REVIEW: Steve Hackett at Portsmouth Guildhall

Steve Hackett. Picture: Cathy Poulton NNN-170203-114927004
Steve Hackett. Picture: Cathy Poulton NNN-170203-114927004
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Steve Hackett’s latest tour, Genesis Revisited With Classic Hackett, is loud, atmospheric, and bursting with musical talent.

The first set comprised songs spanning Steve’s solo career, including several tracks from his new album The Night Siren – an album that proves the adaptability of Hackett’s unique brand of prog rock.

Hackett, dressed all in black, is a paradox to watch. His body remains surprisingly still, composed, while his fingers dance across the strings at breakneck speed.

Joining him on a colourfully-lit stage is his accomplished and highly versatile band: Roger King on keys, drummer Gary O’Toole, Rob Townsend on ‘all things blown’ and Nick Beggs on bass and 12-string guitar.

Gentler tracks such as Serpentine Song give breathing space from a roaring set list that is well-balanced between the melodic and the exhilarating.

The second Genesis-focused set saw the eccentric Nad Sylvan lend impressive vocals that lay somewhere between Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Wind and Wuthering, the band played several songs from the album, with Blood on the Rooftops proving a firm favourite.

Hackett, shy yet charming, could perhaps offer more audience interaction; but with each song an epic in length, there is little room for much else.

Judging by the rapturous cries for an encore after a rousing performance of Musical Box, more music was all the audience wanted – and it was exactly what they got.