Review – Trifecta – The New Normal – by John Wenlock-Smith

‘The New Normal’ is the sophomore album from Trifecta,the band of Nick Beggs (Bass and Chapman Stick and Vocals), Adam Holzman (Keyboards and Synths) and Craig Blundell (Drums and Percussion). With Beggs and Holzman from Steven Wilson’s band and Blundell from Steve Hackett’s band, this trio craft mainly Jazz/Fusion pieces although this time around there are several vocal track on which Beggs sings, he actually has a really melodious voice.

The majority of these tracks are under three minutes in length but, even so, within those short pieces there is a definite invention and ingenuity within the playing to make something different to what could be expected. Chinese Fire Drill being a good example of this, out of a gentle keyboard melody comes a fiery guitar passage which later returns to the gentle melody earlier heard. Ouch! My OCD is another weird track, with dialogue between Beggs and Blundell on sibling rivalry that is a carry over from the previous track. There’s good use of a didgeridoo that plays a central part to the track too, a very ingenious track this one, another sturdy drum pattern is also important and Impressive here. Other tracks have a funky backbeat and Hammond organ blazing away to fine effect with Beggs’ bass or stick usually propelling the pace of the music from the front. Daddy Long Legs is a really interesting track with a rock solid bass line and some synth noodling from Holzman, all bound in the precision of Blundell’s drums. It’s a most gripping track with a great sound tand classy rhythm.

Also of note is the off kilter, acid jazz feeling, Just feel It Karen. Again, a great bass line from Beggs helps drive this track along and Holzman’s synths dive all over the rhythm section’s propulsive thrust. It’s another ingenious track which shows the formidable talents of Beggs, Holzman and Blundell off to a tee. The interplay behind the trio is highly impressive and extremely musically tight and satisfying, how they manage come up with these odd pieces is a question only they can answer but at least they are prepared to share these fruits of their labour with us, which is all the more rewarding. Once Around The Sun With You is possibly the most normal song of the album as it has a melody and a theme of sorts, whereas Ornamental Lettuce is just plain weird and sounds like something Frank Zappa could have conceived on an off day! This brief, yet very busy, track has a really powerful drum part that makes it stand out.

Canary In A Five and Dime is a song about ex US president Donald Trump and it is not a flattering song for him by any means. Stroboscopic Fennel is another brief but entertaining track with an Interesting tale to tell. Stupid Pop Song brings to mind Beggs’ Kajagoogoo years in style and it’s actually rather good and memorable. Wacky Tobaccy is a more jazzy track with great bass or stick playing throughout. Wake Up Call is another jazzy tune with an almost call and response feel to it and this works well here.

‘The New Normal’ is rather short and yet, within its eighteen tracks is some really excellent and unusual music. Okey, some tracks work better than others but, overall, I would propose that it is definitely much more hit than miss. It’s an interesting release and, whilst I understand it may not be to everyone’s taste, I enjoyed it immensely.

Released 12th April, 2024.

Order from the link here:

Trifecta – The New Normal (lnk.to)

Trifecta announce details on ‘The New Normal’, New Album Released 12th April 2024 on Kscope

The collaboration of singer songwriter Nick Beggs, keyboardist extraordinaire Adam Holzman and internationally renowned drummer Craig Blundell combine Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock with a dash of English wit.

Pre-orders are available here:

The New Normal (lnk.to)

Trifecta have announced their new album – their second musical observation in the form of The New Normal on 12 April on Kscope.

It is often said that the greatest musical groups are the ones with the right mixture of ideas, talent and chemistry. These are things Trifecta have in abundance. It is, of course, no secret that the three members – keyboardist Adam Holzman, bassist/Chapman Stick mastermind Nick Beggs and drummer Craig Blundell – have spent their most recent years touring some of the world’s biggest stages as part of many bands including with Steven Wilson. So when they decide to form a largely instrumental offshoot as a trio, eventually writing and releasing 2021’s Fragments debut, they were already off to a head start, with a tangible sense of creative familiarity that had been stunning audiences in every corner of the globe. 

