Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights: Live In Birmingham DVD review

One foot in the past, one in the future.

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Given the size of some egos in rock, it’s impressive to see Steve Hackett so at ease with his musical past while embracing his future. This double live DVD is split between an opening set of Hackett’s solo material and a second act celebrating the 40th anniversary of Wind And Wuthering, the last album the guitarist made with Genesis in 1977. Hackett has a superb band accompanying him – Gary O’Toole flies around that drum set and drives Shadow Of The Hierophant with huge energy, while Rob Townsend’s work on sax, flute and anything else he picks up is a regular highlight, particularly during In The Skeleton Gallery. They’re joined by Nad Sylvan for the latter half, who successfully tackles Peter Gabriel’s role, minus the wacky costumes. It’s a shame the band can’t agree on an image – O’Toole looks razor sharp in a suit, while bassist Nick Beggs sports the classic jeans, T-shirt, tattoos rocker aesthetic. Beggs and Hackett tend to fixate on their fretboards rather than look at the audience, but these are the most trifling of quibbles. The audience love every minute of it, the music is bursting with vibrancy, and Hackett’s Les Paul sings all night long.