On the 8th of November 1978 the well-known British guitarist Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis) presented his third album Spectral Mornings on the German TV Show Musikladen in front of a small studio audience. During this presentation he introduced his newly formed band consisting of his brother John Hackett (flute, guitar, bass pedals), Nick Magnus (keyboards), Dik Cadbury (bass), John Shearer (drums) and Pete Hicks (vocals).
The opening tune of this concert is the instrumental title track of Hackett's second solo album Please Don't Touch (1978). After a slowly played intro a heavy part is next with guitar, synthesizer and drums followed by a short flute solo by John Hackett. This piece ends rather chaotic and a bit experimental. Racing In A is from the same album. It was originally sung by Steve Walsh, the lead singer of Kansas, but Pete Hicks does a good job here as well. However, Hackett's music is mainly guitar orientated. During this live performance his guitars sound a bit sharp, but maybe that sound was typical for the seventies and the eighties.
The next song is Ace Of Wands, a piece from his first solo album Voyage Of The Acolyte (1975). This is another up-tempo guitar rock song with some complex technical parts. A beautiful intro marks Narnia , one of my personal favourites from Please Don't Touch. It's based on the famous children's book The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis. The main 'instrument' in the medley Optigan- A Tower Struck Down-Spectral Mornings is a kind of computer, which is introduced by Hackett as 'The Machine'. A Tower Struck Down belongs to the heaviest pieces in his repertoire, while Spectral Mornings is more romantic with that typical slow guitar sound that made him so much appreciated in the prog rock scene.
The acoustic section consists of Horizons and Kim. The first one is an acoustic guitar intro to Supper's Ready from the album Foxtrot (1972) by Genesis, while Kim is a very romantic song for guitar and flute named after his former wife, the Brazilian artist Kim Poor. The final song of the main set is Clocks - The Angel Of Mons. In this beautiful piece Hackett shows some difficult and technical tricks on his electric guitar. The middle-section sounds dark, somewhat enigmatic and mysterious and is full of dramatic chords. There's also a short drum solo ending in a chaotic jam.
The extra footage contains two songs. Carry On Up The Vicarage - originally from Please Don't Touch - is a tribute to the famous authoress Agatha Christie. It contains some funny parts especially the high-pitched voices. After the introduction of the band Star Of Sirius from Voyage Of The Acolyte is performed containing some fine close harmony singing and of course the beautiful guitar sounds by Steve Hackett. If you like the music of the first years of Hackett's solo career than you'll certainly enjoy this DVD.
***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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