Steve Hackett Genesis Extended Tour York Barbican 26th October 2014
Support from Mostly Autumn (Acoustic)
The success of Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited project has grown over the past couple of years. He started with a few classic Genesis songs, playing in smaller venues, but the tour soon developed to a full blown Genesis set, playing in theatres up and down the country, including sold out concerts at Hammersmith Apollo and the Royal Albert Hall. Hackett is now touring with “Genesis Extended” a new show which includes many of the classic songs from the early to mid -’70s era.
Steve has put together a great band featuring Gary O’Toole on drums, Nad Sylvan on vocals, Roger King on keyboards, Rob Townsend on flute, sax and percussion, and Nick Beggs (ex Kajagoogoo) on bass. There are all excellent musicians and manage to do justice to this formidable back catalogue. They started with Dance on a Volcano and featured gems such as Return of the Giant Hogweed, Fountain of Salmancis, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight and Lilywhite Lilith. My favourites were always going to be The Musical Box, which got the first full standing ovation of the evening, and The Knife. Both dark, moody stories and enduring pieces of rock theatre. The intricate beautiful music of The Musical Box was recreated perfectly as was the swirling, manic dance of The Knife. I was a little nervous that I wasn’t going to enjoy this concert, as I songs like The Musical Box and The Knife hold a special place in my memory, and I feared that they could never be played with the detail and reverence they deserve. However Steve and the band managed to strike the right balance of playing the music perfectly, and setting a mood that matched that of the originals, including some of the theatrical elements that Peter Gabriel so famously pioneered. Much of that was down to the performance of Nad Sylvan who was incredible, and pulled off the impossible. I wasn’t sure how this long-haired blonde guy, dressed in a ruffle shirt and tight black trousers would be able to play the part of Gabriel, and I remained a little unconvinced during the first few songs. However as the performance progressed I started to warm to the guy. He introduced his own performance, his own theatre to the songs, yet also drawing heavily from the mannerisms and style of Gabriel. Little jerky mannequin movements and twisting hand gestures in The Musical Box, a dark dancing figure in The Knife, wildly grabbing the mike and tearing the words out of his throat and an epic performance in old fan favourite Supper’s Ready dressed in a cloak, and with the crowd helping out with vocals (A Flower?). Epic. The red light eyes even returned in Watcher of the Sky. I even sort of enjoyed Supper’s Ready; I always found it too long and a little tedious in the ’70s. Special mention to Nick Beggs, who played bass, and second guitar flawlessly. And there was dry ice. Perfect.
Setlist: Dance on a Volcano; Squonk; Dancing With the Moonlit Knight; Fly on a Windshield; Broadway Melody of 1974; The Return of the Giant Hogweed; The Fountain of Salmacis; The Musical Box; I Know What I Like; Horizons; Firth of Fifth; Lilywhite Lilith; The Knife; Supper’s Ready.
Encore: Watcher of the Skies; Los Endos
Archive for the ‘Genesis’ Category
Steve Hackett Genesis Extended Tour York Barbican 26th October 2014
The Reading Festival 24th – 26th August 1973
August 1973 and I was back at the Reading Festival. This year I hooked up with a large group of mates from town who had traveled down in a Transit van. I discovered Reading town centre, and the local pubs for the first time this year, and as a result missed some of the bands. The line-up was pretty mixed, with a clear attempt to become international; featuring bands from France, Italy and the USA, and also retaining jazz elements with appearances by Chris Barber and George Melly (who was great and a surprise success).
Friday line-up: Embryo (Germany), Alquin (Holland), Stray Dog (USA), Greenslade, Capability Brown, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen (USA), Jo’Burg Hawk (South Africa), Rory Gallagher. The successes of the day were Commander Cody and of course Rory, who was just amazing. This was classic Rory at his best: Messin’ With the Kid; Laundromat; Walk on Hot Coals; Pistol Slapper Blues; Going to My Home Town; and Bullfrog Blues. The crowd loved him. Capability Brown grew out of the ’60s band Harmony Grass; prog rock with great harmonies. The other thing I discovered was the bridge over the Thames, and we spent many an hour watching people dive off and down into the river (which seemed crazy and dangerous to me).
