Genesis Revisted – Live at Hammersmith (2013)

A late revision review to coincide with our recent Royal Albert Hall one. This is Steve Hackett – Live at Hammersmith 2013. Taken from the same Genesis Revisited Tour as the Royal Albert Hall, this marks Steve’s return to the venue. Steve had previous played at the venue during his Genesis tenure back when the venue was the Hammersmith Odeon in the summer of 1976. His last performance at the venue was as part of the supergroup GTR, featuring Hackett and Steve Howe of YES. Since that time Steve Hackett has aged like a fine wine and his return to the Hammersmith Odeon is an overdue addition to his list of touring venues.

This particular concert accompanies the Genesis Revisited II album, with appearances and performances by most of the people involved in the making of it.

The packaging of the 5 Disc Box is a simple fold out with some superb complimentary photography. Underneath each disc is a portrait of the core band live, and there is a collage of images from the night of the various guests and band. It shows a lot of respect to highlight the others involved in the performance despite it being labelled a ‘Steve Hackett’ release. The release as a whole is modest in that everyone is represented throughout and Steve is quite humble despite it being his monicker on the release and concert.

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The 5 Disc Box set – 3 x CD and 2 X DVD

Popping the CD in and hitting play, we start with Watcher of The Skies. This Foxtrot classic is accented well by the live band and it is very reminiscent of the live 1973 concerts . Nad Sylvan (as with the whole Revisited project) takes lead vocals on a majority of songs. With his Peter Gabriel combined with Rob Halford wail, I am on the fence about whether I enjoy it or find it incredible grating. Something about it seems slightly febrile. Generally it is only on certain phrases, but as a whole his voice is complimentary. Dancing with a Moonlit Knight is an example of the balance of singing, there is a lack of tenderness and the tone sometimes clashes a little with the band. In other songs, particularly Supper’s Ready, his voice carries the song and works splendidly. Speaking of Moonlit Knight, we particularly like the touch of having Gary O’Toole sing the ‘Paperlate’ from a distance. For some reason Steve’s guitar sounds a little ‘out of the room’ during the tapping solo, which makes it noticeable and it detracts focus from the track.

Steve displaying his talents, Icon Photography

Steve displaying his talents, Icon Photography

Fly on a Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974 with Mr O’Toole on vocals, takes another slight turn from the Genesis original, and Steve’s revision. The ‘Ku Klux Klan’ segment is almost rap like in nature. There is some in your face snare gating, however this seems to come and go. During the song there is a moment where Steve and bassist Lee Pomeroy twang each others instruments, and that isn’t a euphemism.

At the end of the track, Steve introduces the first special guest, Nik Kershaw. Kershaw’s vocal performance on The Lamia, is a little ‘musical theatre’ at times in the same vein as War Of The Worlds by Jeff Wayne. However he takes the song in his stride and it goes down a storm. A breath of fresh air for a classic. Steve Rothery joins The Lamia for a call and response guitar solo with Hackett. They play off each other brilliant, and it marks a highlight in the show, and a wonderful one off for those in the audience.

John Wetton also appears later to sing Afterglow, adding a rougher edge to the song. The guest vocalists feel strange and discomforting at first. Yet, once you see it in a different light the performances work and they fit the songs like a comfortable but old pair of slippers.

One particularly spectacular moment from the show is Shadow of The Hierophant. This classic Hackett (not Genesis, however Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford did play on the original) is performed live with Amanda Lehmann on vocals and guitar. Amanda superbly delivers a tentative performance, and supporting guitar throughout. The instrumental section propels the song to another world. The middle segment of Hierophant is spine tingling and completely haunting.

The glockenspiel/musical box sound Roger King plays is desperately terrifying, to the point the audience sound stunned, try and hear them on the record.  The mixing at this point is so good that it is almost easy to forget this is supposed to be a live album. It actually sounds better than the Genesis Revisited II version in parts. The demonic fuzz synth bass sounds like the grinding gears of hell opening below, dragging you hypnotically. It has the cycling appeal of the end of The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, one of the utmost ominous songs ever. A terrific performance of one of Steve’s best songs.

