Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has enjoyed a successful solo career and is back on the road with a new UK tour. Martin Hutchinson
sets the scene
It is 40 years since Steve Hackett released his first solo album and he is celebrating the fact with a nationwide tour this month.
That first album, Voyage of the Acolyte, set the scene for many more solo works, most notably Spectral Mornings.
At the time of his early solo outings, Steve was better known as the guitarist with Genesis, who he had joined in 1970 as a fresh-faced 20-year-old.
Genesis had just ridden the storm of singer Peter Gabriel’s departure in 1975, when Steve – following the success of his solo work – left in 1977.
The ensuing years have seen both Genesis and Steve enjoying success and he has decided to go out on the road to celebrate the 40 years from the release of Acolyte and has also released a new album, Wolflight.
As well as his solo work, Steve will also be performing a new Genesis Revisited set, which has become part of his live shows in recent years.
SO, WILL THIS BE A “BEST OF STEVE HACKETT” EVENING?
I think that’s a very good way of putting it. It’s the very early years and the show is in two halves – solo and Genesis.
YOU ARE KEEN TO POINT OUT THAT EVEN THOUGH YOUR RECORDS GO OUT UNDER YOUR NAME, YOU HAVE EXPERT HELP, IS THAT FAIR TO SAY?
That’s right. Even with the solo work there’s always a team. I have worked with some special talents and I have to be a fan of the people I work with.
Chris Squire, of Yes, who sadly passed away recently. He was a great bassist and he never played the bass guitar like a bass, he played it more like a lead guitar. We made an album together a couple of years ago under the name Squackett which I’m very proud of.
WHAT WERE YOUR INFLUENCES?
Well, in the early days, my father played a number of instruments and got me playing guitar and harmonica. Then, as I got older, I bought every Shadows record going and I also liked The Beatles and The Stones and, by the age of 12, I was an avid radio listener.
SO, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT ON THIS TOUR?
I’ll be playing two separate sets; the first set will be my solo material and I’ll be cherry-picking pieces from my entire career, including a few from my new album, Wolflight.
It’s difficult to pick which songs to do, because I can’t do everything. There’ll be some surprises, though, because I don’t like to be always doing the same thing. For instance, I’m not the kind of person who would go out and just do hits. Although it is always great to have a hit record.
AND WHAT GENESIS MATERIAL WILL YOU BE PLAYING?
Some of the songs have been asked for and I’m aiming to do tracks like Can-Utility and the Coastliners, Cinema Show, Get ’em out by Friday and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
Everyone has their own favourites. Although I’ve done a lot of the epic elements, I want to give the audiences something different. Plus, it’ll all be in surround-sound, so it’ll sound great.
WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?
After the UK dates, I’ll be touring up to Christmas and then I’m building a new studio in the garden and will start making records there.
Steve Hackett will be taking his Acolyte to Wolflight With Genesis Revisited Tour to The Music Hall, Aberdeen, on Friday, October 16. Tickets are priced at £29.50 and £27.50 (may be subject to a booking fee), and are available from the box office on 01224 614 122 and online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com