Gig review: Steve Hackett, Glasgow

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“I KNOW what I like and I like what I know,” ran the chorus of sometime Genesis favourite I Know What I Like, one of the less meandering excursions by the classic English prog outfit to be given an outing at this show, and these words seemed to serve as a motto for the crowd here to see the band’s guitarist, Steve Hackett, perform.

Steve Hackett

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

* *

They certainly liked Hackett, with the Royal Concert Hall packed full of older ladies and gentlemen offering air drums and guitar, standing ovations and rapt attention throughout the set.

Yet in a wider context there was a sense that everyone here was resolutely sticking to what they know, for when even the solo work of Hackett’s former drummer Phil Collins sounds futuristic by comparison, then Hackett’s muse must be trapped in amber. Delivered by singer Nad Sylvan – a man with Jimmy Page hair and a decent impersonation of Peter Gabriel’s prancing presence and cut-glass rock vocal – and Scots former Stiltskin singer Ray Wilson, the set was culled from Hackett’s recent re-recorded explorations of his old band’s 1970s heyday, a nostalgia trip that may appeal more to the true enthusiast.

The set wandered amidst the psychedelic folk of The Musical Box, dramatic highlight Blood on the Rooftops and the frankly laborious Entangled, and only occasionally was Hackett’s playing ability tested by points of real emotion. There was plenty of skill and little true thrill, the title of the finale Supper’s Ready calling to mind the Scots phrase “your tea’s out.”