Wienerworld [Release date 07.09.15]
He may not be the most charismatic of narrators, but this documentary about the life and career of Steve Hackett – running out at a very generous 140 minutes – leaves no stone unturned from his alleged ability to play the harmonica at 2 (perhaps just a little embellishment there from his Mum) through to the creation of his latest album Wolf Light.
And thankfully the ‘talking heads’ are a) mostly Steve, b) family or c) band members or musical collaborators. It’s a huge relief that there’s no hanger’s on, liggers, journos or broadcasters looking to share the spotlight with self-informed opinions.
Typical of Hackett’s quiet and reserved nature there’s no fanfare or embellishment – it’s just his own story, told largely to camera in his own words and in his typically understated way. And with no unnecessary back slapping.
Far more informative than the appallingly ill-balanced BBC documentary – Genesis Sum Of The Parts (2014), Hackett takes an objective review of his formative years to his arrival with Genesis, his role and those of the other band members in the making of Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound, and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, A Trick Of The Tail, and Wind And Wuthering, and beyond through his own extensive solo career from Voyage Of The Acolyte and Spectral Mornings to the Genesis Revisted project and Wolf Light.
Candid and unassuming, the footage has an almost DIY feel about it. But there’s no revelations, exposés, or dissing’ on former colleagues. No, Steve is the rock equivalent of Liverpool’s James Milner – an everyday sort of guy who hasn’t been changed one iota by the cards life has dealt him.
Which means that while The Man, The Music will be of interest to Genesis and Hackett fans, it’s unlikely to have broader appeal or hold the attention of the casual watcher. One for watching when the wife’s not around. ****
Review by Pete Whalley
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