SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND- The Entire Album – Plus some Classics and Solo Material
Copernicus Center Chicago
Saturday 10/5/19

The Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited Tour 2019- and performing the album “Selling England by the Pound” in its entirety, along with the album “Spectral Mornings” (an anniversary celebration) plus a smattering of Steve’s recent solo songs and a batch of earlier Genesis when Steve was the principal guitarist.
I know- that’s a lot to take all in, considering the complexity of all the material listed above.
But like Steve Hackett and his profound take on all things classic Genesis, I must dive in the deep end of the pool as well in regards to documenting his show and make it memorable as well.
That’s why I thought in this age of quarantine, and the foreseeable future of not photographing any live shows worth mentioning, that it’s worth resurrecting the old file from this show, dating to last year in October of 2019.
Steve Hackett, the brilliant guitarist and songwriter, is thoroughly enjoying expanding and exploring the more ambitious end of his solo repertoire, along with celebrating the classic Genesis era where he was involved and contributing, culminating in “Selling England by the Pound”, and the followup “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”, and of course the two albums that followed after Peter Gabriel left the band.
What a glorious time to be in that band- the era from 1973 through “Wind and Wuthering” in 1976.
Steve will tell you direct how inspirational all the music was, on a limited budget it seems always to produce and make a living, as most complex music of that time came to be, lightyears ahead of its time in so many ways.
And all of that music is still so inspirational. The kind of music that moves people emotionally.
Steve was quoted at the beginning of this tour: “Music still has the ability to set the world alight and lay a few ghosts to rest. Music changed the world – let’s not forget this. And I think I can change the world for the better. Music can go to places politicians can’t, and it knows no borders. It’s one of the greatest medicines in the world, and it’ll do you good. It’s the oxygen that we breathe and it’s a great motivator. All of this has been a great journey and it’s not over yet!”
That kind of talk is infectious, and so spot on, hence when you look at some of my photos of Steve up close- including my featured images for this post- there’s a huge grin from ear to ear, especially witnessing from the front of the stage such a crazy audience dying for this type of music from Chicago.
Steve Hackett and “Selling England by the Pound” have such significance- many of the fans from Peter’s era cite this album as the best.
It stands on the shoulders of “Nursery Cryme” and “Foxtrot”: and by time of Gabriel’s conclusion in the band for “The Lamb”, things were falling apart profusely in the band.
So yes- before all of the shitty fallout, what stands in brilliance and the definition of a band and all band members contributing so heartily is “Selling England”.
Steve Hackett goes on to say that “Selling England is the album I’m most proudest of in Genesis both as a player and also for its unique quirkiness – and it is so heartfelt”.
“Selling England” endures to this very day because it is the greatest and most commercial distillation of the ’70 to ’75 version of the group.
All of this adds up to why this is a special occasion, from the Copernicus Center in Chicago, to witness firsthand the beauty of all things “Selling England”.
There’s no deviation at all from the source material. All renditions are faithful to the actual recordings.
Prog master vocalist Nad Sylvan still can sing volumes, quirky wardrobe choices intact from the Gabriel era, with a fine approximation to Gabriel’s voice as well.
And all the instrumentalists surrounding Steve on this tour truly shine as well- with flautist Rob Townshend, excellent drummer Craig Blundell, master bassist Jonas Reingold, and phenomenal keyboardist Roger King all diving in for support of Steve and everything “Selling England”.
So again I reiterate and bow down to the majesty of Steve Hackett, his brilliance and enthusiasm for resurrecting all of this magical material, and the importance to relive this to this very day, especially in the awkward times we find ourselves in.
Convincing and enlightening as all get out.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer

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