Review: Steve Hillage review
Steve Hillage: LIVE AT THE RAINBOW 1977
Nearly 40 years later a live album of this legendary concert will appear. Unknown? Steve Hillage grew up in Epping and threw himself as a young guitarist on the Canterbury scene. Got the inspiration from bands like Caravan and quickly became a talented member of Gong.
This concert gives a nice musical image of the exceptional qualities of Steve Hillage. Right from the intro song 'Octave Doctors' vultures guitars in your ears. Rock celebrates those years rampant. But Steve can not hide his love for Gong in psychedelic song "Light the sky '. High frail voices of Miquette Giraudy provide the necessary contrast and push it into the experimental area. And then comes the dreamy 'Radio' which the ambient soundscape colored by acoustic guitar, later an exceptionally beautiful bass (Curtis Robinson) and then proceed into a powerful rock song. The use of synthesizer does at times but think of Hawkwind. But Steve Hillage refuses to walk that path and will be in the 90s and later mainly deal with producers (such as Simple Minds) and further explore the ambient genre with its System 7 project.
Fortunately for the rock fan we get on this CD a rollercoaster of guitar solos by the eardrums. "The Salmon Song ', originally on the album Fish Rising of 1975, swims the typical water bodies of the 70's Sounds therefore dated? Yeah, probably so. But it remains a delight to the ear. "Saucer Surfing 'shines through echoing guitars, a driving beat and passionate vocals in crescendo and then to end up with distorted voice sounds and spacey sounds. Calmer waters experimental (Gong is again not far away) To then seamlessly switch to the 15-minute "Searching for the spark. Exit with a quirky version of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man ', typifies the man in all his strings.
Quickly go to the record store and buy this album. Thanks to Gonzo Multimedia, along with Esoteric Recordings labels for your prog. (also worth exploring)
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Review: Steve Hillage US review
|Title - 'Steve Hillage - ‘Live At The Rainbow 1977’
Artist - Steve Hillage
Being one the most instantly recognizable guitars in the world obviously hasn’t harmed Steve Hillage’s chances of always bringing out a successful album. Having worked in experimental domains since the late 60’s within bands such as both Khan and System 7, this “new” album actually springs from an album he recorded back in ‘76. Produced by Todd Rundgren, that album was called L and was a huge success and led to Hillage forming he first incarnation of the Steve Hillage Band.
Funnily enough that very same band - that also featured former Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker and future Camel bassist Colin Bass - played its live debut in London’s infamous Hyde Park in 1976. A concert series staged by Queen, no less. Further on and the band released several critically-acclaimed albums between 1976 and 1979 and toured the world backing them too.
Live At The Rainbow 1977, without a shadow of a doubt captures Hillage at the top of his game; musical lightning in a bottle, as they say. Caught live at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, London (November 5th, 1977) it features a crop of songs from the album Motivation Radio, which was the follow-up at that time to L. But not only does Hillage perform like his life depended on it, he is also backed by an amazing American rhythm section.
Containing uplifting songs, spiritual song, and songs that make you sing and groove along even today, it’s hard, so very hard to believe that this wonderful, seductive, creative album was first recorded nearly 40 years ago! Some of my personal stand out tracks include the depth and soul of ‘It’s All Too Much,’ ‘Radio,’ ‘The Salmon Song,’ and of course both ‘Saucer Surfing’ and ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man.’ Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
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Review: STEVE HILLAGE REVIEW
British guitar legend Steve Hillage is dipping back into the vaults for his latest release. On June 23rd, Gonzo Multimedia UK released "Steve Hillage Live At The Rainbow 1977." The concert followed the release of one of Hillage's most successful U.K. albums "Motivation Radio" and showcases Hillage's live appeal during his prime. Steve Hillage was also a founding member of the bands Gong, Khan and most recently System 7. The eleven-song release begins with the four-minute, funky instrumental "Octave Doctors," before getting the crowd going with a cover of The Beatles' "It's All Too Much." He continues with songs from his latest release, before diving back to his solo debut album with "The Salmon Song" and "Solar Musick Suite." He extends "Searching For The Spark" past the fifteen-minute mark, highlighted by Hillage's spacey vocals and outstanding guitar solo before finishing the evening with a cover of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man." To find out more about this new release, please visit gonzomultimedia.co.uk
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Review: Steve Hillage Rainbow 1977 Gonzo 2014
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Steve Hillage Rainbow 1977 Gonzo 2014
Steve Hillage remains one of the most recognizable and influential guitarists in the world!
