Steve Hackett - Once above a Time
(Eagle Vision - 2005)

Since I hadn't heard much of Steve's solo stuff at all - OK, I've got a copy of 'The Fugitive' on tape but that's it, so I was intrigued to see what I was letting myself in for. This gig from Budapest on 3rd April, 2004 was a real eye-opener that even features some classic old 70's Genesis - since he was their guitarist alongside Mike Rutherford. It's full of some right OTT stuff like Jazz and erratic prog with the track 'Mechanical Bride' being a prime example of what's on offer.

As a soloist, Steve still has that Genesis flavour but all the more so quirky sometimes and some seems rather senseless to the average punter on the street but I guess that must be the idea. 'Serpentine Song' is like a lost Genesis classic - a beautiful melodic ballad that must be heard and not just read about here. 'Brand News' is a grand pumping number and it's brilliant to enjoy gems like the old 'Selling England by the pound' number 'Firth of Fifth' or the long forgotten 'Los Endos'.

Soundwisea and visually, this DVD is as clear as crystal and even features an extra film called 'Backstage in Budapest' showing the venue being made ready for the gig etc. There's plenty of fascinating music so lovers of Jazz, 70's Rock and Prog get ready to be impressed.


By Glenn Milligan