Another particularly good moment is Blood on The Rooftops. This has been a staple of Steve’s live shows for a while now, having personally seen at least 3 versions myself. Once again Gary O’Toole takes the lead vocals in his stride, and he now seems so familiar with the song. It is possible he has song it more frequently than Phil Collins ever did. I’ve never noticed how many parts are layered playing the same chords, but this version separates the glockenspiel, piano, and guitar, yet keeps them in a union. By the end of the song Gary is belting in disgust, carrying the lyrics with raw emotion.

Dance on a Volcano sounds quite good, especially with Steve nailing the ‘bubbling’ noise that suggests the lurking, waiting volcano. Jakko Jakszyk and Amanda Lehman harmonise wonderfully together on Entangled, and we found it quite a treat from days gone past.

The third disc is the ‘encore’ disc essentially. It features only Firth of Fifth and Los Endos in their extended live glory.

Firth Of Fifth is performed with the long full Piano intro that demonstrates Roger King’s skills as a many of the keys to Rob Townsend’s beautiful playing of the brass that overwrites the guitar and synth line of the original with passion and bone chilling effect, with the enthusiastic audience adding well timed hand claps in time to the music Gary’s drumming, Steve’s guitar work shines and underpinning it all is Lee Pomeroy rattling a few fillings with his low end bass work and bass pedals.

The box has a misprint stating that Los Endos is ‘6:22’ in length, when it is actually 8:23 (so we cannot complain at getting an additional 2 minutes and 1 second). This version of Los Endos is reminiscent of versions Steve has played, combining the opening of his track ‘Myopia’ into Los Endos. This version however goes even wilder, with an inclusion of his triumphant ‘Slogans’. Some ‘purists’ would claim this is sacrilege, but personally, it is a Steve Hackett tour and therefore Steve’s interpretation and not a Genesis tour.

Genesis themselves would often perform the song with some element of medley, and Steve should be able to recycle his material, especially if it gives a new lease of life to a classic. It is the equivalent of Andy Warhol’s Mona Lisa prints, or Banksy’s Pulp Fiction pastiches. The transition between Los Endos to Slogans is clean, however the jump back is not quite as smooth. Either way, as a display of stamina and technique between the band, it is worth the inclusion, and throws a twist for diehard Hackett fans, instead of Genesis aficionados.

Musically, the band are incredibly well rehearsed and talented. There is very little to fault with the performances from Roger King, Rob Townsend, Lee Pomerory, Gary O’Toole, and Steve himself. A lot of the review is in the vocal performances primarily. If I had to get into the nitty gritty and be pedantic I could accuse the band of playing too fast here, or the guitar sound not being quite like the original, but it would be futile. This is not the original for a start, secondly it is live, and thirdly, it is futile. Wait, I said that twice. Some would possibly cry out for a more Genesis Revisited 1 approach, or at least a moderation between the two in the arrangements.

The mixing overall for the CD stereo is quite pleasant. There are a few things here and there that might have made it a little more refined. The kick sometimes overloads a little and can be quite abrupt and therefore distorts. Otherwise I was quite happy with the spaciousness between the instruments, the performance of lifting certain elements where needed, and using the audience as the final instrument on top.

Onto the visual side of things. The DVD is presented in a modestly, starting with a long intro of the band leaving the dressing room and heading off to the stage (a classic concert film beginning). Some of camera angles are a bit impersonal or could be utilised better. Generally the framing is intriguing and interesting. Some close ups are fabulous, and some wider shots are too.  Some of the angles and editing is functional, almost placid too. Overall they capture good depth and bring the performance from the stage into the living room. The background visuals throughout the songs are somewhat hit and miss. There are certain songs that have truly great visuals that compliment rather than detract or feel clumsy. Opener ‘Watcher of The Skies’ has a great set of visuals, it starts in outer space and hints at the song’s story. If I had to liken the interplay between visuals and lighting for Watcher, then it would be as if you’re sat in Captain Piccard’s seat staring out the front of the Enterprise. Musical Box starts with a pleasant video of an actual musical box. During ‘Into This Quiet Earth’ parts of the album artwork for Revisited II are repurposed and animated with perfectly thought out cues, showing scenes of London awash in overflowing tides. (A little reminiscent of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser cover actually).