Saturday line-up: Dave Ellis, Clare Hamill, Tasavallan Presidentti (Finland), Riff Raff, Fumble, Magma (France), Lindisfarne (Mk II), Chris Barber band, Status Quo, Sensation Alex Harvey Band, Strider, Andy Bown, The Faces.
My memories of the Saturday are of Status Quo going down a storm, and the Faces being OK, but the real success of the day being the Sensation Alex Harvey Band. SAHB were just about to release “Next”; I think they started the set with “Faith Healer” which sounded incredible, the intro throbbing across the field. Alex was electric and made a lot of new friends that day. The Faces set was nowhere near as strong as the previous year. This was one of their first gigs after Ronnie Lane had been replaced by Tetsu (who was great by the way); you could sense that the band were losing their enthusiasm and a Rod would soon be on his way. Lots of footballs into the crowd again. Oh and Jesus dancing naked during the afternoon. I don’t recall Andy Bown’s set and didn’t know much about him at the time, other than he was in The Herd with Peter Frampton. I do remember being surprised as how high up on the bill he was. I think this was where he made friends with Quo; he joined them shortly afterwards on keyboards. Fumble were a rock’n’roll revival band who played a lot of gigs at the time; I recall seeing them several times at local student union dances.
Sunday line-up: Aj Webber, John Martyn and Danny Thompson, Ange (France), Tim Hardin and Lesley Duncan with the Tim Horovitz Orchestra, PFM (Italy), Jack the Lad, Medicine Head, Stackridge, George Melly and the Feetwarmers, Jon Hiseman’s Tempest, Mahatma, Jimmy Witherspoon (USA), Spencer Davis, Genesis. I think Roy Buchanan may have played also; he was advertised in early flyers, but doesn’t feature in the programme; I think I recall watching him. The stand-outs on Sunday were (surprisingly) George Melly who wore an incredibly sharp suit and totally engaged the crowd with his crazy jazz campness, and of course Genesis, with Peter Gabriel appearing with a strange pyramid arrangement on his head. Stackridge were good as always (Slark still a favourite of mine); Spencer Davis played all the hits, and had a great band featuring Charlie McCracken, Pete York, Ray Fenwick and Eddie Hardin. Tim Hardin sang his beautiful moving songs (If I was a Carpenter, Reason to Believe) and John Martyn went down well in his early slot, accompanied by the excellent Danny Thompson on double bass. The weather was pretty good as I recall, I don’t think we got much, if any, rain. Not one of the strongest Reading line-ups, but still a good weekend of music and fun, with excellent performances by Rory, George Melly, Alex Harvey, Quo and Genesis. Thanks to Ben Sutherland for making his photograph of the Reading Bridge available through WikiMedia Commons. The programme was once again produced by the local newspaper and cost all of 10p 🙂 . The poster of the Faces comes from the centrepages of the programme.
The Reading Festival 1972
I first went to the Reading Festival in 1972 (is it really over 41 years ago 🙂 ?), and continued to go every year until 1980. I missed 1981 as it clashed with a local “Rock on the Tyne” Festival, and have never returned, although I did think of doing so on several occasions. I’m aiming to reflect on one year each week for the next few weeks, starting today with my first Reading experience.
