Concert Reviews

Steve Hackett Hot

Added by James Gaden     September 03, 2013    
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Steve Hackett - Hammersmith Apollo, London (UK) – 10 May

If releasing the “Genesis Revisited II” album and this tour were intended as giving a big middle finger to his erstwhile band mates who eschew a reunion (although having had the privilege of interviewing him several times he doesn’t strike me as that sort of chap), then tonight was surely the ultimate delivery of the aforementioned digit. A sold out Apollo and many standing ovations tells its own story and both were fully deserved because the show was magnificent in every respect with the band and various guests being on sensational form.

We were only three songs into the set (‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’) when the crowd rose as one to applaud; seeing this, Hackett urged them to save themselves as there was a long way to go; indeed there was because the set lasted over two and half wonderful hours, which simply flew by. Nad Sylvan handled the majority of the vocals and certainly carried off the job in fine style (dodgy dancing aside) and showed that Hackett had found the right man for the part. I could mention the entire band but I’ll limit myself to Lee Pomeroy whose versatility (bass, 12 string, pedals, guitar and vocals) was particularly impressive.

I have no doubt that people will debate songs they thought should have been in the set but weren’t (I offer you ‘Cinema Show’), but frankly I don’t think he could have chosen a much better selection as each of the albums he worked on with the band were well represented. As for the guests, Nik Kershaw delivered a terrific vocal on ‘The Lamia’ and Steve Rothery’s sharing of the guitar solo on the same number was a delight. John Wetton sounded the strongest I’ve heard him in years on the spine-tingling rendition of ‘Afterglow,’ while Jakko Jakszyck and Amanda Lehmann (along with Sylvan and possibly Gary O’Toole) performed an exquisitely harmonised ‘Entangled’.

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Naturally, ‘Supper’s Ready’ was greeted with huge enthusiasm and the execution was spot on, but every song was a treat to behold. The heavy organ sound that heralds ‘Watcher Of The Skies’ was a great opening to the show and that just signalled the start of something special. Space doesn’t permit me to wax lyrical about each of the nineteen songs offered up, so I’ll have to mention just a few personal favourites from those not already mentioned: namely ‘Blood On The Rooftops’, ‘Eleventh Earl Of Mar’, ‘Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers…’, ‘…In That Quiet Earth’ and ‘Firth Of Fifth’.

This evening was a triumph for Steve and his brilliant band and I couldn’t have been more pleased for him as he keeps a significant discography alive.

Gary Marshall 

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