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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



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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