Live Reviews

Steve Hackett – Liverpool Philharmonic: Live Review

Steve Hackett – Foxtrot At Fifty/Hackett Highlights – The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool – 8th October 2022


A week on from the Manchester Apollo show…it’s always a good trip to Liverpool and The Phil. Great venue, great sound, helpful staff, decent views both up front and at the back of the stalls for the full stage shot. Nice toilets too; almost as nice as the Grade 1 listed building and its facilities in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms across from the venue. A visit feels like you’re in a Potter movie about to take a trip to the Ministry Of Magic. But why talk toilets when there’s plenty of Hacketeering to discuss.

It’s a very full house in the Phil tonight. The website shows ‘sold out’ as many locals haven’t had to traipse to Manchester for their fix as is often the case. They get a treat that Manchester missed last weekend with the addition to the band of Amanda Lehmann who adds something to the gender balance as well as a strong musical and visual presence. We get her tour de force in a full Shadow Of The Hierophant while she also manages to match Steve’s trick of running the hand up the guitar neck in Every Day which is interesting to see and raises a few chuckles.

Plenty of friendly fans are about too, happy to chat about lenses, songs and the meaning of the unusual backdrop that appears during the interval in preparation for Foxtrot. A couple of snippets reveal that after playing The Knife at the opening show, Steve dropped it because the bad aren’t too keen on playing it while one informed chap (thanks Ian!) mentions the fact that it’s 45 years to the day that Hackett tendered his resignation from Genesis. Meticulous fact-checkers will be pouncing on the history books and Wikipedia to confirm (or not) but the fact that it’s FORTY-FIVE YEARS (!! – give or take a day or two) is the remarkable thing. Time flies yet here we all are, many of us thicker of waist, lesser of hair and weaker of bladder, to celebrate the FIFTY YEARS (!) of the wonderful Foxtrot record that’s a regular high entry when it comes to the great pub game of ranking the Genesis albums.

After witnessing a couple of gigs on the tour, an already pretty gig-fit band is cooking with gas despite prohibitive energy costs. Perhaps it’s the result of working out on their instruments that drives the impressive lighting rig. In particular, the bass pedals tonight give a real depth particularly in Hierophant, that might have gone up a notch or two courtesy of the excellent acoustics in the Phil. Not to single anyone out, but…Jonas Reingold continues to be a real star, openly helping us all understand by counting out the timing in the Apocalypse in 9/8 and being a general style icon.

The first half of of the show is a mere tip of the iceberg that represents the huge Hackett solo career. No complaints about the highlights heavily weighted towards Foxtrot itself than the no lesser quality work of more recent times. Foxtrot of course is a marvel. Even huge beasts like Watcher Of The Skies and Can-Utiliy get dwarfed by the power of a Supper’s Ready on which we’ve been able to gorge for the last couple of tours. There’s also the rarity of Steve Hackett doing a little tuning on his guitar (“it’s not a Les Paul – it’s a Fernandes“) where the little Floyd Rose-y type thing is meant to keep everything in tune so there’s no need for constantly swapping guitars. Hey ho.

As has been the case on each of the Revisited tours, there’s mention that there could be a recording of the show in Brighton where the band were headed after Liverpool. A nice touch to acknowledge the provinces. Like England playing away from Wembley. Much kudos to the Steve Hackett touring machine that motors on, never one to shortchange the fans anywhere.

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4 replies »

  1. I was at the Philharmonic on Saturday for the show and Mr Hackett and the band just keep getting better and better, Also the wonderful and very talented Amanda Lehmann made the show even better. May they continue to rock!

    • Yeah – the band is certainly on point and really play the material well as Steve pointed out. As good a band as he’s had? Craig is certainly the best drummer (IMHO) and he’s had an embarrassment of riches on his left with Lee Pomeroy, Nick Beggs, Roine Stolt and Jonas all filling that slot.

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