Steve Hackett performing Genesis Revisited with Band and Orchestra at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Monday 1st October 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Guitar legend Steve Hackett has been a working musician for nearly all of his life, but whilst he continues to keep the Genesis catalogue alive and kicking, it would be foolish to overlook his solo material. And last night this giant of progressive rock entertained a packed Royal Concert Hall with music from his legendary former band together with his solo albums ably assisted by a full rock band and a 41 piece orchestra led by Bradley Thachuk.

Opening the first of two sets with the frenetic and fusion influenced Dance On A Volcano from Genesis’ 1976 album A Trick Of The Tail, Hackett immediately owned the stage. He was assisted by keyboardist Roger King, Jones Reingold on bass, saxophone player Rob Townsend and the fabulously understated Gary O’Toole on drums. The vocals in the main were left to Nad Sylvan who whilst will never be Peter Gabriel, he did make every song his own.

There was the beautiful Dancing With The Moonlit Knight with its iconic lyrics ‘Selling England By The Pound’ which could still be relevant today. We were also treated to the brilliant Blood On The Rooftops which featured O’Toole on vocals and Firth Of Fifth which showcased Hackett’s memorable and signature guitar solo which will always be synonymous with his Genesis days and which is simply nine and a half minutes of beautiful music.

His own material included the eastern sounds of The Steppes, Acoustic Noodle and the awe- inspiring Shadow Of The Hierophant which finished the first set.

Back on for the second set, they opened with In That Quiet Earth before following up with the gorgeous ballad, Afterglow. Solo tunes included the lovely Serpentine Song which Hackett dedicated to his father who sold his paintings alongside Hyde Park’s River Serpentine. A particular highlight was the heavy drum led and blazing tumultuous instrumental El Nino before the set was brought to a close with the twenty minute Supper’s Ready and the encore song, the Musical Box.

Last night had been a fabulous display of music with Hackett using his band and orchestra like an artist; adding more colourful layers to paintings that could be re-worked with a few extra brush strokes. But he has also showed such a dexterity and versatility in his subliminal performance, he quite possibly on this occasion made the orchestra surplus to requirements.

Hackett is undoubtedly a phenomenal guitar player, who still plays with his heart and soul, and truthfully, last night that was quite enough.