Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Review: Steve Hackett @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall 12-11-19

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett is no stranger to Brighton Dome. Having first performed there in the early 70s with his old band mates in their prog peak, he returned on Tuesday night to mark the 40th anniversary of his own Spectral Mornings album and to revisit those bygone days with Peter Gabriel and co.

Launching his set with Every Day, the lead single from Spectral Mornings, the band instantly showed they were on fine form. 

A brief detour via three songs from Hackett's recent release At The Edge of Light reveal he can still deliver material as strong as his classics, although album highlight Hungry Years with its nod to Brighton's most legendary rock night club would have been a nice inclusion - you'll just have to buy the album instead!

The remainder of the first half returns to selections from Spectral Mornings and is a showcase for Hackett as an excellent front man

Handling much of the vocal work himself it's evident he has more than one gift. 

Hackett's guitar effortlessly carves a path through the songs mixing melodic lines with experimentation and flat out rock. But, as the first half nears its end an internal alarm bell starts to ring.

Few things can make the heart sink as much as a drum solo. Often a ten minute clatter-fest around the kit at various speeds is designed to impress only the most hardened of sadists. 

Fortunately, this is most certainly not the case at Brighton Dome. 

Drummer Craig Blundell takes us on a rollercoaster thrill ride, whilst purveying his impeccable skills and talent, dropping jaws around the building. There's even a brief moment of humour thrown in for good measure. 

After a jam packed first half comes, for many, the main event

Genesis unleashed their seminal Selling England by the Pound album in 1973. 

Boosted by the hit single I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) the album was a commercial and critical success, and remains so...for good reason. 


After a jam packed first half comes, for many, the main event. 

Genesis unleashed their seminal Selling England by the Pound album in 1973. 

Forty-six years on Hackett and his band tackle the album in full. Vocalist Nad Sylvan kicks off proceedings as the band launch into the opener Dancing With The Moonlit Knight

Faithful and true to the original spirit of the record, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd just been whisked off by Dr Who. 

However, this is no mere heritage act parading a museum piece. 

The individual personalities of the band also shine throughout, giving the album a fresh sheen, most notably on the extended jam section of the aforementioned single.


The band swiftly prove why Firth of Fifth has remained a live favourite across almost five decades. 

Hackett gives a fine example of why he's one of the most admired and respected guitar players in rock, as he soars along with the mellotron in moments of pure beauty.

More Fool Me, the first Genesis song to feature a full lead vocal by Phil Collins, shows Sylvan's ability to effortlessly handle any of the album's vocal parts. 

He can be Gabriel, he can be Collins and he can be neither and still sound perfectly suited to the songs. 

Huge kudos must be given simply for learning all the words to The Battle of Epping Forest, let alone the individual vocal idiosyncrasies of the characters.

As the album draws to a close, another longstanding live favourite Cinema Show - as witnessed by the huge cheer as soon as the first note was played, despite everyone knowing it was coming - is expertly executed. 

As the subtle and beautiful Aisle of Plenty drifts off we're reminded why 1973 was prog rock's finest year.

Whilst the majority of artists would have taken a bow at this stage and walked off, Hackett and co. continue to deliver with a Peter Gabriel penned out-take from the Selling England sessions - Deja Vu, a sublime mini-epic that clearly should never have been consigned to the vaults. 

The band finally round off the set off with a storming rendition of the ever-popular Dance On A Volcano from Hackett's penultimate Genesis album, Trick of the Tail.

A medley built around encore staple Los Endos leads the band to their final bow of a three hour set that never falters.

And, if the superb show wasn't enough, honourable mention should be made to the gentleman in front of me in the car park queue who ate an entire packet of cocktail sausages whilst waiting to pay for his ticket. I salute you, sir!

Tickets for the remaining dates of Steve Hackett's tour can be found HERE. 

by: Stuart Avis




Share    


Creature Creature can, via the imminent release of their first collection of self-penned tracks, Two Finger Tantrum, be labelled the new flag bearers of rock. The Brighton-based five piece have furrowed a new burrow at the summit of an age old genre. With this debut album they will be looking over their shoulders at the also-rans for many years to come.


Migrate Art, the art organisation fundraising to support displaced and homeless people, has partnered with ten major contemporary artists and illustrators to create limited editions of re-usable, reversible face masks.

Romesh Ranganathan is Straight Outta Crawley, in West Sussex, and on his last nationwide tour, Irrational, he was pondering whether he has an irrational viewpoint on the world or whether that can be attributed to absolutely everyone else.

Returning after four years away, Aidan Knight's penchant for astute observations and personal reflections remains a compelling component of his songwriting.


Young people across the UK will have the chance to find out what it's like to be a record label boss, a film director or a theatre producer through a new podcast series from Lookout that brings together industry professionals from stage, screen and music to share their invaluable insights and experience on how to get into the creative industries.
Credit J. Taylor

Extinction Rebellion Brighton held a socially distanced protest on Hove seafront calling for a bigger public say in how society rebuilds following the coronavirus crisis.
Credit Andrew Gambling

The South Downs National Park photo competition is now open, with a first prize of £250 on offer to the amateur or professional photographer who best captures this year's theme of 'My tranquil haven'.

"In rock music, it's really easy to talk about partying and shagging girls and all that kind of stuff," says Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin. "But for us, what we were singing about had to be deeper, it had to mean something. We had to talk about our experiences and what we were going through."

Throughout COVID-19 isolation, everyone has become aware of the supportive and stimulating power of music. Although many people want to learn, they have no access to musical instruments or tuition - especially with schools and shops currently closed. 
Credit: Andy Sturmey

Barely a year since their debut album Dogrel, Dublin's Fontaines D.C. are set to return with A Hero's Death.

The Rec Rooms is an independent music and comedy venue in Horsham, West Sussex, which was opened by three locals just over eighteen months ago. 

This Saturday, 30th May, Together Co, the Brighton & Hove based charity that exists to end loneliness, is hosting a virtual music festival that will see more than twenty bands perform for free to raise money to help the most vulnerable and isolated.  

Following Brighton Festival's digital programme during lockdown, poet and author Lemn Sissay MBE has confirmed he will return as guest director in 2021. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd