“Out Of The Barren Land” - A perspective on Steve Hackett by Ted Sayers.

So, Steve Hackett has finally re-surfaced. Over the past few years since his Momentum tour of 1988 the only news we have had of him was his one-off show at the Central TV studios in Norttingham back in September 1990. That show was filmed for the Bedrock series and has since been shown on TV and recently had a video release with a couple of extra tracks. At that gig he also premioered a couple of new songs which showed great promise and even prompted me to think Steve was about to release anew album. Well we’re still waiting but now it seems the wait is over.

At the start of the year, there was a flood (relatively speaking) of information concerning his work As I write this, it seems there is a live album to be expected (see review elsewhere in this issue) called Timelapse (an ironic title if ever there was one) . The album is only available on import from the Netherlands at the moment at a slightly inflated price - obviously an indication that Steve has yet to secure a UK record deal after the PRT/START debacle.

On the first Saturday of this year, Steve made an appearance on the Saturday Sequence on Radio One with Johnny Walker. The piece concerned Mae McKenna who performed three songs live in the studio. Mae is the Celtic folk singer/song writer who supported Steve on his last tour. The interview is hardly worth transcribing here but Steve did have a couple of interesting things to say.

Over the past year he has turned to a film production. He originally planned a comedy which was eventually scrapped but he is now about to begin work on a film called The Red Priest which is about the life of the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi - famous for his Four Seasons concerto. Steve hopes to have Andrew Strong in the title role. Andrew was recently seen in the excellent film The Commitments, but negotiations are still going on. No release date was mentioned but the results should be interesting.

Lately Steve has been recording and producing Mae McKenna’s current album: Mirage & Reality in his own studios. Steve also plays classical and acoustic guitars on a couple of tracks and during the interview Mae and Steve played one of these songs live in the studio.

The interview was very short but afterwards Johnny Walker did say that Steve hoped to have an album out himself this year. Hopefully this was a reference to a new studio album and not to the live album mentioned above. It remains to be seen if Steve tours to promote the album as filming is due to begin on The Red Priest in March. If you are reading this, Steve, PLEASE let us know what you are up to so that we can let everyone know!

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