Steve Hillage gained world wide attention for his work with prog legends Gong. Long associated with the infamous Canterbury scene and successfully pushing his own harmonic boundaries in bands such as System 7, Steve Hillage is the perfect example of the evolution of the modern guitarist. Between 1976 and 1979, Hillage released several critically acclaimed records including this long lost treasure live from the Rainbow Theatre in London.
What immediately works is the overall sound of the band. The natural inclination would be that a 1977 recording is going to sound well...dated. Rainbow 1977 sounds as though it could have been done in the last few years. There is a crisp forward motion in the material, Hillage is at the very top of his game while an oddly spiritual vibe runs through the entire set. An ethereal quality lacking pretentious overkill is a tough tightrope to walk, Hillage makes it look effortless. Winning tracks include Octave Doctors, Radio and Hurdy Gurdy Man.
Six string aficionados not familiar with Hillage since the death of the traditional album rock radio will be blown away.
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Review: Steve Hillage Review
Who wants to be an Electrick Gypsy? Steve Hillage Live in 1977
- See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/wants-electrick-gypsy-steve-hillage-live-1977#sthash.zqZFwB7j.dpuf
Musical history recalls late 1977 as the age of punk rock. But, if you were (as the locals liked to put it) young and broke and on the dole in the UK as the year ran out of steam, it was also the age of power outages, labor disputes and the kind of cultural darkness that sometimes felt like it would never end.
Enter Steve Hillage with “Light in the Sky,” a song of such illuminatory hope that even he acknowledged that the electricity company was not going to be shutting it down. And in the bowels of London’s Rainbow Theatre, that November night, some 2,000 watching souls actually forgot the misery that marched on the streets outside and thanked Hillage for his wisdom.
For there we were – and here it is, Rainbow 1977 (Gonzo Multimedia), a first ever release for a 75-or-so minute recounting of a show that remains poised in the memory as one of those Great ‘Uns; Hillage, three solo albums old but oddly not on the post-punk hit list… there was something about the affable old beardie that raised him beyond the blanket condemnation that most folk of his era received, and listening back it’s still hard to say what it was.
Fish Rising, Hillage’s debut disc, had already gone where no Gong member had dared go before, and soared into the UK Top 40; L, its Todd Rundgren produced successor, soared into the Top 10; and Motivation Radio, his latest, maintained a commercial and critical sensibility that must have left many of his own contemporaries reeling. An even more delicious irony was proffered by Hillage’s continued presence on Virgin Records – the currently silent Mike Oldfield aside, no more incongruous label-mate to the Sex Pistols could be imagined!
But from the signature punch of the opening “It’s All Too Much,” a Beatles song beaten into psychedelic psubmission by glissando guitar and asteroid percussion; through the deep space echoes of “Radio” and “Solar Musick Suite”; and onto an evening ending “Hurdy Gurdy Man” that seriously had the entire venue on its feet, Hillage stripped away all the petty divisions and daft diversions that had kept Babylon burning all year long. Stripped them, then strapped them to a thousand points of sonic light and sent them, and us, soaring into the night.
The sound quality is not what it could be. No actual flaws or coarseness; no distortion or dirt. Just a sense that it has somehow been compressed a little more than it needed to be, so there’s no highs or lows to the listening experience, just a plateau that you do get used to, but you wish you didn’t have to. You will find that raising the volume helps.
“Motivation” is funk-whipped, “Saucer Surfing” (“a new sport,” reveals Hillage in his brief between-songs intro) is ricochet and atmosphere; “Searching for the Spark” is as endless on disc as it felt on the night, and oddly just as glorious too. It’s horrifying rare how seldom a live album actually sounds like your memories of the show itself, and with almost forty years dividing evening from reprise, it’s usually impossible too.
