It is unbelievable that Steve Hackett left Genesis around forty years ago. However, even though he is following an extremely deserved successful solo career, it seems, outside of his own dedicated supporters, that the Genesis material is what he is best known for. For him though not such a bad thing because, from a commercial angle, this situation has been a tremendous blessing. That is to say that he has been able to rightly incorporate a great deal of Genesis material, that he was personally involved in, within his own live shows such as the Genesis Revisited & Classic Hackett tours of recent years.
Such an example is the newly released "Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham" show, CD/DVD & Blu-Ray package filmed at the grand Birmingham Symphony Hall in May 2017 marking the 40th anniversary of 'Wind & Wuthering', Steve's final album with Genesis. Once again the formula for the show was to include a mixture of his own solo material mixed with a good sprinkling of iconic Genesis favorites. Steve is quoted as saying "I'm excited about imminent release of 'Wuthering Nights'. It felt special to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Wind & Wuthering, the Genesis album I had the most songwriting involvement with and a favorite album among many fans"
Steve Hackett is very much the artistic musician who's trademark guitar style incorporates a truly atmospheric beauty with an abundance of tonal delight mixed with a plethora of musical textures . Certainly too the expression of "making his instrument cry and sing" is just so true for this incredibly talented artist.
As you would imagine Steve has surrounded himself with a wonderful mixture of extremely talented support band musicians Roger King (keyboards), Gary O'Toole (drums/percussion), Rob Townsend (saxes/flutes), Nick Beggs (bass, stick & twelve string) and Nad Sylvan on vocals plus special guests John Hackett and Amanda Lehmann. The individual arrangements for the various tracks played at this Birmingham concert have, of course, been modified and slightly modernized to great effect with both guitar, keyboard and saxophone embellishments.
Whilst this review is concentrated purely on the double CD aspect of the package there is also a DVD / Blu-Ray also includes fascinating behind the scenes footage, most of which was filmed on the day in Birmingham. There are also three videos for tracks from The Night Siren: Behind the Smoke, Fifty Miles from the North Pole and West to East. Both the DVD & Blu-Ray versions also feature a 5.1 surround sound mix of the live show.
Summary: Whilst I have truly played all of my Genesis and Hackett albums to death it was really enjoyable listening to all of this fantastic music again.
Artwork: A very comprehensive package with oodles of information and content photos.
Disc 1 - Live in Birmingham 2017 - 66:26 1. Every Day 7:00 2. El Niño 4:08 3. The Steppes 08:01 4. In The Skeleton Gallery 6:59 5. Behind The Smoke 7:17 6. Serpentine Song 7:39 7. Rise Again 5:25 8. Shadow Of The Hierophant 11:01 9. Eleventh Earl Of Mar 8:56 *
Disc 2 - Live in Birmingham 2017 - 72:39 1. One For The Vine 10:54 * 2. Acoustic Improvisation 0:34 3. Blood On The Rooftops 5:50 * 4. In That Quiet Earth 5:07 * 5. Afterglow 4:34 * 6. Dance On A Volcano 6:54 * 7. Inside And Out 6:40 * 8. Firth Of Fifth 10:34 * 9. The Musical Box 11:33 * 10. Los Endos 9:59 * * Genesis tracks