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Steve Hackett Live at Oakwood Centre, Rotherham UK, 11th October 2003

On the same night as the England match (well done lads!), Steve Hackett played an impressive show on this leg of the To Watch The Storms tour.  Taking the stage early, Steve and his fine band got things underway complete with strobe lights with Mechanical Bride.  From this number the band was very tight in performance, and this was continued with Serpentine Song.  Parking himself on a stool to perform the next number, a return to 1972 as Steve mentioned, could only mean one thing, a Genesis song!

Roger King on keys blasted out the opening chords to Watcher Of The Skies to a big cheer from the near capacity crowd.  WOTS finished to a great response from everyone, and Steve then said “same band two years later”, and our website namesake, Hairless Heart, was aired again.  As those classic songs are around the 30 year old mark, it makes great listening and prog education for anyone young in the audience.

Jumping forward, Darktown was next, then a classic from Steve’s back catalogue, Camino RoyalePollution was next, then a classic from Defector, Steppes.  Rob Townsend on saxes and all things woodwind gave an extra edge to the sound, the flute was played in a great manner, which lifted the songs.

Stool time again, as Steve sat down alone with acoustic guitar, and went through such gems as Horizons.  Brother John then joined Steve along with Roger King to perform an unplugged Jacuzzi, with John getting a big cheer from the crowd.

After a twenty-minute interval, the band returned and performed Slogans.  Terry Gregory on bass was very solid, and his playing on this number really stood out.  Keeping us in the older back catalogue, Everyday and Please Don't Touch filled the room next, and drummer Gary O'Toole played these songs with great ease.  Going back to Genesis, one of the gems Firth Of Fifth was again well received and performed.

The short Wall Of Knives followed with Vampyre.  Spectral Mornings again got a massive cheer and could have well been the highlight of the set, with Steve’s guitar just gliding along very smooth through it.   A brand new song, Brand New was next, featuring a backing vocal feast, taking us back a long way to material on Steve’s first few solo outings, and on this a taste of what's to come.

Final song Los Endos was jammed away, and the band left the stage to tumultuous applause and cheers.   Two encores followed, the classic Clocks and the Genesis number In That Quiet Earth.

Going by tonight's performance, the tour is sure to be a great success.  It could be a difficult choice to name the gig of the year; this one will be hard to beat.  Steve Hackett is still around, and playing very well too.

Danny Mayo


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