“John Hackett Live in Steel Town” – John Hackett and his band performing in Sheffield at the Boardwalk 20th May 2006

“John Hackett Live in Steel Town” – John Hackett and his band performing in Sheffield at the Boardwalk 20th May 2006. Review and photos by Mark Kenyon.

I had learned about this gig through visiting John’s official website, I contacted the venue and bought two tickets.

Fast forward to the day of the gig I had and early start as I had been in work since 6:00 am that day and so I was a bit tired, I made my way to Sheffield with my better half alas once inside Sheffield I nearly came a cropper with a Tram.

We arrived at the venue in plenty of time to marvel at the merchandise and to witness the support act, not that I am a fan of support acts.

The gig soon started, and I started snapping away taking photos (on my new fuji camera) some of which appear in this review.

The opening Song was Ace of Wands which was performed with sheer excellence a classic amongst Hackett fans, the set list then went on to include a heavy portion of John’s latest album “Checking Out Of London” with tracks such as Late Trains, Fantasy as well as DNA being performed to a capacity crowd, the band also perform Double Helix from Nick Magnus’s latest album and a song from Tony Patterson’s solo catalogue

Tony Patterson singing (Photo Credit, Mark Kenyon - Editor)

John’s voice was a nice surprise, it seemed to bring life into the songs, and when it was interwoven with Tony Patterson’s voice it was like discovering that John had an extra talent on top of him being a multi instrumentalist.

There was a song played by the band that had been written by Nick Magnus and it had been on one of his albums, whom was performing in the same league as a world class athlete at this show, Nick was the former Keyboardist in Steve’s band during the 70’s and early 80’s.

Steve Hackett doing what he does best (Photo Credit, Mark Kenyon - Editor)

The show wound down with a surprising guest in the form of John’s brother Steve, who came out to perform guitar duties along with the very able Andy Gray who played together on Hands of a priestess and A tower struck down as well as Ego and ID with those songs over the band went off stage and then after a standing ovation they returned to perform the encore which was called More.

The personnel

  • John Hackett – vocals, flute, rhythm guitar, lead guitar.
  • Tony Patterson – vocals, keyboards.
  • Andy Gray – lead guitar
  • Andy Hyam – bass guitar
  • Nick Magnus – keyboards
    • Neil Marshall – drums and percussion

The band take a bow "from left to right" Andy H, Nick, Tony, Andy G, Steve and John Hackett (Photo Credit, Mark Kenyon - Editor)

In fact at the end of the gig was left wanting more of what I had just seen, The show was great and very well planned out in terms of the set list with songs being played from Nick Magnus and Tony Patterson’s solo ablums as well as John’s soon to be classic Checking out of London along with some Classic Steve Hackett songs as well, amongst the other successes that evening the merchandise was just right and nicely priced and to top that John met the fans after the gig, I said thanks for a nice show to him personally and I headed off home (Coventry after all is a 90 minute drive from Sheffield).

I liked the show so much that I went and saw John and the band on there next live gig which was at the London Astoria about a week later.

(Copyright Evil Jam)

The Ticket

Contrary to the claims posted on another review on another website, it was me who spotted Steve with a small Dictaphone bootlegging his own brother’s gig…..this was only by chance because I was in the ample position because I was taking photos at the time…..!

For more information about John Hackett please visit hacktrax.co.uk