“Jazz On A Summer’s Night” - Steve Hackett in concert at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Saturday 14th May 1988. Review by Alan Hewitt.
Well, after Steve’s show in Manchester at the beginning of this month, I didn’t think that Steve could top that performance but I was wrong! Perhaps the fact that I met Steve before this show to do an interview with him for the magazine (see #5) helped form this impression but I don’t think so.
Once again, Steve was ably assisted by Folk singer Mae McKenna who gave a well turned in performance for half an hour before Steve was due on stage. Duly at 8.30pm, Steve bounded on stage beginning with the familiar strains of a few oldies including Blood On The Rooftops and culminating with Horizons. The set drew heavily from both of Steve’s acoustic albums along with several bits that either haven’t surfaced on record yet or, as in the case of Time Lapse At Milton Keynes and Tales Of The Riverbank, have only been single B Sides. Not that that is to disparage them, as they are both brilliant pieces and ones that were played faultlessly on this occasion.
Other classics included the moving Concert For Munich dedicated to Tony Stratton-Smith, as well as acoustic renditions of several of Steve’s older tracks; Hands Of The Priestess, Jacuzzi and Overnight Sleeper. At this moment in the proceedings Steve was joined on stage by “the Pharaoh of the flute, the Prince of the pipes of Pan; King of the wind!” John Hackett. It was great to see the two brothers so obviously enjoying playing together.
Steve’s wife Kim poor was present at this show. In fact she was handling the lighting effects for the show which were simple but effective and mainly consisted of backlighting and projections of snowflakes etc.
After a short break while the roadies changed Steve’s guitars, Steve bounded on stage again performing a few press-ups before getting on to play “this electric stuff” and ham it up as the prototype of the rock guitarist through a largely improvised pieces played on the new Stepp DGI guitar synthesiser. It did include a few snippets from Dancing With The Moonlit Knight as well as Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus and Katchachurian’s Sabre Dance. He then took us back to the acoustic guitar for Kim which closed the show proper. Then it was a short wait before both Steve and John returned to perform two as yet unrecorded tracks. The first of which has since been titled Silver but remains unrecorded. The show’s finale however already had an intriguing title: The Carrot That Killed My Sister! Steve and John then left the stage to rapturous applause and it was all over for another show.
Once again, Steve came out into the foyer of the theatre to talk to fans and sing autographs and pose for photographs for almost an hour - a rare occurrence these days- thanks again, Steve.