Gig Of The Week: Steve Hackett
WHO: Steve Hackett
WHEN: Gateshead Sage
WHERE: Wednesday, February 15
Right now, Steve Hackett’s stock is higher than it’s probably been since the early days of his solo career. Current album Beyond The Shrouded Horizon has got rave reviews. And demand to see him live is such that venues are selling out everywhere.
This time around, the live set will be basically the same as the one he played on his last UK tour, just before Christmas. However, there might be one or two differences.
“We have been doing about half the current album,” says Hackett. “But we might introduce some extra stuff from it as singles are released by the label. There are obviously songs from my past that people expect. For instance, I know Every Day, which was on the Spectral Mornings album, is very popular. Having Amanda Lehmann in the band is just great for this song, because she shadows me note for note during the guitar solo, so it sounds much more like the original version.”
Apart from Hackett and Lehmann, the band features Roger King (keyboards), Rob Townsend (brass/woodwind), Lee Pomeroy (bass) and Gary O’Toole (drums). Pomeroy has taken over from Nick Beggs.
“Nick was offered the chance to go out on tour with Steven Wilson. At the time, I was changing booking agents, so had no gigs lined-up. Therefore Nick took the job.”
Hackett is enjoying the touring experience at the moment, especially as it’s taking him to places he’s not played for a long time. And the man’s got no problems with so many of the gigs being back to back.
“I know a lot of people who sing would find it tough, but we have a number of vocalists in this band now, who take the pressure off me and it’s not as if I strain my throat by growling a lot.
“I love being onstage and seeing an audience really enjoying what I do. I don’t wear my glasses onstage, not do I have contact lenses, so I am virtually blind. But I swear I can see the whites of the fans’ eyes anyway. And if they are having fun, which they usually do, then it feedbacks and encourages me.”
Away from the stage, Hackett is working on a few projects. He has an album coming out with Yes bassist Chris Squire, under the project name of Squackett, and the pair are talking about doing dates around this. He’s also revisiting his Genesis heritage, recording selected songs for a new album.
“It’s the second time I’ve done this, and I hope to have a different singer on each track. I’d also like to do a live date around this album. And I am also starting to put together ideas for my next solo record. So, overall I am a very busy boy!”
After Gateshead, the rest of the dates in February are:
Thu. 16: Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Fri. 17: Edinburgh Queens Hall
Sat. 18: Holmfirth Picturedrome
Sun. 19: Buxton Opera House
Mon. 20: New Brighton Pavilion
Wed. 22: Southampton Brook
Thu. 23: Bath Komedia
Fri. 24: Leamington Spa Assembly
Sat. 25: Bilston Robin 2
Sun. 26: MIlton Keynes Stables
Mon. 27: Norwich UEA
Hackett is also playing special London show at the Islington Assembly Hall on Sunday, May 20. This is an aid of Childline Rocks.
Find out more at www.hackettsongs.com