But Rainbow 1977 is as good as it ought to be, and probably better than you’re expecting. There again, though, you weren’t there. And you didn’t go home to a darkened apartment either, because it was time for another power outage. Oh, where were Hillage’s “Lights in the Sky” when we really needed them?
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Review: STEVE HILLAGE REVIEW
Newly released on Gonzo
, this album captures the Steve Hillage Band
live at London’s Rainbow Theatre
in November 1977, and as such invites immediate comparison with the established classic Live Herald
, which dates from the same period, and indeed one track, “Electrick Gypsies,” is actually taken from the same gig as the one presented here. Aside from that single overlap, however, there’s much less similarity between the two releases than one might expect, largely because of the line-up.
who bring a funky groove to the material and infuse it with oomph and life
Unlike the expanded musical formations on some of theLive Herald
tracks, the Steve Hillage Band documented here is a stripped-down four-piece, comprising Hillage himself on guitar and vocals, his long-term partner Miquette Giraudy
on keyboards, and an all-American rhythm section of Curtis Robertson
(bass) and Joe Blocker
(drums). The lack of extra musicians means that the baroque extended instrumental blow-outs that characterised Hillage’s earlier solo albums are conspicuously absent (“Salmon Song,” for example, is condensed into just three minutes) and there’s also a different emphasis in terms of material, with more selections from Motivation Radio
, Hillage’s third solo album, and rather fewer from his better known first two albums, Fish Rising
(recorded in 1975 while he was still a member of Gong
) and L
. Indeed on first scanning the track listing I felt a little disappointed by this – Motivation Radio
being, for me, the weakest of these releases – but here the versions of songs from that album comfortably better their studio incarnations, largely thanks to the aforementioned rhythm section, who bring a funky groove to the material and infuse it with oomph and life
Unlike his erstwhile bandmate Daevid Allen
, who spent the late ’70s enthusiastically embracing punk and New Wave, seeing them as the latest manifestations of the eternal rebel yell, Hillage remained unrepentantly hippy-dippy, peppering his songs with wide-eyed references to crystals, ley lines, UFOs, and energy fields – the whole panoply of the burgeoning New Age movement, for which he was pretty much the house musician at this time. Even his most indulgent fans have probably found themselves cringing at some of this over the years, although here the clunkiest lyrics of all are those of “Motivation,” which comes off as a queasy meeting of Glastonbury-style “alternative spirituality” and twenty-first century management-speak ( I suppose you could argue he was ahead of some curve). Then there’s his singing voice, which was never the best, although vocally he’s in pretty good shape here – certainly better than the only time I saw the SHB live, which was decades later in 2009, a performance that featured Steve playing sublime guitar but singing like a walrus with toothache.
the actual song is dispensed with fairly quickly so that the band can get on with the main business of soaring into the stratosphere
But none of that’s really important since nobody, I assume, listens to Steve Hillage primarily for vocals or lyrics, but rather for his extraordinary guitar playing. And on that count this album scores very highly indeed. On most of the tunes as played here the actual song is dispensed with fairly quickly so that the band can get on with the main business of soaring into the stratosphere
, the engines powered by that aforementioned fat funky groove, while Hillage plays gorgeous, swooping liquid lead lines. He’s a technical virtuoso, but never lapses into sterile muso chops, combining his dexterity with warmth, soul, and a unique style which seems to owe as much to Arabic or Indian scales and modes as it does to conventional rock guitar. Around him, the rest of the band mesh quite beautifully at times, and the best parts of this album capture that indefinable, undeniable magic of musicians locking together to produce a whole several orders of magnitude greater than the sum of its parts. It’s also intriguing to note the combination of Miquette Giraudy’s spacey electronics and the danceable rhythms and realise that this is probably the seed of Hillage and Giraudy’s psychedelic techno excursions as System 7
over a decade later.
The sound quality is excellent – thankfully this isn’t one of those archive live releases that turns out to be a shoddy bootleg – and there’s a booklet with some contemporary pictures of the band and what appears to be a miniaturised scan of the 1977 Steve Hillage Band tour programme, though sadly the magnifying glass required to read this isn’t included. It’s a quality release, unlikely to win any new fans perhaps; but for existing devotees, this is a must.
