Steve Hackett on the Genesis songs he never tires of playing

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      When Steve Hackett called me from Boston a while back to talk about his current Genesis: Revisited tour–which hits Vancouver this Thursday (December 11)– I was curious as to which Genesis songs were going over best of late. And he was happy to fill me in.

      “Well let me see,” he pondered. “We start off with ‘Dance On a Volcano’, and then we move on to ‘Squonk’–from the same album, Trick of the Tail–and in a way, the high-energy one–in a tricky time signature–is really ‘Dance on a Volcano’, but then ‘Squonk’ is…it’s like a mainstream rock number, really, isn’t it? But without a chorus. Got those tricky high parts for singers. And it’s really just a stomp, that one, a stomp and a march.

      “Then you have ‘Dancing With the Moonlit Knight’, which is extremely experimental, which runs the gamut of styles from Scottish plainsong to Elgarian verse, anthemic, then something which becomes fusiony, little bits of musical evolution creep in–a hint of Mozart, and a dash of Mahavishnu Orchestra–and a lot of Genesis. And a little bit of Disney at the end of that too.

      “We used to call one little squence ‘Disney’, where it was a very quiet little jam session where we all faded ourselves in and out of that, and I think it was a Genesis trick to sometimes use something…it became part of our style to do very quiet, restrained jams. And I think restraint was part of the style–not to always go for it with every solo, but for people to give each other space and learn to listen to other people. Shut up occasionally.”

      So does Hackett have a particular fave Genesis song that he never tires of playing?

      “Well actually I really love ‘Fountain of Salmacis’. I love it for all sorts of reason. Actually I think I love them all or I wouldn’t do them. ‘Watcher of the Skies’ still gives me a blast. ‘Firth of Fifth’–still get a rush from that. All of them, basically. There really isn’t a bad song that we play live, because I’m in sole charge of the choice of songs, although I’m open to suggestions when people make them. I think it’s a huge crowd pleaser. It’s really a set that’s designed for and by the audience.”

      Tickets are still available for Steve Hackett at the Vogue. You can get them here.




      Dec 8, 2014 at 12:42am

      I saw the Hackett show last night in Los Angeles. I've been to a lot of new and old concerts. I was expecting poor vocals and a lot of guitar solos. I was wrong. It turns out that Steve Hackett is the guy from Genesis who understood the legacy of those amazing songs from the 1970's. The music was transcendent. He fixed one glaring problem from the old Genesis days, namely, you could actually here the guitar work. He's a master of playing the right note at the best time. I was shocked at the beauty of the music and at the realization that the other members of Genesis really held this guy back. I've never seen guitar work that was so appropriate for the moment. He must have been tortured for 40 years to want to re-record all of this old material his way. And put on the most profound concert I might ever have seen. Ridiculous

      Martin Dunphy

      Dec 8, 2014 at 12:49am

      Just what I was hoping to hear. Now if only the sound at the ole Vogue is up to it...

      Pat Crowe

      Dec 8, 2014 at 1:34am

      Thank you thank you, Jesus !He's here!!
      Don't worry Marty.
      The sound man will dial it in in to perfection.
      Nobody do anything bad before the show. Show up straight and sober. This is NOT the sort of music that lends itself to substance abuse.
      Then get home after!
      Mother's watching!

      Pat crowe

      Dec 8, 2014 at 2:08am

      @sunscreenal. Steves sound was front and centre in the band live. It was never forefront again as prominently with Steurmer/Rutherford.
      But what was really lost from the bands sound when Steve left was balance. A, dare I say "sinister"{maybe his Vancouver days} counter to the public school boys, "civilized" presentation. Steve was the antipop sensibility that Phil was driving the band towards. As well as not being considered for songwriting credits, He was smoked out. And the band suffered to great monetary destruction after Steve left. Ahem!
      But where are they now? This is it, And better in my mind than it. Who would you rather see? Phil or Steve?
      Steve brings the heart and soul of what seems to have been lost and largely forgotten today of what a real LIVE show is all about. The music. The audio quality. And the presentation.
      This is it.


      Dec 9, 2014 at 5:12am

      Saw him four times last year year ,first concert I nearly cried such a thing of beauty
      This saw him eight times just so good


      Dec 12, 2014 at 8:05am

      Just go to Steve's show. You will experience Genesis from 40 years ago; a luxury you may never have been afforded when you were younger. Then watch as a predominantly male crowd turns into teenagers again, wrapped up in amazingly complex care and detailed reproduction of the music. If you think it's not Gabriel, Phil, Bruford, or Tony what you may discover is Steve had a significantly more critical role than any of the members not playing Genesis songs today admit. I love Gabriel more than any member, but Steve now has a special place in my heart as well.

      Martin Dunphy

      Dec 12, 2014 at 11:22am

      Agreed, Jeff, every word. I hadn't seen Hackett before last night, but that concert was almost transcendent. It's up there with my top three or four, lifetime. And to be able to see him and that great band in such intimate quarters was an incredible luxury.

      Gary Freer

      Dec 18, 2014 at 5:18am

      explore his many solo albums too - there are many treasures there.

      It's genuinely moving to see him getting this success and recognition so late in his career.