Some of the background visuals also deviate too much, they’ll start off in one style and then change. For example during Dancing with the Moonlit Knight there is simple cartoon with Oil Horse’s (Pumpjacks) in the background, but in the next shot is of a kaleidoscopic ‘road’ and then it changes style again. I guess it is a personal preference as I know some would want the visuals to change throughout the story of the songs, but personally I feel that they detract if they are constantly changing. The Pumpjack style would have been great if the style was used throughout the song instead of cutting between wispy smoke shots, fields of flowers. Another slight criticism is I prefer when the lights replicate the colour palette on screen instead of working against it. This only happens once or twice during the show, but it was noticeable and distracting. So whilst some visuals worked fantastically, others could have done with a bit more consistency. But the background visuals must always been seen as an accompaniment to the on stage performance much in the way roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding are accompaniments to roast beef, so take what you will.

The DVD is overall a good addition. We do get to see the intricacies of the band performing and so we can follow what happens throughout the songs. Nik Kershaw you can see is using lots of gusto. It is also good to take note of when Lee Pomeroy switches to the 12 string during various songs, like Dance on a Volcano. There is also the interplay between the musicians that you can not hear on a CD, so there is always something to look out for.

The Bonus Disc DVD film features a collection of interviews, time lapse, behind the scenes and other titbits. Starting off with Steve’s interview from his home explaining his reasoning for doing the project and its foundations, including a meeting with a fan in Sicily. There’s a section where Steve discusses his current band, which is interspersed with amusing anecdotes and some technical talk. The editing is relaxed and the content is quite rewarding. It covers a lot of basis for curious fans, including some discussion of the angle-poise lamps that can be seen on the side of the stages, which aren’t anthropomorphic, so there is no danger of a recreation of the Pixar Intro.

As far as bonus content goes, despite its tame approach, it is rather good. Perhaps a little more behind the scenes footage could have been included, given that the film is about 37 minutes in length and there is more space on the disc. Nevertheless the level of content is fair and interesting. The film ends with Steve’s pre-show ‘meltdown’ as he gets himself ready for the stage. If you are not sure whether to buy this or not, we would say get it for the Bonus DVD alone.

The DVD surround mix is a little disappointing. The lack of a centre channel creates a huge gap in the sound we arent sure if this is just on our pressing from or on other people’s pressings as well, and so everything sort of floats without much detail. It is a shame because the CD mix works terrifically, and it definitely feels that the surround should add that tiny bit more of space and definition. Steve’s previous release from 2004 has a cracking surround mix with a few little flourishes and blistering clarity. If it was a little more reminiscent of that then we would be more satisfied. It’s a shame because there is some trickery used throughout, but because there is no focus channel, it doesn’t quite capture the ‘mixing performance’. For example during the Eleventh Earl of Mar, Steve’s sliding guitar at the end is panning between left and right for each slide, but without a centre to balance it out, you simply can not hear it, but you can on the CD mix.

There is some query of the release’s rushed nature. The Boxset does not feature additional booklets, which is a plus or a minus for some. The third disc could either have been utilised with additional content. Using 18 minutes of it for 2 tracks seems a little wasteful. Perhaps an audio interview or some funny moments from Sound checks etc. Coincidentally, the extras DVD could have contained a few more things possibly to use up some of the space on the disc, such as any footage from the tour rehearsals or extra performances of songs from the interesting Cruise to the edge shows.

Critical Points

The third CD possibly being underused, Again it could have been filled with an audio interview or some rehearsal outtakes etc, Although the performance is strong and it comes across as quite lively.