I’d already been to the Lincoln Festival in May 1972 so I felt, as a 15 year old, I was already a hardened festival goer. I didn’t know anyone who wanted to go to Reading, so decided to go along myself. My parents weren’t keen on my idea of hitching so I agreed to go by train. The festival took place over the weekend of August 11th to 13th, 1972 starting on Friday afternoon. For some reason I decided to get the train down to London early on the Thursday night, arriving around midnight. Having nowhere to spend the night I took a tube to Piccadilly Circus and found an all-night cinema. It was showing Elvis films all night; I paid my money and sat close to the front. The cinema was quite empty, the audience was a few couples, some Elvis fans and several people alone like me, and just looking for somewhere to spend the night. I don’t recall which films were shown, I think there were six, and I’m pretty sure one was “Kid Galahad” (which, by the way, is a good movie), and I think another may have been “Fun in Acapulco” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” (not so good). I emerged, very tired, from the cinema in the early hours of the morning, and went across London to get the train to Reading. I didn’t have a ticket for the festival, so when I arrived I joined the queue and bought a weekend ticket. In those days it was all about seeing the bands, so I stayed in the queue to get a good spot in front of the stage. All I had taken was a sleeping bag; no tent; no change of clothes (I told you that I thought myself a hardened festival goer).
The Friday line-up was: Good Habit, Nazareth, Cottonwood, Steamhammer, Jackson Heights, Genesis, Mungo Jerry, Curved Air. The music started at 4pm and there were two stages set alongside each other to make for quick changeovers. I positioned myself close to the front somewhere between the two stages so I had a good view of both. There was a press enclosure right down front, and an area where the Hells Angels would encamp, so you couldn’t get that close to the stage. I got talking to a guy next to me; he was also alone, still at school and a similar age. We stuck together throughout the weekend, keeping each others place in the crowd, and sleeping there on a night in our sleeping bags. This seems crazy now, but hey I was young and just so excited about seeing the bands. You could sleep in the main enclosure in those days; you had to leave in the early morning so that they could clear up and get ready for the next day. Some clearing happened during the night; this didn’t make for a good night sleep as there was a danger that someone stood on you (this happened to me several times). The organisers stopped letting people sleep in the main enclosure a few years later; a punter was run over by a vehicle that was driving around collecting litter….The bands I recall on Friday were: Good Habit (saw them a few times, they used to were monks habits on stage), Nazareth (this was before “Broken Down Angel”; they played a great version of “Morning Dew”); Genesis (Simply amazing. I was a big fan at the time and have written separately about their set which included The Knife, Twilight Alehouse, Watcher Of The Skies, The Musical box, and The Return Of The Giant Hogweed. Classic); Mungo Jerry (got the crowd rocking), and Curved Air (also amazing; It happened today, Backstreet Luv, Sonja Kristina).
The Saturday line-up was: Jonathan Kelly, Solid Gold Cadillac, Man, Linda Lewis, Focus, Edgar Broughton, Jericho, If, Johnny Otis Show, Electric Light Orchestra, The Faces. I watched all of the bands, and also took some time to have a look around the stalls in the arena. I didn’t see any need to venture into town (that would come in later years) and spent the entire weekend within the confines of the festival. The weather was quite warm, sunny with a little drizzle now and then but nothing major, and certainly nothing compared to the rain I experienced at the Lincoln festival earlier in the year. Highlights I can dimly recall now are: Jonathan Kelly (Ballad of Cursed Anna simply wonderful), Solid Gold Cadillac (very jazzy), Man (very long guitar solos; Spunk Rock; great!), Linda Lewis (she looked so tiny on that stage and admitted to being scared), Focus (went down well with the crowd and were one of the successes of the weekend), Edgar Broughton (amazing, I was already a fan. Edgar very unspoken as always. Out Demons Out!!), If (jazzy, great guitarist), Johnny Otis Show (just blogged on them), Electric Light Orchestra (this was a very early performance and one of their first since Roy Wood’s departure. Wasn’t sure what to expect; they were good), The Faces (Rod and the guys on great form, lots of footballs kicked into the crowd, Twisting the Night Away and I’m Losing You were big live favourites of mine at the time).
