Steve Hackett Gears Up For Tour, Classic Rock Awards
Steve Hackett is currently a man in demand, with an upcoming tour, plus an album recorded with Yes bassist Chris Squire – and a nomination in this year’s Classic Rock Awards.
The master guitarist’s acclaimed 2009 album Out Of The Tunnel’s Mouth is up for Best Album Of The Year at the Awards. And he’s delighted, as he told Classic Rock.
“It’s so nice to get such recognition. It would be even better to win it, but the nomination means a lot to me. Especially when you consider the problems I had to get this out there. There was so much litigation surrounding me. But I feel the battle made me stronger.”
Onstage, Hackett’s performance at the High Voltage Festival was among the highlights of the weekend, and he recalls the event with great fondness.
“I was there for both days, and the weather was just fantastic. I saw s many people with whom I’ve worked in the past, and the great thing was that I seemed to win over new fans. But the whole thing was just superb.”
Hackett is currently preparing for the 13-date tour, when he’ll be playing with a line-up of Roger King (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass/stick/vocals), Gary O’Toole (drums/vocals), Rob Townsend (various saxes/flute/whistle/vocals) and Amanda Lehmann (guitar/vocals).
The dates for the tour, called Around The World In 80 Trains, are:
Nov. 16: Southampton Brook
Nov. 18: Glasgow Ferry
Nov. 19: Manchester Academy
Nov. 20: Pontadawre Arts Centre
Nov. 21: Leamington Spa Assembly
Nov. 23: Brighton Komedia
Nov. 25: Bath Komedia
Nov. 26: Holfirth Picturedrome
Nov. 27: Birkenhead Pacific Arts Centre
Nov. 28: Gateshead Sage
Nov. 29: Bilston Robin 2
Nov. 30: London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Dec. 2: Cambridge Junction
Dec. 3: Milton Keynes Stables
“I will be changing the set round quite a bit,” says Hackett. “We are going back to the some of the same venues as we did on the last tour, so it will be good to freshen things up. I’m putting some stuff I’ve not done live for a long time, and some I’ve never attempted onstage.”
The London date will be particularly noteworthy, as Hackett will be joined onstage by Porcupine’s Steven Wilson and John Wetton from Asia.
“I’ve worked with both of them in the past. Steven and I are gonna do Shadow Of The Hierophant, which was on my first solo album, Voyage Of The Acolyte. Sally Oldfield did the vocals on the record. With John, we’re gonna do All Along The Watchtower, which I did with John and his band a couple of years ago.”
There are plans to film at least one show for a future live DVD, and Hackett is also wading his way through recordings done on his tour, for a potential live album. And he’s also got one other interesting project in the pipeline.
“I’ve been working with Chris Squire on an album that’s sound really extraordinary. I’m really proud of what we’ve done. Some of it is rocky, and there are tracks which are laidback and ambient. The style is unlike anything you’d expect from us. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
The album was produced by Roger King, and also features drummer Jeremy Stacey (Sheryl Crowe).
“Roger was so keen on it that we thought we’d let him produce. Of course, now the album will be so successful I won’t be able to afford Roger any more!”
The project has a working title of Squackett, although this might yet change.
“We get mixed reactions to that name. Some people love it. Others hate it. But the thing is, there’s a jokey feel to calling it Squackett and that’s fine by me! We don’t to take ourselves too seriously. Will we tour? It’s possible, but that depends on our schedules. The main thing is for us to get a record deal, and release the album.”
Find out more at http://www.hackettsongs.com/
Tags: Amanda Lehmann, Asia, Chris Squire, Classic Rock Awards, Gary O'Toole, High Voltage Festival, John Wetton, Nick Beggs, Porcupine Tree, Rob Townsend, Roger King, Sally Oldfield, Squackett, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, Yes