For listeners seeking to escape the confines of the normal world, ‘The New Normal’ will enable a window into vistas in a multitude of sonics and in concept. By combining elements of Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion all with a dash of typical English wit the band bring the listener into a world where sound is malleable, time is a mere concept and vegetables have otherworldly properties like the ‘Stroboscopic Fennel’. 

This new 19 track, epic sees the band building upon the innovative ambition and genre-hopping skulduggery they so fearlessly introduced themselves to the world with on ‘Fragments’. The New Normal could easily have carried on in that same direction and comfortably delighted fans of all three musicians, as well as their associated projects. But if there’s anything we know about Holzman, Beggs and Blundell, it’s that they are bursting with ideas of every kind. Which explains why this album is guided by an uncontainable brilliance and bravado that packs in so many twists and turns, practically laughing at any notion of genre or boundary. The mid-70s fusion of Beck And Call cascades into the jazz noir brilliance of Dot Are You Wooing without a flicker of hesitation, venturing far beyond the introductory nuances into something truly dazzling and unexpected, telling another chapter of a rapidly evolving story. It’s almost as if this band take delight in ignoring the stylistic stop signs that provoke fear in the less adventurous… 

“I think we all felt it was important to not fit too heavily into one idiom,” admits Beggs. “There was a lot we wanted to say and we couldn’t really compact it all into one predetermined sound. I’m especially proud of Dot Are You Wooing and Chinese Fire Drill. We wanted to take listeners on a journey they won’t forget. The roots of every song is representative of one person in this band. Adam would come up with something like Wacky Tobaccy, mapping out the sonics, and then we would expand on it together, changing things up wherever it suited the music. Craig came up with the song Ornamental Lettuce and then Adam and I added our parts on top. There’s plenty more to come!”

Joining the trio of masterful musos is Alex Lifeson (Envy of None / Rush) for additional guitar on ‘Once Around The Sun With You’ and Theo Travis (Steven Wilson) on saxophone for insectoid grooves of ‘Daddy Long Legs’. Alongside John Paul Jones’ very chapman stick from 1979 that was sent to Nick and used to record ‘The New Normal’. 

 The album was recorded in the Bermuda Triangle of normality that is Leighton Buzzard, Bedford and New York between 2019 and 2023, engineered by the band and mastered by Andy VanDette (Beastie Boys / Rush / Whitney Houston), adorned with artwork that was inspired by an original idea from Hajo Muller.

Available on Limited edition white 2 LP / CD / 2 LP and digitally – with pre-orders available here:

The New Normal (lnk.to)

1. Beck And Call [02:35] 

2. Dot Are You Wooing? [00:53] 

3. Stroboscopic Fennel [02:25] 

4. Just Feel It Karen [03:53] 

5. Sibling Rivalry [04:01] 

6. Ornamental Lettuce [02:15] 

7. Daddy Long Legs [04:07] 

8. What Are You Doing? [00:53] 

9. Stupid Pop Song [03:32] 

10. Crime Spree [03:07]

    11. Bach Stabber [02:07] 

12. Kleptocrat [02:35] 

13. Once Around The Sun With You [03:50]

 14. Chinese Fire Drill [03:29] 

15. Ouch! My OCD [01:17] 

16. Wake Up Call [03:46] 

17. Wacky Tobaccy [03:28] 

18. Canary In A Five And Dime [03:55] 

19. On The Spectrum [03:23

Band picture by Hajo Mueller.

Steve Hackett launches ‘Wherever You Are’; second track taken from ‘The Circus and the Nighwhale’

Legendary rock guitarist Steve Hackett is set to release his new studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ on 16th February 2024, via InsideOut Music. A rite-of-passage concept album with a young character called Travla at the centre of it, ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’s’ 13 tracks have an autobiographical angle for the musician who says about his 30th solo release: “I love this album. It says the things I’ve been wanting to say for a very long time.”

Today a brand new track is revealed, titled ‘Wherever You Are’, and you can watch the video now here:

Of the track, Steve comments: “’Wherever You Are’ is a song of love winning through, shattering the chains of the physical world… Light obliterating darkness. A new universe has opened up with the hope that such a strong love could even survive death. The dreams of childhood realised, there is a sense of everything coming around full circle… Even the three part harmony guitar at the end of Genesis’ The Musical Box is revisited in spirit with the joy of celebration during this song.”

