Steve Hackett - 'Seconds Out' Live

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What a show – two and a half hours of fantastic and nostalgic Prog!

Nottingham: Royal Concert Hall – 2nd October 2021

My introduction to Genesis was through the live album 'Seconds Out' in 1981, four years after it was released. I'd heard a few Genesis singles previously, however that year was when I became a serious fan of Progressive and Rock music in general. When Steve Hackett announced two years ago that he would be touring in late 2020 and playing the whole ninety odd minutes in full I can't explain how excited I was. Unfortunately, that darn COVID caused the tour to be postponed for a year.

'Clocks – The Angel Of Mons', an instrumental number from 'Spectral Mornings', opens the short first set where Hackett plays a few of his solo tunes. The crowd are very receptive and the mild-mannered guitarist is genuinely touched by the cheering. 'Held In The Shadows' is the first of two songs from Hackett's new release 'Surrender Of Silence' and vocalist Nad Sylvan sounds great sharing co vocals with Hackett. It builds slowly and the guitarist extraordinaire displays his dexterity on the lead guitar. My favourite Hackett song 'Every Day' is up next and I'm not disappointed as we are treated to a masterclass in the tapping technique. 'The Devil's Cathedral' is the second song from the new album and features some bluesy guitar. 'Shadow Of The Hierophant' ends the first set in rousing fashion, Jonas Reingold's bass pedals making your teeth rattle! The only disappointment is that Amanda Lehmann is only playing a select few shows on this tour (I was lucky enough to see her in Manchester a few days earlier), hence we only get to hear an abridged instrumental version tonight.

After a thirty minute break Hackett and his cohorts return to treat us to the main course. As soon as the band play the first few notes from 'Squonk' the crowd, including yours truly, are in raptures. Roger King's keyboard flurries are superb. Sylvan sounds amazingly like Peter Gabriel on the full version of 'The Carpet Crawlers', however he struggles to emulate Phil Collins' cockney drawl on 'Robbery, Assault and Battery' (hardly surprising and an observation not a complaint). 'Afterglow' is superb and the accompanying light show replicates the 'Seconds Out' album cover! 'Firth Of Fifth' as always is brilliant; firstly, King's intro on the piano and then of course "that" solo which deservedly receives a standing ovation, as does 'The Musical Box' (the closing section). I was slightly disappointed that the full version wasn't performed as I had witnessed at a couple of shows at the beginning of the tour. 'I Know What I Like...' is extended so that Rob Townsend can show his prowess on the saxophone and Hackett and his merry men transform the number into a bluesy/jazzy jam.

'Supper's Ready', all twenty-four minutes of it, is breathtaking and of course the crowd give another rapturous standing ovation. 'The Cinema Show' contains my all-time favourite keyboard solo of all time and King doesn't let me down! As a bonus we are treated to 'Aisle Of Plenty'. The encore as we all know consists of a superb 'Dance On A Volcano' and obviously 'Los Endos' which includes a powerhouse drum solo from Craig Blundell and snippets of 'Myopia' and 'Slogans' from the main man himself. What a show – two and a half hours of fantastic and nostalgic Prog!

Az Chaudhry

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