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Review: Rainbow 77 Belgium review translated
Steve Hillage - LIVE AT THE RAINBOW 1977
Steve Hillage is a now 63-year-old English musician who has a solo career as a blues and rock guitarist has developed, but also in bands like 'Gong', 'Khan' and underground dance band 'System 7' has played. In addition, he went in 1973 as a guitarist on tour with Kevin Ayers' live band 'Decadence' throughout the UK and France.
End of 1975 he began his impressive solo career with the release of the debut album "Fish Rising". In total, still followed subsequently thirteen further plates. Steve Hillage came to live with a three-piece band consisting of his life partner Miquette Giraudy on keyboards, Curtis Robertson on bass and Joe Blocker on drums. The songs they played during live shows were usually long drawn out hymns that lasted between 5 and 8 minutes.
On November 3, 1977 Steve Hillage was standing with his band on the stage of the 'Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park in the heart of London. It was the last show of a long tour of 14 concerts throughout the United Kingdom had begun. On October 15, 1977 The live recording of that memorable performance in the 'Rainbow Theatre' was now 37 years later released by record label 'Gonzo Multimedia.
Steve Hillage was playing a 75 minute set of eleven songs with nine self-penned songs and two covers: "It's All Too Much" by George Harrison, for the first time was on the soundtrack to the Beatles film "Yellow Submarine" from 1969, and "Hurdy Gurdy Man," the hit of the Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan Leitch in 1968 (see the live version on the attached video).
The compositions are mostly songs from his album "Motivation Radio" from 1977 that followed his most successful album "L" from 1976 that was produced. By Todd Rundgren Nearly 40 years later this psychedelic and progressive music still sounds as fresh and stimulating.Songs like "Light In The Sky", "Radio", "Motivation" and the fifteen-minute "Searching For The Spark" are so many years later, to the common musical heritage.
In the 80s and 90s, Steve Hillage was particularly active as a record producer of ao 'Simple Minds', 'Cock Robin', 'The Orb' and 'The Charlatans'. But the virtuoso guitar playing of this man on his many solo albums continues to captivate music fans and why we are now convinced that the album "Live At The Rainbow 1977" will be allowed to count. Again an excellent sales
Label: Gonzo Multimedia
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:
Review: Rainbow 77 US review
STEVE HILLAGE: LIVE AT THE RAINBOW 1977
Steve Hillage: Live at the Rainbow 1977
There's been a flurry of Steve Hillage live recordings released in recent years. So many it makes me wonder if he doesn't have a label like Gonzo Multimedia in his back pocket. Okay. So here's another one to add to the soup. Live at the Rainbow 1977. And I'm beginning to wonder if the point has not already been made.
Steve Hillage: back in the day.
Getting down to the facts, the Rainbow was the last stop on Hillage's 1977 UK tour. Both He Miquette Giraudy had already left Gong two years prior, and this tour was in support of his Motivation Radio album of the same year. While he doesn't play the entire album, he plays most of it, including Octave Doctors, Light in the Sky, Radio, Motivation, Saucer Surfing, and Searching for the Spark. That's six out of nine, boys and girls.
And this is likely the only reason to add this live album to your Hillage collection. That is if the other 25 live recordings you have don't include any songs fromMotivation Radio. Otherwise you have the usual and popular Hillage tunes: Electric Gypsies, It's All Too Much (actually from George Harrison), The Salmon Song, a part from the Solar Musick Suite and, of course, Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man. Damn. I hate that song. I don't care who sings it. Oh yeah. Another reason to get this live album: this sound clarity is amazing. Almost too amazing that I'm wondering if somebody was messing with the original recording. It's hard to believe something nearly 40 years old can sound this good. Hillage fanatics rejoice. You're going to love this live album.
