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Genesis Revisited With Classic Hackett: Reading Hexagon

andy rawll
Words and Pictures: Andy Rawll

steve hackett

Night sirens blare and wuthering winds blow along with other Hackett classics...

This was yet another superlative show from Steve Hackett and band, presenting highlights from his latest album 'The Night Siren' and both his own and his previous band's back catalogues. In the fortieth year since its release, there was particular focus on his swan-song album with the Charterhouse quintet.

Shorn of the retinue of guest artists that had joined his lavishly executed 'Genesis Revisited' tour, this time around his longstanding core band of Nick Beggs, Roger King, Gary O'Toole and Rob Townsend was complemented only by dandy vocalist Nad Sylvan. His arresting stage presence and appealing Gabrielesque voice added just the right theatrical flair for the early Genesis songs, without needing to resort to the bizarre costumery of that arc angelic frontman.

steve hackett

Indeed, this tour sees a continuation of the 'two sides live' style setlist of the previous 'Acolyte To Wolflight' tour, with the first set focused on Hackett's solo oeuvre and the second delving into the musical treasure chest from his time with Genesis.

Whereas the previous tour celebrated the fortieth anniversary of his debut solo album, 'Voyage Of The Acolyte', this time the focus was on the same significant anniversary of 'Wind And Wuthering', including rarely performed track 'One For The Vine' and contemporary outtake 'Inside And Out'.

steve hackett

It was also great to hear the 'Trick Of The Tail' bookends of 'Dance On A Volcano' and 'Los Endos', performed here with a contemporary verve and zeal missing from the original and coming close to eclipsing the definitive live versions on 'Seconds Out'.

As ever, individual instrument and collective group performance were beyond reproach. Roger is King of Tony Banks' original keyboard parts, coupled with the cinematic sonic tapestries he weaves on new songs like 'Behind The Smoke' while Nick is not too shy in showcasing his multi-instrument skills, whether delicate twelve string, resonant Taurus pedals or elegant bass. Gary has a rich o'tool-box of percussive skills to call upon to underpin the eclectic nature of Hackett's song book. Rob acts as Steve's saxy wingman, adding a wonderful wuthering metal and wood wind counterpoint to his master's lead guitar voice.

steve hackett

So what of their glorious leader, constructor and conductor? His relaxed stance and zen-like concentration belies the spectral majesty of his playing. The plangeant classical brush strokes on 'Blood On The Rooftops', the insistent Kashmiri riff of 'Behind The Smoke', the swooping whammy on 'El Nino', the effortless legato and tapping of 'Slogans', the melodic crescendo to 'Shadow Of The Hierophant', the fluid fusion of 'Los Endos' and the seering solo finale on 'Firth Of Fifth' – Hackett's mastery of his instrument truly knows no bounds.

Take heed of when the night siren sounds nearby. Be sure to assemble at the local venue of Hackett's choosing and prepared to be transported to a fantastic landscape sound-tracked by his revelatory and enveloping musical might.


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Set 1:
Every Day
El Niño
The Steppes
In The Skeleton Gallery
Behind The Smoke
Serpentine Song
Rise Again
Shadow Of The Hierophant

Set 2 (with Nad Sylvan on lead vocals):
Eleventh Earl Of Mar
One For The Vine
Blood On The Rooftops
...In That Quiet Earth
Dance On A Volcano
Inside And Out
Firth Of Fifth
The Musical Box

Slogans/Los Endos

steve hackett

steve hackett

15th May 2017


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