Djabe and Steve Hackett - ‘The Journey Continues’ Tour August 2022. Review by Julian Lear.
Steve Hackett is not just the ex-guitarist in Genesis but a total professional musician, who deserves the recognition for all his work! I hope we all get to hear more of that harmonica!
Djabe in English translates as Freedom
Djabe was formed in 1996 and consists of 5 members:
Attila Egerhazi: one of the two founder members, spoke to the audience in both English and Hungarian during the shows. He has a fine selection of percussive instruments and used them all during the evening and played different guitars. A man of many talents, on and off stage!
Tamas Barabas: second founder member of the band and bassist does a memorable bass solo.
Aron Koos Hutas: trumpet and fluegelhorn player also does a great solo, it would not be jazz without him.
Gabor Olah: keeping everything together playing those drums like a machine you could set your watch to. Keep going my drum brother!
Abel Marton Nagy: keyboards - keeps the ivories going whatever the challenge and it would not be Djabe without him!
I had previously been fortunate to see Djabe and Steve Hackett back in 2018 in Prague. It was a memorable experience, even before the show, I came across two clues that were to be part of the experience, while walking about the city. The first was a shop called Genesis, then just a short walk away at the cinema, they were showing a film called Foxtrot.
Going to the show, wanting to see some great music and experience a totally different atmosphere was all I had in mind and what a fantastic show it was!
Now in 2022, it was the first time in three years that Steve and Djabe could perform live together!
“It’s about the music”, a well-known musician said to me in 2009 and it is! So, I can only tell you what the musical experience was like and the best thing you can do is to go and see Djabe with Steve Hackett in person.
The Journey Continues tour started in Vienna, Austria the night before and after a long drive, the band arrived at the Budapest Jazz Club - a great intimate venue, a short walk from the Parliament Building on the River Danube.
Tonight, they were to perform two completely sold-out shows!
While talking to fellow fan Eligiusz at the venue, to our surprise Jo Hackett came out, and she generously spent time speaking to everyone and did a video for the fans, who could not be present! We were not expecting that!
Sometime later, while still enjoying the experience of talking to Jo and enjoying a beer, Steve and the band turned up and said hello on their way to the pre-show warm up! We were completely and pleasantly surprised and while taking everything in, it was showtime!
While still in shock we entered the auditorium and what a great relaxed intro showing the band’s recording and travels in and around Sardinia filmed by Tamas Barabas, Djabe‘s bassist and Gulli Briem, drummer, who has also performed with Djabe and Steve.
The first song, Power of Wings, performed by Djabe from the album The Magic Stag.
For the second song, Steve arrives on stage with a different black guitar, not the Gold Top! It was already a very different and enjoyable show and he went straight in to perform his song, The Steppes, with a different arrangement and very entertaining it was too. Straight away, you can see Steve is much more than a special guest; they are all good friends who obviously share a love of performing and producing magical music. Their friendly relaxed manner on stage reflects their great respect for each other.
The third song, Buzzy Island, from the album Life is a Journey; The Sardinia Tapes, recorded while taking some time out to record together with Steve in Sardinia.
The fourth song, Lake by the Sea, introduced by Attila and from the album Back to Sardinia, also produced with Steve.
The fifth song was introduced by Steve talking about how his song Ace of Wands was born.
The sixth song, Castelsardo at Night was introduced by Attila also from the album Life is a Journey.
The seventh song - this needed no introduction except the backdrop showing a tree in green field with a few words, In that Quiet Earth
The eighth song was introduced on the backdrop, showing a continental train, Last Train to Istanbul with Steve on vocals and guitar.
The ninth song, Golden Sand, is from the albums Life is a Journey; The Sardinia Tapes and The Journey Continues.
The tenth song was Hairless Heart / Firth of Fith played with a different arrangement.
The eleventh song, Distant Dance, from the New Dimensions Update Live album was introduced by Tamas, performing a brilliant bass solo intro that at times didn’t sound like a bass guitar.
The twelfth song, the final song of the evening, was Los Endos - again a fantastic different musical arrangement.
So on to Debrecen, 150 miles to the east of Budapest, -a very different venue, the Franz List Hall at the University of Debrecen and easily accessible by tram from the railway station. Totally different acoustics and yet a fantastic venue. A similar set list but with some extras that you can enjoy on the forthcoming CD/DVD of this tour to be released soon.
Djabe and Steve gave it their all and it showed in all the shows I went to see - well worth going to Hungary for and it would be great to see them and Steve perform here in the UK too!
During the shows, Steve spoke about his great love of performing with Djabe and how it is a passion for them all. He also joined Attila on percussion, which was pleasing to witness but for me to see and hear him play harmonica was outstanding and amongst many brilliant musical memories from all the band during all the shows!