Saw It On The TV….

There has been a considerable amount of visual material generated by one or member of the band since this feature last appeared in TWR, so I thought it was high time to look at some of the more interesting stuff….

With Steve’s profile being the highest of the remaining active members of the band, I will concentrate this time on the visual items which have appeared lately.

Both the 2012 and current tours by Steve have seen a variety of interesting items surface beginning with what amounts to an EPK (Electronic Press Kit to the uninitiated among you!) for the Squackett album. Produced by Cherry Red TV, this comprises a highly informative and on occasions, amusing interview with Steve during which he talks at length about the album and the writing and recording process. I wonder if a similar recording exists with Mr Squire giving his take on things? Either way, this is a fascinating item for collectors.

The release of the Squackett album was preceded however by the Breaking Waves tour which took Steve off around the UK and Europe for several months and which in itself generated several live documents from the tour including two absolutely excellent complete recordings from the shows in New Brighton (which I seem to recall rather well for some reason…!) and Leamington Spa. Both of these performances were recorded with Steve’s permission apparently and the end results are an extremely satisfying pair of DVDs. Both visually and sonically, these are among the best private footage of Steve in recent years. In addition to this, Steve’s performance at the annual Loreley Festival in Germany was also captured for posterity on film. Whilst the sound and visual quality of the resulting recording may not be equal to the preceding recordings it is nonetheless, another enjoyable visual document of this tour.

By the end of 2012 Steve had created another album which was to bring his profile to a higher level than he had had for many years in the shape of Genesis Revisited II, the tour for which will have concluded before you get to read this.

With a truly stellar cast, this album has catapulted Steve back into the spotlight so much so that he has even appeared on TV on several occasions - something he has done only seldom in the years which have gone before. The album was launched in some style at the Proud Cabaret Club in London on 22nd October 2012, an event which yours truly was invited to attend. A leisurely and relaxed evening was topped off by an acoustic performance by the trio of Steve, his brother John and keyboards man Roger King which was captured for posterity. If you fast forward Jerry Ewing’s rather obsequious introduction, it is an enjoyable (if short) item. This was followed by a brace of TV interviews including one with the UK’s Breakfast TV which saw Steve chatting informally about the album and tour.

The tour has already generated its own official live DVD filmed at the show at Hammersmith Odeon in May 2013, but in addition to that, there have been several privately shot films which have whetted the appetites of collectors.

Beginning with a brace of shows from Italy which sadly show the pitfalls of one man, one camera attempts at capturing a gig. The first of these from the show in Bologna is incomplete for reasons which are unknown and both this and the following night’s show in Rome suffer from the usual problems of heads in the way, muffled sound and everything you would associate with such recordings which is a shame because when things are going well, both of these films manage to capture the sheer excitement of the show, something officially released films seldom do.

These were followed however by another superb effort which captured the show in my home town of Liverpool although thankfully for the viewers you don’t see me on it! Once again, the cameraman evidently had a prime vantage point and the end result is another crystal clear film of what was an incredible gig. The clip of I Know What I Like from this film has appeared on You Tube I believe. This was followed by the performance a couple of nights later at Vicar Street in Dublin. Here the cameraman/woman was evidently somewhere in the stalls and the resulting film although interesting and thankfully complete, suffers from most of the same problems which I have mentioned. Nonetheless, if you are either a collector, or a fan who was lucky enough to be at any of these shows, then the footage will no doubt be of interest.

Another interesting item surfaced from an open air performance the band gave in Gavorrano in Italy which featured a truncated set and no screens. This one manages to demonstrate both the pro’s and con’s of privately filmed footage. Visually it is, on the whole very good, evidently the cameraman was situated a fair way from the stage but judicious use of zoom compensated for this although he did have a tendency to use it a bit too much at times. However, the recording is marred by severe sound distortion which is a crying shame because in all other aspects this is a fine effort.

Another enjoyable item is the recent DVD from the band’s show in Munhall PA. Another audience shot from in the midst of the crowd, so of course, there is the usual mix of heads and ducking down to avoid being spotted by security but when the cameraman manages to get into their stride, this one has some quite enjoyable footage of what was evidently another extremely well received show by the band.

Click to enlarge

The last item in this round up of Hackett related footage is an altogether different sort of thing. Steve has done a guest VJ spot before - believe it or not he did a joint one with Steve Howe around the time of the GTR album for VH1 (yes, the footage is in the TWR Archive!) and here he is again, this time giving the viewers on satellite TV a selection of his favourite tracks.

Now we turn our attentions to the other member of the band whose profile has been quite high over the last year or so: Peter Gabriel.

With the release of the So 25th anniversary album edition, Peter has been back on the road again not only in the USA but also in Europe and the UK with his final shows taking place whilst this edition of TWR has been put together (see reviews elsewhere).

A couple of shows from 2012’s “Back To Front” tour as this one is amusingly called, have emerged and are above average quality both sonically and visually.

The first of these is taken from the show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia PA and for such a massive venue, the resulting film is a surprisingly good watch. This show is one of the longest in terms of sheer length that Peter has staged in quite a while and with the emphasis placed squarely on the So album itself, That said, there are still some surprise for the fans as Peter has opted to include a work in progress in the set which at both of these gigs is given under its working title of Oh But. The rest of the show at both this gig and the subsequent Jones Beach NY performance feature the same set but even so, there are the usual differences in performance and the odd f**k -up without which a show by Peter just wouldn’t be the same. Credit to the cameramen/women who brought us both of these gigs as the quality of sound and vision is above average and the resulting films are both enjoyable and of interest to both the casual and die-hard collector.

That brings us up to date for this edition. Next time in keeping with their forthcoming tour, we shall focus on the latest visual items from Mike & The Mechanics.