The name Steve Hackett on its own sounds ordinary enough, but as guitarist and co-writer in Genesis during the Peter Gabriel era, his music speaks much more than his name.
Having left the band at the tail end of the ‘70s to carve a solo career continuing the prog maelstrom he helped create with Peter Gabriel, Peter Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins, Hackett has returned to Genesis material in recent years – culminating in his new live DVD.
The Royal Albert Hall is a fitting venue for the majesty of Genesis classics to soar once again thanks to Hackett’s fresh takes on the originals in the aptly named Genesis Revisited tour.
He has assembled a tight-knit backing band whose combined CV includes the likes of Kylie Minogue, Snoop Dogg, Jamelia and Take That, but don’t let the pop leanings of those artists fool you – these guys have honed their prog rock chops to a tee and let the virtuosity flow in abundance on Live At The Royal Albert Hall.
Kicking off with the rousing double-take of Dance On A Volcano and Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, it becomes clear that Hackett loves indulging in these weighty classics once again, and is visibly grinning from ear to ear for most of the set.
Vocalist Nad Sylvan is something of a revelation, and has an eerily similar voice to Peter Gabriel, which helps him pull off the songs in a respectful manner, even adding his own character to the theatrics which Gabriel was known for.
A number of guest spots pepper the set including Roine Stolt (Transatlantic/The Flower Kings) on The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, former Genesis vocalist Ray Wilson on Carpet Crawlers and I Know What I Like, before Asia’s John Wetton duets with Sylvan on a sublime version of Firth Of Fifth.
Adept on electric, classical and acoustic guitar, Hackett deserves every bit of the credibility he has earned, and it is easy to understand his jovial mood as he celebrates the Genesis back catalogue possibly better than any of the other members have done.
With his final Genesis shows confirmed for October this year, and on the evidence of this DVD, you would do well to buy a ticket.