"Doing the Glasgow Foxtrot" - TWR's first taste of Steve Hackett's Foxtrot At Fifty tour, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Friday 23rd September 2022. Review and Photographs by Alan Hewitt.
Well, where better to start this year's round of touring with Mr Hackett than in dear old Glasgee town! Many a happy time have I spent in this fair city and this time was no exception. Meeting up with some old friends for a couple of pre-gig drinks set the tone for a very enjoyable evening indeed.
The Royal Concert Hall is a superb venue, just the right size for the magic to happen without being too big where it can be lost. Taking my seat in a very good vantage point (thanks again Mrs H!) I was soon ready for what we were about to be served.
|As has now become the norm at these gigs, Steve and his band got the evening under way with a selection of material from his ever expanding solo repertoire. Perhaps I should get my only quibble out of the way right now? The solo set is FAR too short and comprised of what are entirely predictable choices. OK, I am never going to object to hearing Spectral Mornings or Every Day (both present and correct here tonight) but with the only surprise being Camino Royale - a real treat and superbly performed by the band - and The Devil's Cathedral representing Steve's most recent album, once again superbly performed with Nad Sylvan in full on Diva mode and a moment of humour on stage as Roger King made a rare error with a bum note which he was quick to blame on Rob Townsend and his additional keyboards. Shame on you, Roger! Cue smiles all round and laughter from the audience. Here is a band fully at home with themselves and enjoying the job at hand. A Tower Struck Down and the instrumental section of Shadow Of The Hierophant (no Amanda Lehmann tonight so no vocal section) completed what was a highly accomplished first half.|
If that was the amuse bouche, then Foxtrot was to be the main course and what a feast it proved to be. Watcher Of The Skies simply never fails to send shivers up and down my spine and tonight the band absolutely nailed it! Roger King brought Mr Banks's keyboard parts to life whilst Nad Sylvan got into character sporting glowing glaring red eyes and telescope.
Next up, Time Table, the only track from the album which Genesis never performed live. I have no idea why as Steve and the band delivered it flawlessly. A tale of wistful nostalgia, quite appropriate for the times we live in and well received by the audience.
Get 'Em Out By Friday, that outrageous take of nefarious goings on in the Real Estate Trade gave Nad another opportunity to put his considerable vocal talents to good use whilst Jonas Reingold and Craig Blundell had a field day with the rhythm section.
|Can-Utility And The Coastliners too saw a fine ensemble performance before we were treated to a couple of minutes of "agnostic guitar" from Steve with Horizons before the piece de resistance: Supper's Ready. What can I say about this track that hasn't been said before? Without doubt, the ultimate Prog classic from beginning to end. Craig and Jonas lapped this one up with ferocious kicks and paradiddles aplenty while Roger King overlaid everything with a tasteful recreation of Tony's parts and Steve, who at times throughout seemed lost in memory played his heart out. The twenty three or so minutes of this epic flew by in the blink of an eye bringing the main event to a close and the audience to its feet in fervent admiration of what it had just witnessed. You won't see music like this anywhere else these days!|
Encores? Of course there were encores! First up, it wouldn't be a Revisited show without Firth Of Fifth. Showcasing the best moments of Messrs Banks (or in this case King) and Hackett it really defies description. An ensemble tour de force with each and every band member contributing to the end result with taste and restraint - even Rob Townsend's sax solo was reined in at last with very enjoyable results. That left...what else but Los Endos, that magnificent opportunity for the musicians to really let their hair down and that they did with fine style sending everyone home happy and if the smiles on the band's faces were anything to go by; so we're they which is as it should be!
And that's that. One gig down, two more to come. On this showing, this is another tour which will live long in the memory - it certainly will in mine!