Thursday, 7 November 2019

Steve Hackett at Sheffield City Hall, 5 November 2019

There's nothing quite like (a) Sheffield, (b) a Steve Hackett concert, and (c) a Steve Hackett concert in Sheffield.  Yes, two of my favourite things coming together!

He may be nearly 70, but he still does 22 dates in a UK tour, selling out most of the venues and playing for 3 hours a night.  What a guy.  

This tour plays songs from his latest solo album At the Edge of Light, plus the whole of Selling England by the Pound, and some of Spectral Mornings, celebrating its 40th anniversary.

These are the songs we grew up with, and we can still hear them live, as good and fresh and thrilling as ever.  Aren't we lucky?

So.  It was a cold a slightly damp night in Sheffield.  I had a spare ticket to sell, and was berating the fact that I was very very unlikely to find a lone Genesis fan passing at that precise moment and who was at a loose end and looking for something to do that evening.  

About ten seconds later, that person walked up to me and bought my spare ticket (and loved the show, apparently!).

I was pleased to find I was sitting right in front of this very important member of the band...

Guesting at this show were Amanda Lehmann and Steve's brother John Hackett, plus new drummer Craig Blundell and Jonas Reingold on bass (yep, no Nick Beggs).  

Here's Steve with Amanda and Jonas.

Steve's low-fuss, relaxed style relies on only one guitar for the entire show.

Rob Townsend, multitasking.

Nad's entrance in a typically understated outfit prompted enquiries from the audience as to whether he'd stolen the wallpaper from an Indian restaurant to make his coat.

Nad ignored them.

Nad's first language is Swedish, which makes for some quirkily unusual phrasing in all the quintessentially English pastoral soundscape frolicking of the Genesis songs.  However, his delivery goes hand in hand with the exaggeratedly mannered art of his performance (which is no criticism at all).  

And wowsers, he absolutely bossed The Battle of Epping Forest, never my favourite song (until now).  Kudos to Nad for totally owning those camp impersonations of East End gangsters. Nad does ned.

Jonas's bass goes kaput. But they carry on.

A somewhat bizarre interruption when some bloke insisted the band sign his album.  Note - no bouncers in Sheffield.

And we're off again - Los Endos.

And there we are.  Keyboardist Roger King (third from left) absolutely nailed Firth of Fifth, so all was just about forgiven for him completely dropping his intro when he played Glasgow last time. Don't even think about doing that in Edinburgh, Roger.

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