Steve Hackett - 'The Bremen Broadcast'

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Steve Hackett - 'The Bremen Broadcast'

The fascinating thing about this, for me at least, is remembering what the seventies looked and sounded like.

When Steve Hackett left Genesis in 1977, it was, to most fans at that time, the final nail in the coffin of the "real" Genesis. The band had survived the departure of Peter Gabriel two years earlier, but the leaving of Hackett had a much more pronounced change to the sound of the music that Genesis produced, moving it away from the extended tracks and the Prog banner that they had waved for so long.

This concert then, features the first incarnation of Hackett's own band on 8th November 1978, and the first thing to note is that the footage is definitely a product of its time, being grainy and years away from high definition, which of course it was. Needless to say, it's not in 5:1 either, and I'm not even sure it is in Stereo. Originally, the footage was just nine tracks, 'Please Don't Touch', 'Racing In A', 'Ace Of Wands', 'Narnia', 'A Tower Struck Down/Spectral Mornings', 'Kim', which was part of an acoustic section that also included the start of 'Blood On The Rooftops' and 'Horizons', 'Shadow Of The Hierophant' and 'Clocks'. This release, however, contains two bonus tracks not previously broadcast, these being 'Carry On Up The Vicarage' and 'Star Of Sirius' which is quite a lengthy rendition. Having been to all of Hackett's tours since he went solo, I know he used to play Genesis tracks at this time. Apart from the two pieces in the acoustic section, there are none in evidence here. Whether they were played on the night and just not recorded I don't know, but it would have been nice to have heard one or two here.

There is a fascinating aspect to this disc too, if you have a technical interest. That is spotting all the old equipment being used, not least a thing called an Optigan, which Hackett introduces at the beginning of 'Tower...' and which was probably the best thing since sliced bread at that time. What is also quite amusing is vocalist Pete Hicks, looking like he has just come in from a shopping trip to C&A, when he is actually on stage; a lot of the time he isn't when the band are doing instrumental sections.

So, the DVD is OK, but let down a little by the quality aspect, which I would have thought they could do something about. Personally, I am not really a fan of old resurrected concerts, unless they are ones I was actually at, but as I said, the fascinating thing about this, for me at least, is remembering what the seventies looked and sounded like.

Andy Brailsford

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