Steve Hackett

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Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett

Posted: 20 May 2017

Sage Gateshead

17 May


If you didn’t see your local balding but long-haired, ageing prog-rocker on Wednesday night it was because he was at Sage One. Clad in a uniform of black tee-shirts and leather waistcoats an army of early Genesis fans descended on Gateshead to see Steve Hackett. 

They weren’t disappointed as the guitarist who played on half a dozen early Genesis studio albums and three live ones turned on the style. As you’d expect from a tour that has already been to a quartet of countries, and was about to end with a sold-out show at The London Palladium, this was a polished performance.

At times sounding like 70s-era Pink Floyd with a bit of Procol Harum thrown in, Hackett and his long-standing band produced an evening of beautifully melodic prog-rock. 

A first half of recent material featured a trio of tracks from his currently well-received album ‘The Night Siren,’ while after the break the focus was on paying homage to the fortieth anniversary of the classic Genesis album ‘Wind and Wuthering.’ 

The five-strong band from the first half of the performance were joined after the break by Peter Gabriel himself – providing you closed your eyes. In fact it was Nad Sylvan, a Genesis fan who first saw them perform the Wind and Wuthering tour on his eighteenth birthday.  Open your eyes and Sylvan looks more like Robert Plant than Gabriel, but definitely every inch the 70s rock-star. 

Suited and booted in suit and tie was energetic percussionist and backing vocalist Gary O’Toole who, despite being as enthusiastic as the drummer in The Muppets, somehow managed to remain looking cool and composed throughout. 

The leather-waistcoated devotees, though, were there to see Hackett - and with good reason. The man is a brilliant guitarist with self-penned material good enough to do justice to his technical virtuosity.  

Politely applauding the earlier numbers, the reflectively mature audience became a bit livelier towards the end. 

Given there was a typical-of-the-time light show this wasn’t the sort of gig where people sway while holding aloft their lit-up phones. At one point I thought someone was doing just that but then I realised he was waving his hip-flask. To say I was impressed was an understatement, both with the waft of whisky and the old master on stage. 


Barbara Mason



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