The albums opening track ‘People of the Smoke’ was released in December. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_iujNWzPL0

The new album is available to pre-order on several different formats, including a Limited CD+Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound & 24bit high resolution stereo mixes), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180g Vinyl LP & as Digital Album. All feature the stunning cover painting by Denise Marsh. Pre-order now here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/TheCircusAndTheNightwhale

Steve will celebrate the release of his new album with two HMV instore events in London & Birmingham, where he will be taking part in a Q&A and signing albums. Find out more details on those here: https://ow.ly/HUaT50Q7paJ

‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ is Steve’s first new music in over two years. Recorded between tours in 2022 and 2023 at Siren studio in the UK – with guest parts beamed in from Sweden, Austria, the US, Azerbaijan and Denmark.   The line-up for ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ includes some familiar faces alongside Steve on electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, bass and vocals. Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Craig Blundell (drums) and Amanda Lehmann on vocals. Nick D’Virgilio and Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, engineer extraordinaire Benedict Fenner appears on keyboards and Malik Mansurov is back with the tar. Finally, Steve’s brother John Hackett is present once more on flute.

The full track-listing is as follows:

1. People Of The Smoke

2. These Passing Clouds

3. Taking You Down

4. Found And Lost

5. Enter The Ring

6. Get Me Out!

7. Ghost Moon and Living Love

8. Circo Inferno

9. Breakout

10. All At Sea

11. Into The Nightwhale 

12. Wherever You Are

13. White Dove

Summing up ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’, Steve says: “It’s a lovely journey that starts dirty, scratchy and smoky and becomes heavenly and divine. How can you resist it?”

Steve Hackett & band will tour the world extensively in 2024, including a brand new 16-date UK tour ‘Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo’, in October which will see him return to the legendary Royal Albert Hall. He will also return to North America early this year, with European shows booked in for the Summer.  For the full list of dates, head to:

http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Steve Hackett reveals the first single “People of the Smoke” from his new conceptual studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale – Out 16th February, 2024.

Legendary rock guitarist Steve Hackett is set to release his new studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ on 16th February 2024, via InsideOut Music. A rite-of-passage concept album with a young character called Travla at the centre of it, ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’s’ 13 tracks have an autobiographical angle for the musician who says about his 30th solo release: “I love this album. It says the things I’ve been wanting to say for a very long time.”

Today he is pleased to reveal the first single, and the albums opening track, ‘People of the Smoke’, you can watch the video now here:

Steve says of the track: “People of the Smoke spins us all back in time to 1950, when bustling post-war London was stifled with smog from trains, chimneys, industry and smokers. I was born into that world! This song kicks off an album following my life’s journey both literally and metaphorically…”

The new album is available to pre-order on several different formats, including a Limited CD+Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound & 24bit high resolution stereo mixes), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180g Vinyl LP & as Digital Album. All feature the stunning cover painting by Denise Marsh. Pre-order now here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/TheCircusAndTheNightwhale

Steve will celebrate the release of his new album with two HMV instore events in London & Birmingham, where he will be taking part in a Q&A and signing albums. Find out more details on those here: https://ow.ly/HUaT50Q7paJ

‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ is Steve’s first new music in over two years. Recorded between tours in 2022 and 2023 at Siren studio in the UK – with guest parts beamed in from Sweden, Austria, the US, Azerbaijan and Denmark. The line-up for ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ includes some familiar faces alongside Steve on electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, bass and vocals. Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Craig Blundell (drums) and Amanda Lehmann on vocals. Nick D’Virgilio and Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, engineer extraordinaire Benedict Fenner appears on keyboards and Malik Mansurov is back with the tar. Finally, Steve’s brother John Hackett is present once more on flute.

The full tracklisting is as follows:

1. People Of The Smoke

2. These Passing Clouds

3. Taking You Down

4. Found And Lost

5. Enter The Ring

6. Get Me Out!

7. Ghost Moon and Living Love

8. Circo Inferno

9. Breakout

10. All At Sea

11. Into The Nightwhale 

12. Wherever You Are

13. White Dove

Summing up ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’, Steve says: “It’s a lovely journey that starts dirty, scratchy and smoky and becomes heavenly and divine. How can you resist it?”