I suspect there is a tinge of polishing here and there which everyone in music entertainment is guilty of, which in our suspicions might be the reason for the Albert Hall release.

The biggest difference is the confidence in the material by the time of the Albert Hall show feels far greater and daring than here, especially with Nad Sylvan who gains an incredible confidence thus trading that febrile element in evidence on here for a commanding performance on the RAH show.

It would have been nice to have had the Genesis Revisited 2 version of A Tower Struck Down performed and captured on this DVD.

Original release date: 21st October 2013

Disc: 1 (Live CD)

  1. Watcher Of The Skies
  2. The Chamber Of 32 Doors
  3. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
  4. Fly On A Windshield
  5. Broadway Melody of 1974
  6. The Lamia
  7. The Musical Box
  8. Shadow Of The Hierophant
  9. Blood On The Rooftops

Disc: 2 (Live CD)

  1. Unquiet Slumbers For The sleepers
  2. In That Quiet Earth
  3. Afterglow
  4. I Know What I Like
  5. Dance On A Volcano
  6. Entangled
  7. Eleventh Earl Of Mar
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The folded box in its glory

Disc: 3 (Live CD)

  1. Firth Of Firth
  2. Los Endos

Disc: 4 (DVD Concert)

  1. Watcher Of The Skies
  2. The Chamber Of 32 Doors
  3. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
  4. Fly On A Windshield
  5. Broadway Melody Of 1974
  6. The Lamia
  7. The Musical Box
  8. Shadow Of Hierophant
  9. Blood On The Rooftops
  10. Uniquet Slumbers For The Sleepers
  11. In That Quiet Earth
  12. Afterglow
  13. I Know What I Like
  14. Dance On A Volcano
  15. Entangled
  16. Eleventh Earl Of Mar
  17. Supper’s Ready
  18. Firth Of firth
  19. Los Endos

Disc: 5 (DVD Extras)

  1. Behind The Scenes


  • Steve Hackett – Guitar/vocals
  • Roger King – Keyboards
  • Gary O’Toole – Drums, percussion and vocals
  • Rob Townsend – Saxophone, Woodwind, Percussion, Vocals,Keyboards
  • Lee Pomeroy – Bass,Bass pedals, Variax, Twelve String, Vocal
  • Nad Sylvan – vocals/tambourine

Guest Personnel:

  • Jakko Jakszyk
  • Nik Kershaw
  • Amanda Lehmann
  • Steve Rothery
  • John Wetton

For more information about Steve Hackett

Genesis Extended UK Tour Dates 2014

Tue 21st Oct                         IPSWICH                        Regent Theatre            01473 433 100

Wed 22nd Oct                         BRIGHTON                       Centre                      0844 847 1515

Fri 24th Oct                        NOTTINGHAM             Royal Concert Hall           0115 989 5555

Sat 25th Oct                         GLASGOW                        Clyde Auditorium            0844 395 4000

Sun 26th Oct                         YORK                           Barbican                    0844 854 2757

Tue 28th Oct                         SOUTHEND                       Cliffs Pavilion             01702 351 135

Wed 29th Oct                         SOUTHAMPTON            O2 Guildhall                023 8063 2601

Thu 30th Oct                         CARDIFF                        St David’s Hall            02920 878 444

Sat 1st Nov                         LONDON *                        Eventim Apollo            0844 249 4300

Sun 2nd Nov                         SALFORD                        The Lowry                   0843 208 6000

Mon 3rd Nov                         GUILDFORD                       Glive                       0844 770 1797

Tue 4th Nov                         BIRMINGHAM                      Symphony Hall             0121 345 0602

Ticket prices for all venues except London are £29.50 and £27.50 all seated (except Guildford seated/standing) and London* £35 and £30.   24hr Ticket Hotline: 0844 338 0000 Online: (Agency & credit card bookings subject to booking fee) Showtime for all shows is 7.30pm (plus support).  For full details on exclusive VIP packages to meet Steve before the shows, please see

Steve Hackett 2014 encore tour flyer

(Co edited and Co reviewed by Mark)