Steve Hillage Newcastle City Hall 1979

steveh1979 The last time that I saw Steve Hillage in concert was in 1979 at Newcastle City Hall. By then he had released seven solo albums, was several albums on from his classic L lp and the audience was dwindling a little. The things I remember most about Steve in concert are his epic performances of the songs from L and his use of what is termed “glissando guitar”. I wasn’t sure of the origin or meaning of the term so I googled it. Many thanks to Chris D from the seven string forum for explaining glissando guitar for me: “I think this got called “glissando guitar” first by Daev Allen from Gong, who as far as I know pioneered this technique. Steve Hillage also used this a lot. Glissando is the musical term meaning “slide” but glissando guitar isn’t “slide guitar” as you know it.The sound you get is a lush drifty synth/string effect, it sounds cool & is easy to do, although trying to explain it seems complicated”. It seems the technique involves removing the tremolo arm and jiggling it across the strings while using a wah wah pedal for effect. Whatever it is, it certainly gave a unique sound to much of Steve’s guitar work at the time.I have also been reading quite a lot about System 7, Steve’s latest band. I didn’t realise how influential he has been in the dance scene and it the acceptance of dance at Glastonbury. So I making myself another promise which is to try to see System 7 when the opportunity next arises. Support act for the 1979 tour was Trevor Rabin who would go on to join Yes. Typical setlist from the 1979 tour: “The Salmon Song”, “Unzipping The Zype”, “Hurdy Gurdy Glissando”, “Light In The Sky”, “1988 Aktivator”, “Unidentified (Flying Being)”, “UFO Over Paris”, “Activation Meditation”, “The Glorious Om Riff”, “Activation Meditation”, “It’s All Too Much”, “Electrick Gypsies”, “Talking to the Sun”

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