Steve recently completed his North American Tour where he continued his ‘Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights’ run.  Next year he will tour the world extensively, including a brand new UK tour ‘Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo’, which will see him return to the legendary Royal Albert Hall.  For the full list of dates, head to: http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Steve Hackett celebrates over 50 years of music with his new conceptual studio album ‘The Circus and the Nightwhale’

Legendary rock guitarist Steve Hackett will release his new studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ on 16th February 2024, via InsideOut Music. A rite-of-passage concept album with a young character called Travla at the centre of it, ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’s’ 13 tracks have an autobiographical angle for the musician who says about his 30th solo release: “I love this album. It says the things I’ve been wanting to say for a very long time.”

‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ is Steve’s first new music in over two years. It follows the beautiful acoustic LP ‘Under A Mediterranean Sky’ from January 2021 – which rose to No 2 in the UK Classical chart – and, in September of that year, his metallic masterpiece Surrender Of Silence, which hit the UK Top 40. His 2023 live album, ‘Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton’, reached No 2 in the Rock & Metal Chart.  Steve’s new LP promises ballads, blues, blistering progressive rock… and healthy measures of theatre and fantasia.

Recorded between tours in 2022 and 2023 at Siren studio in the UK – with guest parts beamed in from Sweden, Austria, the US, Azerbaijan and Denmark, the line-up for ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ includes some familiar faces alongside Steve on electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, bass and vocals. Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Craig Blundell (drums) and Amanda Lehmann on vocals. Nick D’Virgilio and Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, engineer extraordinaire Benedict Fenner appears on keyboards and Malik Mansurov is back with the tar. Finally, Steve’s brother John Hackett is present once more on flute.

The new album will be available to pre-order from the 1st December 2023 on several different formats, including a Limited CD+Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound & 24bit high resolution stereo mixes), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180g Vinyl LP & as Digital Album. All feature the stunning cover painting by Denise Marsh.

The full tracklisting is as follows:

1. People Of The Smoke

2. These Passing Clouds

3. Taking You Down

4. Found And Lost

5. Enter The Ring

6. Get Me Out!

7. Ghost Moon and Living Love

8. Circo Inferno

9. Breakout

10. All At Sea

11. Into The Nightwhale 

12. Wherever You Are

13. White Dove

Summing up ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’, Steve says: “It’s a lovely journey that starts dirty, scratchy and smoky and becomes heavenly and divine. How can you resist it?”

Steve is currently on tour in North America, continuing his ‘Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights’ run. Next year he will tour the world extensively, including a brand-new UK tour under the name ‘Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo’, and that will see him return to the legendary Royal Albert Hall. For the full list of dates, head to: http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett announces the dates for his 2024 UK tour: Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo.  The tour takes in 15 dates across the UK culminating with a visit to London’s Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 23rd October. To mark the 50th anniversary of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Hackett is including a selection of highlights from this iconic Genesis album. Tickets go on sale on Friday 29th September at 10am https://myticket.co.uk/artists/steve-hackett   

Steve Hackett’s timeless guitar-work was woven throughout Genesis’ classic 70’s catalogue of albums. In recent years he and his outstanding touring line-up of Roger King (keyboards), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Jonas Reingold (bass, backing vocals), Rob Townsend (saxophone, flutes, additional keyboards) and Craig Blundell (drums) have brought many of these albums back to the concert hall to great acclaim. Special guest, Amanda Lehmann will be joining the whole of the UK tour on guitar and vocals.  Many fans have also been asking for more tracks from The Lamb to be included. What better way to celebrate half-a-century of this remarkable album than to include a selection of Lamb Highlights alongside some of Hackett’s finest solo work and unmissable Genesis Greats.

“I’m hugely looking forward to the 2024 UK tour,” says Steve Hackett, “including ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ favourites as well as other iconic Genesis numbers along with solo gems. It’ll also be exciting to return to the wonderful Royal Albert Hall!”

Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo tour dates 2024:

Wed 2nd October                  Aylesbury      Friars Waterside         

Thurs 3rd October                 Portsmouth   Guildhall 

Sat 5th October                     Bristol             Beacon 

Sun 6th October                    Cambridge    Corn Exchange 

Mon 7th October                   Birmingham   Symphony Hall

Wed 9th October                   Liverpool        Philharmonic

Thurs 10th October             Cardiff            St David’s Hall

Sat 12th October                   Guildford        G Live

Sun 13th October                  Stoke              Victoria Hall

Tue 15th October                  York                Barbican 

Wed 16th October               Nottingham   Royal Concert Hall 

Fri 18th October                    Glasgow        Royal Concert Hall 

Sat 19th October                  Gateshead    Glasshouse

Sun 20th October                  Manchester   Bridgewater Hall

Tue 22nd October                 Reading         Hexagon

Wed 23rd October               London          Royal Albert Hall 

Tickets go on sale on Friday 29th September at 10am.  https://myticket.co.uk/artists/steve-hackett

About Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Hackett’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the iconic Selling England By The Pound.

After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Hackett’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Hackett is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock And Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.

Hackett’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has also explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesis including a spectacular 2018 tour in which he realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra. 

The lockdown enforced by the 2020 global pandemic has proven to be a particularly creative period for Hackett. He began by releasing Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of 2019’s hugely successful tour celebrating that Genesis classic together with the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums. Lockdown also gave Hackett the opportunity to write and record two new studio albums in 2021: the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the hit rock album Surrender of Silence.

Hackett and his band enjoyed a return to touring with Genesis Revisited – Seconds Out + More! (2021) and Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty (2022). Subsequently, the live album Genesis Revisited – Seconds Out + More!, released in 2022, became Hackett’s most successful-ever live album reaching number 28 in the UK Album Chart and achieving highest-ever chart positions in several European countries.  He recently released the live album from the 2022 tour – Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights – Live in Brighton.   Hackett takes the Foxtrot at Fifty Tour to the USA from 3rd October through to 18th November.

STEVE HACKETT Online:

www.hackettsongs.com

 www.facebook.com/pages/Steve-Hackett/123101228589

 www.twitter.com/HackettOfficial

http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Review – Steve Hackett Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton

2022 Saw Steve Hackett fully re-emerging from the spectre of frustration over a few difficult years thanks to the pesky worldwide pandemic that affected much of the wield and disrupted how we lived and interacted with each other. It was, indeed, a turbulent, nay difficult, time for many, which saw lots of planned activities being thwarted.

So what did Steve do? he decided to mark the 50th anniversary of this ground-breaking album by touring it with his band, first playing a set of his solo material and then, in the second half, playing ‘Foxtrot’ in full and in sequence, along with a few other select tracks to round it out to a full two hour show. I have to say this set certainly makes an impression, you may ask why do we need another meander through the Genesis archives or do we actually want or need one? Well, on the evidence of this fine live document the answer is a resounding yes! We do both want and need this documented in such style.

On this album you will find Steve and his band are on top form and really making their mark with the sublime music and enthralling the added demographic audience of Brighton in the process. Okay, there is nothing new here, recent but not actually new, but still this is so beautifully recorded and wonderful sounding that it brings fresh insight and the realisation of the sheer quality of the material being performed. Steve especially is on very fine form here making his guitar sound sumptuous and masterful at the same time. His tone on Spectral Mornings alone puts many other players to shame, such is the clarity of the album. It is truly exceptional in sound, crystal clear with great separation between the instruments and clear vocals and harmonies bring heard, it’s almost like the band are in your front room, so good is the sound.

Standouts of the first set for me are The Devil’s Cathedral with it’s dark tones, hint of menace and some suitably gothic touches in the tale of an ambitious theatrical understudy who takes thing into his own hands to achieve success, a lively spirited take on Spectral Mornings and an urgent Every Day. Along with this are an effect laden A Tower Struck Down with all sorts of creaking noises occurring This has a swagger and muscular thrust to it missing from other live versions, it really crackles with energy and menace and it really sounds excellent and extremely well performed. There is also, of all things, a bass solo, thankfully this doesn’t overstay its welcome unduly and, in addition, it does reveal Jonas Reingold to be an inventive player, his addition of a well known riff will make you smile.

