“Pushing the boat (or in this case the album) out” - the launch party for John Hackett’s Another Life album. Kensington London on 28th September 2015 remembered by Dave Kennedy. Photographs courtesy of Nick Magnus.
John welcomed the audience at this intimate gathering of press, family, friends and musicians including Anthony Phillips (who plays on the track Satellite), his keyboardist Nick Magnus and lyricist, Nick Clabburn, brother Steve (who also features on the album) couldn’t be there in person as he was on tour in Germany with his band but he had recorded a nice video message which was beamed on to a screen at the back of the stage, where he wished us all a great evening.
It was a superb party atmosphere filled with excitement as John took to the stage to warm applause. He explained that tonight’s taster of the new album was to be a stripped down performance of his songs and then quipped that it sounded like he should actually be performing in socks and pants! He was joined on stage by musicians Nick Fletcher and Duncan Parsons (who engineered the album), to perform a selection of songs, four from the new album, Another Life, and four from the more familiar Checking Out Of London.
John’s vocals were impressive, strong and crystal clear throughout the eight song set and in addition to singing he played some lovely guitar and even keyboards when required, ably supported by Nick Fletcher and Duncan Parsons on percussion but also playing keyboards on Fantasy. On Forest which has a fabulously memorable catchy chorus, John acknowledged his talented lyricist Nick Clabburn, whom he described as: “The Bard of Chelsea!”. After enthusiastic applause, they encored with the gorgeous Late Trains which John amusingly described as the ‘derailed version’ causing much amusement, concluding what was a magical and memorable evening. Everyone then mingled nd chatted, as other tracks from the new and varied album were played over the PA system, including the up-tempo Burnt Down Trees which has a great Sledgehammer-like vibe and splendid guitar work. John Hackett is already well known as a talented flautist but now with two excellent melodic rock albums to his credit, it is time he was also acknowledged as a fine vocalist and guitarist.
Set List: Satellite, Look Up, Fantasy, Headlights, Life In Reverse, Checking Out Of London, Forest, Late Trains..
Thanks for the review Dave. Sounds like a great night was had by one and all. We look forward to seeing John and his band on a concert stage near us in the not too distant future.