The Sunday line-up was: Sutherland Brothers, Gillian McPherson, String Driven Thing, Matching Mole, Stackridge, Vinegar Joe, Status Quo, Stray, Roy Wood’s Wizzard, Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Ten Years After, Quintessence. John Peel and Jerry Floyd were comperes for the weekend. Jerry was the regular DJ at the Marquee Club, who organised the festival at the time. I spend much of the weekend chatting about music to the guy that I met on the first day and we struck up quite a friendship. I made a few friend at festivals in those days and would see some people every year but I never ran into this guy again. Wonder where he is now. Highlights of the day were: Matching Mole (featuring Robert Wyatt), Stackridge (“Slark” was a favourite of mine at the time), Vinegar Joe (Elkie just stunning), Status Quo (this was one of the shows that helped them break back. Peel was a big champion of theirs at the time; I think he introduced them as the “Finest rock’n’roll band in the world”, or something like that. They were playing amazing boogie at the time, with Francis giving it some cheeky banter. Someones Learning was a favourite), Stray (excellent, Del in mirror suit), Roy Wood’s Wizzard (pretty good, very retro rock’n’roll. Ballpark Incident had just been released), and Ten Years After (Alvin’s guitar playing was stunning, I’d just seen “Woodstock” and was a big fan). I left as Quintessence’s took to the stage as did many others (TYA were official headliners) to catch the last train to London. The tubes had stopped so I walked across London. I’d missed the midnight train so I spent the night in Kings Cross station.
Monday morning: I was stiff, tired, and scruffy. I got the first train home and went straight to bed 🙂
Wow! that took longer than I thought it would! The scans come from the newspaper style programme which was produced by the Reading Evening Post. The poster (it looks like a cartoon of Leo Lyons from TYA to me?) is from the middle of the programme. Oh and I forgot to mention the “Wally!” chants, which seemed to go on all night.
Steve Hackett Newcastle City Hall 1979 and 1980
Steve Hackett left Genesis in 1977, somewhat frustrated with the level of input he was having to the band’s album and shows. Steve was composing his own songs, and released his first solo album Voyage of the Acolyte in 1975 while he was still with Genesis. His first post Genesis album was Please Don’t Touch in 1978. In 1979 Steve put together a touring band, consisting of his brother John Hackett on flute, guitar and bass pedals, long-time collaborator keyboardist Nick Magnus, bassist/vocalist Dik Cadbury, drummer John Shearer and vocalist Peter Hicks. I saw Steve in concert at Newcastle City Hall in 1979 when he was promoting the Spectral Mornings album and again in 1980, when he was promoting the Defector album. I remember those gigs as some fine, beautiful music; largely instrumental. It was clear from the concerts just how much Steve had contributed to the Genesis sound. I haven’t been to see Steve Hackett in concert since those days, and I am tempted to go and see him again. He is touring this year with a Genesis Revisited set. He is returning to the 70s Genesis catalogue, playing some of the classic songs which he contributed to. The tour calls at the North East twice, at the Sage Gateshead in May (which is now sold out) and back at the City Hall in October. It must be some years since he has played the City Hall; I think I’ll go along and see him back at that great venue, which needs us to support it to secure its future. Setlist from the 1980 Newcastle gig: Every Day; The Red Flower Of Tachai Blooms Everywhere; Tigermoth; Kim; Time to Get Out; The Steppes; Narnia; Acoustic Set; Sentimental Institution; Jacuzzi; Spectral Mornings; A Tower Struck Down; Clocks – The Angel of Mons; Please Don’t Touch; The Show; It’s Now Or Never; Hercules Unchained
Peter Gabriel Newcastle Arena 2004
Still Growing Up Tour; “In the Round”
This was the first time I had seen Peter Gabriel for over 20 years. It was also the first gig I went to for many years with my old friend John, who is now living to the USA. So it was a night of seeing old friends again; in more ways than one. It was great to see John again, and to go along to a gig, just like old times. And it was a pretty good gig too. The arena was set out with the stage in the centre, and we had seats right up close. One thing that you can expect from Peter Gabriel is the unexpected and this gig was no exception. Peter moved around the stage on a small two-wheeled vehicle to ensure that we all got a good view of him. At one point he rolled around the stage like a hamster in a giant ball, as shown on the front of the programme. Peter’s band for this tour was David Rhodes, Rachel Z, old band mate Tony Levin on his stick bass, his daughter Melanie Gabriel on backing vocals, Ged Lynch and Richard Evans.The set was a mix of tracks from throughout his career. There were several songs that weren’t familiar to me, but I recognised the opener Here Comes the Flood, and old favourites Games Without Frontiers, Solsbury Hill, Sledgehammer and the final encore Biko. A great concert by a truly original artist who never fails to surprise. Setlist: Here Comes the Flood; Darkness; Red Rain; Secret World; White Ashes; Games Without Frontiers; Burn You Up, Burn You Down; Downside Up; The Tower That Ate People; More Than This; Baby Man; San Jacinto; Digging in the Dirt; Growing Up; Solsbury Hill; Sledgehammer; Signal to Noise. Encore: In Your Eyes; Biko. Peter Gabriel is touring again later in the year, but isn’t coming to the North East. I think a trip to Manchester to see him may well be in order.
Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1983
Support Act: Zerra One
Peter Gabriel was back at Newcastle City Hall in 1983. By now he had released four solo albums. The tour was billed as the Playtime 1988 tour. His fourth solo album displayed the influence of world music, and included the single Shock the Monkey. Peter was soon to move further towards the pop mainstream and mega-success with the release of his album So a few years later in 1986. This was the last time Peter was to visit the City Hall, and the last time he played in Newcastle for over 20 years. His tours from then on called at arenas and missed the North East out, until 2004, which was the next time I saw him in concert. The programmes scanned here are from later tours, picked up at a car boot fair somewhere! One of them is clearly from the So tour. Setlist included: Not One of Us; The Family and the Fishing Net; Shock the Monkey; Family Snapshot; Intruder; No Self Control; Humdrum; Lay Your Hands on Me; Solsbury Hill; I Don’t Remember; San Jacinto; On the Air. The band for the 1982/83 world tour was Peter Gabriel – synthesiser, piano, vocals; Jerry Marotta – drums, percussion; Tony Levin – bass, stick; David Rhodes – guitar; and Larry Fast – synthesiser, piano. This tour was more theatrical than previous tours and took Peter and his band around the world. In the USA he played some dates as support act for David Bowie.
Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1980
Support Act: Random Hold
Peter Gabriel returned to Newcastle City Hall in 1980. This was the fourth time I saw the post-Genesis Peter in concert. The first time was on his first solo tour in 1977, which I blogged on yesterday. I then saw him at two festivals. The first of these was at Knebworth in 1978 where he shared a very strong bill with Frank Zappa, The Tubes, Boomtown Rats, Rockpile, and Wilko Johnson. The second festival was Reading 1979 where he appeared on Sunday afternoon, before Nils Lofgren (who replaced the Ramones) and Whitesnake closed the weekend. The thing I remember most about that night at Reading was returning to the campsite to find my tent had been stolen! I’ll blog on those festivals on another occasion. So that means I saw Peter every year from 1977 to 1980. During that period he released three albums. For me Peter’s first solo album is the best, but that could simply be because it is the album with which I am most familiar. By 1980 new inclusions within the set were the great single Games Without Frontiers and the protest song Biko, both of which were to become big favourites. The programme was entitled Tour of China 1984, and took the form of a little red book, based on that of Chairman Mao. The band for this tours consisted of Peter Gabriel (vocals / keyboards), John Ellis (guitar), Jerry Marotta (drums), Tony Levin (bass / stick), and Larry Fast (keyboards / synths). Setlist: Intruder; Start; I Don’t Remember; Solsbury Hill; Family Snapshot; We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37); Modern Love; Not One of Us; Lead a Normal Life; Moribund the Burgermeister; Mother of Violence; Humdrum; Bully for You; Games Without Frontiers; And Through the Wire; I Go Swimming; Biko; On the Air. Encore: Here Comes the Flood.