Steve Hack­ett

Lon­don Pal­la­dium

Classic Rock - - Live! - Mal­colm Dome

One or­ches­tral ma­noeu­vre that re­ally works.

Odd thing about this band-orches­tra lark. Some­times the former to­tally over­power the lat­ter. Oc­ca­sion­ally, the lat­ter end up sub­sum­ing the former. Get­ting the balance right is so tough that few man­age to do so. Thank­fully, Steve Hack­ett has mas­tered the chal­lenge.

It helps, of course, that the Gen­e­sis ma­te­rial which makes up much of the evening lends it­self to such an ap­proach. Dance On A Vol­cano, Firth Of Fifth and the al­liance of ...In That Quiet Earth and Af­ter­glow ben­e­fit from the ex­tra tex­ture and colour the 41-piece Heart Of Eng­land Phil­har­monic Orches­tra add.

You can tell all the mu­si­cians on­stage are com­fort­able with one an­other. The band might be up front while the orches­tra sit at the back, but there’s no artis­tic di­vide, and this gives ev­ery­thing a new fresh­ness. In­ter­est­ingly, two of Hack­ett’s solo songs are among the high­lights, with Shadow Of The Hiero­phant and Ser­pen­tine Song prov­ing so ef­fec­tive it seems a shame that the per­for­mance didn’t in­clude more from this part of the gui­tar master’s ca­reer.

But it’s the time­less Sup­per’s Ready that’s re­ally raised to an­other level. The heavy pas­sages are ac­cen­tu­ated, while the melodic del­i­cacy sounds more poised; if you wanted one song to rep­re­sent what a band and orches­tra can achieve in com­plete uni­son, then this is it.

In per­fect har­mony: Steve Hack­ett with the Heart Of Eng­land Phil­har­monic.

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