“Past And Present” - Steve Hackett in concert at the Assembly Hall Islington London Sunday 20th May 2012. Review and photographs by Lee Millward.
The evening started with drinks at a local hostelry and set the tone for the night ahead…
Upon entering the building we were met by Brian and Jo (Steve’s manager and wife)… We had a brief chat and found our places… The show kicked off with Steve on acoustic guitar before being joined by brother John for Hands Of The Priestess which was faultless and timeless in its execution. He then strapped on his electric and we knew we were in for something special, and we weren’t to be disappointed. Fly On A Windshield, Firth Of Fifth, Carpet Crawlers plus many others were all performed by an amazing bunch of musicians (who are some of the nicest people I have ever met). The first set closed with the magnificent Shadow Of The Hierophant which had the assembled audience on its feet. I think most were in a state of dazed euphoria during the thirty minute intermission (I wasn’t, I was in the bar - AH).
The second set kicked off with Loch Lomond/Phoenix Flown, Prairie Angel/A Place Called Freedom from what I think is one of his career defining albums; Beyond The Shrouded Horizon. Steve and the band went from strength to strength with Sleepers, Waking To Life (with the sublime vocals of Amanda Lehmann), Til These Eyes, Fire On The Moon and Enter the Night (a former instrumental track with newly added lyrics, and the reason we were all at the show as it has been released as a single to benefit the Childline charity). The show closed with the best version of Every Day I have ever heard and Spectral Mornings to wild applause. A night to savour and remember for a long time to come. Secial mention must be made for an amazingly tight and talented group of musicians that Steve has surrounded himself with. Amanda Lehmann, Gary O’Toole, Rob Townsend, Roger King, Lee Pomeroy and last but not least; John Hackett who bring added nuances and vigour to many old and loved tracks.
Our thanks to Lee for this review and for the further selection of his superb photographs which accompany it.