Gig Of The Week: Steve Hackett
WHO: Steve Hackett
WHERE: London Shepherds Bush O2 Empire
WHEN: Tuesday, November 30
After his acclaimed performance at this summer’s High Voltage festival, Steve Hackett is currently having a great time on the road.
“I’m really enjoying myself. The audiences have been fabulous, turning out through typhoons, floods and pestilence. There have been more people on this tour than previously, and I’m actually playing in bigger venues.”
Hackett has a set now in place that doesn’t vary, and that’s because of a practical reason.
“We lost our lighting guy at the 11th hour, so we had no chance to show his replacement anything. I’d like to vary the set, but that’s just not possible on this tour. We are doing a two-and-a-half hour performance, but I still have had to leave out three or four songs which I’d love to have included – and that breaks my heart. We could do a longer set, but I have to bear in mind that a lot of venues on this tour are standing, and I have to think of the fans.”
One song that Genesis fans will be delighted is in there is Watcher Of The Skies.
“Gary O’Toole sings this while playing drums, which I never thought was possible. But he pulls it off brilliantly.”
And in London, there will be two special guests joining Hackett, O’Toole, guitarist/vocalist Amanda Lehman. keyboard player Roger King, saxophonist/flautist Rob Townsend, bassist Nick Beggs and bassist/vocalist Dik Cadbury. Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson will be on stage for Shadow Of The Hierophant (from Hackett’s first solo album, 1975’s Voyage Of The Acolyte) and Asia’s John Wetton will get up for a version of All Along The Watchtower.
“It was Steven’s idea for us to do Shadow…, and as for All Along The Watchtower, well is there a guitarist not influenced by Jimi Hendrix? I know Bob Dylan wrote this song, but Jimi did the definitive version, and even Dylan tends to use his arrangement these days.”
Hackett is selling copies of his new live album Live Rails at the gigs, and intends to film shows for a future DVD.
“I’m not sure yet if we’ll put this out as a separate release, or have it as a bonus disc on the next studio album.”
The rest of the tour dates are:
Nov. 27: Birkenhead Pacific Road Arts Centre
Nov. 28: Gateshead Sage
Nov. 29: Bilston Robin 2
Dec. 2: Cambridge Junction
Dec. 3: Milton Keynes Stables
Dec. 16: Farnham Maltings
Find out more at www.hackettsongs.com