Camino Royal comes over very well, this song with it roots in New Orleans music and benefits greatly from the jazzy interludes of Rob Townsend’s woodwinds before a blistering guitar solo from Steve takes the track forward, a wonderful piece that most definitely impresses greatly. Then we have the final part of the short set of Steve’s own material with a shortened section of Shadow Of The Hierophant that features Amanda Lehmann on vocals. This is only a truncated version though, not the  full length one. However, even so, it is still great to hear this in any form as it is such a graceful number. The clever use of dynamics really makes this a memorable version of this slow burn of a song, it builds in its intensity very well indeed, all reaching towards its heady conclusion. Then oddly, on the CD, we have the evening’s final two songs Firth of Fifth and Los Endos.

Firth of Fifth needs little introduction really but here we receive another fine rendering of this all time classic song. Once again, the vocals are clearer than on many other versions, all of which lends a fresh appreciation for this majestic track and, as always, the manner in which it builds up to that guitar solo, possibly the most famous one in the whole Genesis canon, when it arrives you are rewarded not only by the solo but also the busy bass that underpins it so eloquently and adds to it impressiveness. This in itself is a new revelation to the jaded listener, another impressive take on a classic song, utterly sublime. We have the short but very impressive drum solo from Craig Blundell that leads into Los Endos which is faithfully reproduced here, with lots of input from Rob Townsend.

The second disc contains the rest of the ‘Foxtrot’ album in sequence and begins with the excellent and stylish power of Watcher Of The Skies with it’s menacing mellotrons that create an atmosphere of impending doom most convincingly and more than adequately. Nad Sylvan has been on top form throughout these sets and he really comes to prominence here delivering a near perfect vocal performance. At times a lesser known and certainly less celebrated track but here it is well covered and the eloquent bass from Jonas Reingold raises its profile dramatically in a really delicate and moving rendition. Next we have the ever relevant political comment of Get ‘Em out by Friday, about unscrupulous landlords evictions of undesirables (in this instance, refugees). Well, fifty years after it was written, nothing has changed, landlords are still doing the same things to gentrify and basically make even more money.

Can Utility and the Coatliners follows and this almost pantomime track is lively enough but I don’t really get it, somehow its meaning is hidden from me. The brief solo classical guitar piece Horizons is the forerunner to the album epic, and much loved, Supper’s Ready, which here receives a very warm welcome and we are treated to a wonderful version of this astonishing track with all its parts performed to the always high standards that Steve expects. This is a masterfully delivered take on the classic and brings this album and concert to a close.

The Blu-Ray is equally as fine and has a 30 behind the scenes sections which are well worth seeing. Overall this set is excellent and the Blu-Ray makes it even more worth the money. It is another fine milestone in Steve’s career and, with new music well underway, watch this space.

Released 15th September, 2023.

Order direct from the artist here:

Steve Hackett | Steve Hackett (hackettsongs.com)

Steve Hackett launches live video for ‘A Tower Struck Down’; taken from ‘Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton’

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett presents his brand new live audio/visual extravaganza, with the release of ‘Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton’, set for release on the 15th September 2023.

 Filmed & recorded live on his 2022 UK tour, in the coastal city of Brighton, UK, this release documents Steve and his band celebrating the 50th anniversary of the much-loved Genesis album ‘Foxtrot’. Played in full, this album features fan favourites including ‘Watcher Of The Skies’ and ‘Supper’s Ready’. The show also features a set of Hackett solo material, including ‘The Devil’s Cathedral’ from his latest studio album ‘Surrender of Silence’, and the powerful ‘Ace of Wands’. 

Today they are pleased to launch a live video for the track ‘A Tower Struck Down’, a song that originally appeared on ‘Voyage of the Acolyte’:

Watch the previously released video for ‘Watcher of the Skies’ here:https://youtu.be/bFgdvFnAVX0

Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge & mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, the album is now available to pre-order on Ltd 2CD+Blu-ray & Ltd 2CD+2DVD, both including bonus behind the scenes interviews, as well as 5.1 surround sound. A Ltd Deluxe 180g 4LP edition will also be available, and you can pre-order now here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/FoxtrotAtFiftyHackettHighlights-LiveInBrighton

The full track-listing is:

