Album review: STEVE HACKETT – Genesis Revisited: Live At The Albert Hall

STEVE HACKETT - Genesis Revisited: Live At The Albert Hall

Inside Out [Release date 30.06.14]

Steve Hackett seems a genuine sort of guy, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and shelve the cynicism at the release of a second CD/DVD box set inside of 12 months capturing his Genesis Revisited tour.

It has to be said that the reaction to the tour – worldwide – has been unprecedented, with more UK dates added in October / November 2014 to satiate demand.  Little could he have realised the chord the project would strike at the time the decision was taken to capture the May 2013 Hammersmith Odeon gig on celluloid and in that light it’s probably forgivable that he might want his appearance at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall to be chronicled for posterity.

But it does present something of a conundrum for fans.  Is it worth shelling out on Live At The Royal Albert in addition to Hammersmith?  And if you have neither, which is the ‘best buy’?

The set list was tweaked for the second leg of the tour with the ‘Albert’ gig seeing the introduction of ‘Carpet Crawlers’, ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’, ‘Horizons’, ‘Ripples’ and ‘The Fountain Of Salmacis’ at the expense of Hammersmith’s ‘The Chamber Of 32 Doors’, ‘The Lamia’, ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’, ‘Blood On The Rooftops’, ‘Entangled’ and ‘Eleventh Earl Of Mar’.

Both gigs boasted ‘special guests’ this time with Roine Stolt and Amanda Lehmann reprising their respective album contributions on ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’ and ‘Ripples’ (although I found the latter’s live performance the least convincing), Ray Wilson provides a remarkably strong lead vocal on ‘Carpet Crawlers’ (and ‘I Know What I Like’), and John Wetton takes to the mic for ‘Firth Of Fifth’.

Deconstruct it like this and you begin to get a decent smattering of divergence, but over three quarters of the material does overlap.  Visually and audibly, there’s little to pick between these stunningly masterful performances, nor in price.

The Albert footage is perhaps a little more ‘up close and personal ‘and frankly, even buying both you’re not going to feel in any way short changed.  If you have neither I suggest you toss a coin, or at very least you make sure you catch the ‘Genesis Extended’ (final?) leg of the tour later this year.  Then surely, it’s time to put this most phantasmagorical of adventures to bed.

But what price a ‘Trick Of The Tail Revisited’ tour?  Now that would be something else.  *****

Review by Pete Whalley

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