Up the Downstair

Being a weeklie podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from divers artistes

Show #262: Steve Hackett at Reading Festival 1979

May 9th, 2014


hackett reading79 Show #262: Steve Hackett at Reading Festival 1979

My first podcast of the year is always Genesis or Genesis-related. This year my (exceptionally tardy) first podcast is going to be Steve Hackett.

It’s odd to think that a progressive rock icon like Steve Hackett would be playing the Reading Festival but he did so on 25 August 1979. He was supporting his third solo album, Spectral Mornings, which his #22 in the UK album charts and #104 here in the States. Not superstar status but pretty respectable for a prog rocker in the wake of punk.

This is the abbreviated set which was broadcasted on the BBC Rock Hour and sourced from BBC reels. Spectral Mornings is well-represented here. “Everyday” is classic Steve Hackett with some of his best soloing. It’s very melodic with a bit of fast fret work as well as plenty of his trademark fluid, sustained notes. The album’s title track features more great soloing at a slightly slower tempo and more in the vein of “Firth of Fifth”. Unfortunately the set of solo acoustic songs is absent here. Also missing are most of the songs with vocals and the more oddball things that were in the setlists of this time such as “Carry On Up The Vicarage” and “The Red Flower Of Taichi Blooms Everywhere”. On the bright side Hackett’s virtuosity on the electric lead shines here. In addition to the above are great versions of “Please Don’t Touch” and early favorite “A Tower Struck Down”.

All in all, a wonderful show and certainly a must-have for Hackett fans.

Setlist:
Land of a Thousand Autumns
Please Don’t Touch
Tigermoth
Everyday
Optigon
A Tower Struck Down
Spectral Mornings
Clocks
I Know What I Like

Line-up:
Steve Hackett – Guitars
Dik Cadbury – Bass
Peter Hicks – Vocals
Nick Magnus – Keyboards
John Hackett – Vocals / Flute / Bass pedals
John Shearer – Drums / percussion

Download show

Steve Hackett

I couldn’t find anything from the Spectral Mornings tour but Hackett’s appearance on the German musik TV show Musiklader is available. This performance is from 18 October 1978.



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  3. New Steve Hackett – “A Place Called Freedom”
  4. Tuesday Night With An Old Friend
  5. News – 22 August 05

2 Responses to “Show #262: Steve Hackett at Reading Festival 1979”

  1. Mike says:

    Thanks for that. I’ve been wanting to replace my battered cassette of this for years…..

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