proceedings kicked off with a boisterous rendition of ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ perfectly ended with the extended pastoral coda. A welcome return of ‘One For The Vine’ and ‘Inside And Out’ (from the ‘Wind And Wuthering’ sessions) followed.  A rousing ‘Fountain of Salmacis’ from 1971’s ‘Nursery Cryme’ led into crowd favourite ‘Firth Of Fifth’ which of course means we get to hear Steve’s iconic solo, perfectly delivered as – maybe his best contribution to Genesis?

The power of ‘The Musical Box’ sets us up perfectly for set closer ‘Supper’s Ready’, for many people THE Genesis song.  Before the encore (‘Dance On A Volcano’), the biggest ‘guitar birthday cake’ ever is brought onto stage by Jo Hackett and tour manager Adrian Holmes as the near capacity 2,500 audience serenades Steve on his birthday.

 

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All in all a wonderful evening – come back soon Steve!

Set List – Steve Hackett, Massey Hall, Toronto – 12th February 2018

Please Don’t Touch
Every Day
Behind The Smoke
El Nino
When The Heart Rules The Mind
Icarus Ascending
Shadow Of The Hierophant (closing section)
(Intermission)
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
One For The Vine
Inside And Out
The Fountain Of Salmacis
Firth of Fifth
The Musical Box
Supper’s Ready
(Encore)
Dance On A Volcano

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

 

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’

Steve Hackett – Live at Kleinhans Music Hall Buffalo with Philharmonic Orchestra, 3rd March 2017

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Steve Hackett wrapped up the North American leg of the ‘Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett’ 2017 tour in Buffalo with a special one-off  show of predominantly Genesis songs with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall – an event not to be missed.

Review and photos by Tim Darbyshire.

After months of detailed planning with conductor Bradley Thachuk of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, it was finally time to see Steve Hackett and band fuse classic Genesis material with a full orchestra.  There was a tangible sense of expectation as the audience filtered into the grand concert hall with the orchestra already seated and tuning up.

Seating 2400, Kleinhans is renowned for its excellent acoustics and as the band kicked off with ‘Dance On A Volcano’ it was clear we were in for a special evening. The orchestra added texture and colour, filling spaces normally occupied by Roger King’s lush keyboard sounds. Steve seemed to be playing with a permanent smile on his face, although the most animated person on stage was conductor Bradley Thachuk who was clearly having the time of his life.

The strong positive vibe continued throughout the show as Steve mixed full on Genesis classics such as ‘Firth of Fifth’, ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ and ‘Supper’s Ready’ with more subtle solo numbers which highlighted the orchestral contribution like ‘The Steppes’ and ‘Serpentine Song’. The rapturous applause after the set closer ‘Supper’s Ready’ was long lasting as the band and orchestra soaked up the sell out crowd’s appreciation. The band minus orchestra returned to the stage and finished the tour with a rousing version of ‘The Musical Box’.

Steve has of course been playing Genesis material on tour for the last four years, but having been influenced in so many ways by classical music this rare opportunity to play with the orchestra was one he clearly relished. Although not playing at the same volume as a regular gig,  Steve’s band delivered a superb performance as ever and special mention must go to the sound engineer Ben Fenner for giving us the perfect blend of electric band and orchestra.

I’m sure relief was among the emotions displayed at the end of the two hour show due to the nature of this one-off performance. Hopefully it’s an experiment Steve will be able to repeat again in the near future.

Setlist – Steve Hackett at Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo:

Set 1:
Dance On A Volcano
Out of The Body
The Steppes
Firth of Fifth
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
Blood On The Rooftops
Shadow Of The Hierophant (closing section)

Set 2:
….In That Quiet Earth
Afterglow
Serpentine Song
Supper’s Ready

Encore:
The Musical Box

The 2017 Touring band:

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

and The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bradley Thachuk.

Click here to read my review of Steve’s performance in Oakville the night before.

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

Steve Hackett announces new studio album ‘The Night Siren’

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Steve Hackett’s new studio album is called ‘The Night Siren’ and will be released by Inside Out Music on March 24th 2017……..

Steve discusses the new album and forthcoming tour here.

The official press release below is taken from HackettSongs.com :

Guitar virtuoso and rock legend, Steve Hackett (formerly of Genesis), releases his latest album The Night Siren on 24th March 2017 through InsideOut Music (Sony). As implied in the title, The Night Siren is a wake-up call… the warning of a siren sounding in this era of strife and division.

The Night Siren showcases Steve’s incredible guitar playing as strongly as ever, along with regular Hackett collaborators and also musicians from several different countries who Steve invited to join him in celebrating multicultural diversity and unity. This includes singers from Israel and Palestine, who both actively campaign to bring Jewish and Arabic people together. There are also instrumentals from the USA and Iraq and a multiplicity of sounds, including the exotic strains of Indian sitar and Middle Eastern tar and oud, the ethnic beauty of the Peruvian charango and the haunting Celtic Uilleann pipes.

Steve is widely travelled, making friends everywhere he goes and has always embraced multicultural diversity. In these times of unrest, he has been inspired to express his belief that the world needs more empathy and unity. His wish to involve a range of musical sounds, instruments, musicians and singers from different parts of the world is both a development of his eclectic approach to music and shows how people can be brought together, even from war torn regions.

Talking about his latest work, Steve says, “This latest waxing represents a bird’s eye view of the world of a musical migrant ignoring borders and celebrating our common ancestry with a unity of spirit, featuring musicians, singers and instruments from all over the world. From territorial frontiers to walled-up gateways, boundaries often hold back the tide. But while the night siren wails, music breaches all defences. To quote Plato, ‘When the music changes, the walls of the city shake’.”

The musical journey takes us from ‘Behind the Smoke’, focusing on the plight of refugees throughout the ages, to the penultimate track ‘West to East’ which reflects on the damage of war and the hope for a better world. From personal to universal, the themes celebrate the life force, breaking free from chains of repression.

The album features: Steve Hackett (guitar & vocals), Roger King (keyboards & programming), Nad Sylvan (vocals on Inca Terra), Rob Townsend (all things wind), Amanda Lehmann (vocals), Gary O’Toole (drums), and Benedict Fenner (additional keyboards & programming). Also featured are singers Kobi and Mira (Israeli and Palestinian), Nick D’Virgilio (drums) from the USA, Malik Mansurov (Tar) from Azerbaijan & Gulli Breim (drums & percussion) from Iceland. Additional musicians who add to the rich flavour of the album are Christine Townsend (violin & viola), Dick Driver (double bass), Troy Donockley (Celtic Uilleann) and Leslie Bennett (keyboards on The Gift).

Full Track Listing:-

1. Behind the Smoke
2. Martian Sea
3. Fifty Miles from the North Pole
4. El Niño
5. Other Side of the Wall
6. Anything but Love
7. Inca Terra
8. In Another Life
9. In the Skeleton Gallery
10. West to East
11. The Gift

The Night Siren will be released through Inside Out Music on 24th March in the following formats:
Special Edition CD/Blu-Ray Mediabook featuring 5.1 surround sound mix & making of documentary: 88985410452
Standard Jewel case CD: 88985410462
Gatefold black 2LP vinyl + CD: 88985410471
Digital Download

Album artphotos by iconphoto.ch

Steve Hackett is returning with an exciting new show Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett for a 15 date UK tour in April 2017. 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 and solo numbers never performed before by Steve’s band including ‘Inside & Out,’ ‘One For The Vine’ and ‘Anyway’ as well as material from The Night Siren.

Photo by Tina Korhonen © 2016, all rights reserved.
Photo by Tina Korhonen © 2016, all rights reserved.