1.    Intro / Ace of Wands

2.    The Devil’s Cathedral

3.    Spectral Mornings

4.    Every Day

5.    A Tower Struck Down

6.    Basic Instincts

7.    Camino Royale

8.    Shadow of the Hierophant

9.    Watcher of the Skies

10. Time Table

11. Get ‘Em Out by Friday

12. Can Utility and the Coastliners

13. Horizons

14. Supper’s Ready

15. Firth of Fifth

16. Los Endos

Steve Hackett & band continue their busy touring schedule with further “Foxtrot At Fifty & Hackett Highlights” dates in North America beginning in October. For the full list of dates, head to: http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Steve Hackett is joined live by Roger King, Rob Townsend, Nad Sylvan, Craig Blundell & Jonas Reingold, as well as on occasion special guest Amanda Lehmann.

About Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Hackett’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the classic Selling England By The Pound.

After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Hackett’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Hackett is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.

Hackett’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his later studio works The Night Siren(2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesis including a spectacular 2018 tour in which he realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra.

The lockdown enforced by the 2020 global pandemic has proven to be a particularly creative period for Hackett. He began by releasing Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of 2019’s hugely successful tour celebrating that Genesis classic together with the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums. Lockdown also gave Hackett the opportunity to write and record two new studio albums, the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the forthcoming Surrender of Silence.

In 2021, Steve and his band returned to touring, celebrating the classic Genesis live album ‘Seconds Out’, on what was one of his most successful tours to date.

Steve Hackett announces “Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton’ – out 15th September 2023

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett presents his brand-new live audio/visual extravaganza, with the release of ‘Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton’, set for release on the 15th September 2023.

 Filmed & recorded live on his 2022 UK tour, in the coastal city of Brighton, UK, this release documents Steve and his band celebrating the 50th anniversary of the much-loved Genesis album ‘Foxtrot’. Played in full, this album features fan favourites including ‘Watcher Of The Skies’ and ‘Supper’s Ready’. The show also features a set of Hackett solo material, including ‘The Devil’s Cathedral’ from his latest studio album ‘Surrender of Silence’, and the powerful ‘Ace of Wands’. 

Shot by long time collaborator Paul Green, you can now watch the band perform ‘Watcher of the Skies’ here:

Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge & mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, the album is now available to pre-order on Ltd 2CD+Blu-ray & Ltd 2CD+2DVD, both including bonus behind the scenes interviews, as well as 5.1 surround sound. A Ltd Deluxe 180g 4LP edition will also be available, and you can pre-order now here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/FoxtrotAtFiftyHackettHighlights-LiveInBrighton

The full track-listing is:

1.    Intro / Ace of Wands

2.    The Devil’s Cathedral

3.    Spectral Mornings

4.    Every Day

5.    A Tower Struck Down

6.    Basic Instincts

7.    Camino Royale

8.    Shadow of the Hierophant

9.    Watcher of the Skies

10. Time Table

11. Get ‘Em Out by Friday

12. Can Utility and the Coastliners

13. Horizons

14. Supper’s Ready

15. Firth of Fifth

16. Los Endos

Steve Hackett & band continue their busy touring schedule with further “Foxtrot At Fifty & Hackett Highlights” dates in North America beginning in October. For the full list of dates, head to: http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Steve Hackett is joined live by Roger King, Rob Townsend, Nad Sylvan, Craig Blundell & Jonas Reingold, as well as on occasion special guest Amanda Lehmann.

About Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Hackett’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the classic Selling England By The Pound.

After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Hackett’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Hackett is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.

Hackett’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his later studio works The Night Siren(2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesis including a spectacular 2018 tour in which he realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra.

The lockdown enforced by the 2020 global pandemic has proven to be a particularly creative period for Hackett. He began by releasing Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of 2019’s hugely successful tour celebrating that Genesis classic 

together with the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums. Lockdown also gave Hackett the opportunity to write and record two new studio albums, the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the forthcoming Surrender of Silence.

In 2021, Steve and his band returned to touring, celebrating the classic Genesis live album ‘Seconds Out’, on what was one of his most successful tours to date.

Live Review – Foxtrot At Fifty – Buxton Opera House 26th September 2022 – by John Wenlock-Smith

Picture By Lee Millward

In all my years I had never, until tonight that is, seen a show at the famous Buxton Opera House. Designed by noted architect Frank Matcham, a noted theatre designer whose work is known in many fine theatres like the Hackney Empire and the London Palladium, among others. The Opera House opened in 1903 and was subsequently renovated in the late 1970’s. It is a notably ornate building and is small inside, a capacity of 901 seats across its 4 levels making this a fairly intimate setting in which to witness such a distinguished artists that play here.

Steve Hackett’s latest tour is based around the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic 1972 Genesis album ‘Foxtrot’, which is known as one of the defining albums from the so called big six (Genesis, Yes, ELP, King Crimson, VDGG and Pink Floyd). This record is probably one of Genesis’ most famous releases and includes the classic Supper’s Ready. However, before we celebrate that achievement, we are sweetened by a wonderfully accomplished first set of Steve’s own songs, drawn from several of his solo albums, from ‘Voyage Of The Acolyte’ through to ‘The Surrender Of Silence’.

What a set this turns out to be! In this first part of the show we are rewarded with jaw dropping takes of Ace Of Wands, Every Day and Camino Royale among others. Again, Steve and his band rise to the challenge admirably, especially noteworthy are the ever graceful keyboards of Roger King and the woodwinds of Rob Townsend. For most of this part of the show singer Nad Sylvan is absent, appearing only for The Devil’s Cathedral and Every Day. The song A Tower Struck Down includes a bass solo from Jonas Reingold, which was certainly different as you don’t hear many of those these days!

The evergreen Shadow of the Hierophant also makes a welcome return, although this was mainly the closing section only although, to be fair, it does prove just what a talented troupe Steve leads. This mainly instrumental set also allows Steve lots of room for his elegant lyrical, eloquent soloing. Steve soars in these pieces proving, once again, that at 72 years of age, like a good wine, every year he continues to age gracefully and with a robust and often surprising bouquet. This first half ends to rapture applause and a break is taken before the main event.

Now, the concept of playing a classic album in full is not a new one, Yes, for instance, have been doing their classic albums in sequence since the early 2000’s but Steve has only being doing it for the past few tours, Covid excluded, and this time it’s ‘Foxtrot at Fifty’.

This part begins with a storming take of Watcher Of The Skies, which allows Nad’s theatrical side to emerge, and it does dramatically as he wears red flashing glasses to emphasise the sombre message of the words. Now, here’s an admission for you, until tonight I’d never heard all of ‘Foxtrot’! Yes, I knew bits but to hear it performed in sequence by this extremely talented ensemble makes me want to buy the album for myself, I will certainly rectify that omission on my part. The second track, Time Table, is new to me but what a fine song it is, very clever, it’s about Knights of old and it’s a real corker, as is Get ‘Em Out By Friday, a song about social housing and unscrupulous landlords and their tactics. Recorded in 1972, this song still sounds true today, as do the issues it speaks of. Genesis were ahead of their time and spoke about issues that concerned them, they had a good sense of the absurdities of life.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners follows, outlining the tale of King Canute and his attempts to stop the waves. Interestingly Knutsford in Cheshire tells a similar story as Canute gave his name to the town and its river crossing, although his name was anglicised to Knutsford rather than Canute’s Ford. We are then treated to a long-time Hackett favourite, Horizons, which sees Steve switching to a rather expensive and exquisite classical guitar for a flamenco influenced rethought of this short instrumental.

Then it’s the main highlight for many, Suppers Ready ,a six part suite of songs that have been highly regarded for many years. The song has a multitude of themes including social security, narcissism and words from the book of revelation in the bible. Performed tonight, it is an utter triumph and, again, it starts to make sense to me at last.

This ends the main show but we get two more songs as an encore, the always fabulous favourite Firth Of Fifth, and this features Steve’s brother John, who plays the flute soloing place of Rob Townsend, and excellent he is too. Roger King’s epic piano lines are superb, as is that fabulous guitar solo from Steve, although he does fluff the last note and looks crestfallen for doing so, although, to be fair no one minded. The final track is a medley of Myopia/Slogans/ Los Endos which sends everyone home happy and satisfied with a very special evening of great music in a truly unique setting. Personally, I await the already planned document of this tour that will probably emerge next year at some stage.