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Review: Rainbow 77 Canadian review
Steve Hillage – Rainbow 1977 (2014 Gonzo Multimedia) It’s amazing what new audio technology can do. Listening to this concert, you would never guess it’s from 1977. The sound is crystal clear with great range, depth and separation. Steve Hillage, coming out of the UK’s Canterbury scene continues to hold great appeal to guitarists and Progressive Rock fans around the world. He’s incorporated a myriad of styles from psychedelic to ambient to electronic all the while keeping his guitar styling’s up front and centre. This concert recorded at the Rainbow Theater in 1977 features what today appears like a “greatest hits” package. It’s actually fascinating how many of these selections have remained in his concert set list. They clearly represent Hillage’s band and guitar technique in the best light possible. Coming off a couple of highly successful albums in 1975 and 1976, this live show presents Steve Hillage clearly at the top of his game. Definitely worth checking out. www.a-wave.com/system7
All the best
"The Progressive Rock Files"
Review: German review translated
Steve Hillage / Rainbow 1977
Playing time: 74:39
Label: Gonzo Multimedia, 2014 (1977)
Style: Space rock
First of all I have time to get rid of the good news: Steve Hillages "Rainbow 1977" is so much better than that - literally like literally - 'verhuschten' recordings from 1979 . This is due both to the excellent sound quality as well as the focus of the former Gong guitar-player on his true strength: the psychedelic space rock. The nods to the spirit of the times had, two years later, but arg strange ...
Nevertheless was Steve Hillage in 1977, already a nose far beyond its zenith. Which at the time current album "Motivation Radio", which understandably a large proportion of "Rainbow 1977" assumes, could at least commercially not quite at "L", the unique Todd Rundgren wore handwriting, tie - as none of his albums to date.
The present historical recordings from the completion of the UK tour (on November 3, 1977 recorded at London's Rainbow Theatre) are the best that I live so far from Steve Hillage got to hear. Best placed celebrated here the then 26-year-old Briton so funky-extreme space rock that one wants to jump the brain through the skull ... even Miquette Giraudys chirping synthesizer block this time no synapses in the high jump! Just listen to this gorgeous spherical "Radio", the permanent WOW! signals seems to spark in the galactic distances. This extraterrestrial life should in any case get a (temporary) positive impression of the mankind.
too, "motivation", the second title song of the then current album, freaks rhythmically - even slightly funky - the blood and 'motivated' clearly spacey dance routines, such as the time was in the seventies as usual. Joe Blocker and Curtis Robertson - both still come to their sprawling solo parts later - this feature is responsible for the enormous biting groove.
The other three songs from "Motivation Radio" are also top notch. In "Saucer Surfing" dueled Hillage - - not only in the introductory solo Brian May "Searching For The Spark": -mäßig with itself reminded powerfully of an exuberant version of "Brighton Rock", which merges directly into a fifteen-minute radio search. , in which all members of the Steve Hillage band participate as soloists.
, but also ignites the older material: First and foremost, of course, Donovan's Flower Power hippie anthem "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (unfortunately not in the longer "glissando" version), but also George Harrisons relatively unknown Beatles -Song "It's All Too Much" or the inevitable, spherical-driving "Salmon Song" by Hillages magnificent debut album "Fish Rising" (1975).
For "Rainbow 1977" may and must be imposed for the psychedelic-tinged space rock community a buy recommendation. Rarely has Steve Hillage live convincing acting (and his partner Miquette Giraudy less annoyed - that little bit was as synthesizer-haters granted me at this point).
Steve Hillage (vocals, guitars)
Miquette Giraudy (synthesizer, voices)
Curtis Robertson (bass)
Joe Blocker (drums)
01: Octave Doctors (4:07)
02: It's All Too Much (6:17)
03: Light In The Sky (4:22)
04: Radio (7:31)
05: Electrick Gypsies (5:35)
06: The Salmon Song (3:42)
07: Solar Musick Suite [Part 2] (7:10)
08: Motivation (6:41)
09: Saucer Surfing (8:14)
10: Searching For The Spark (15:15)
11: Hurdy Gurdy Man (5:04)
Review: French review translated
STEVE HILLAGE: RAINBOW 1977 - 2014 EDITION (1977)
ALBUM - GONZO MULTIMEDIA - ROCK
||CLOSE GROUPS: HAWKWIND , GONG
01. Octave Doctors, 02. It's All Too Much, 03. Light In The Sky, 04. Radio 05. Electrick Gypsies, 06. The Salmon Song, 07. Solar Musick Suite (part 2 ) 08. Motivation, 09. Saucer Surfing, 10. Searching For The Spark, 11. Hurdy Gurdy Man TRAINING: Curtis Robertson (Bass), Joe Blocker (Drums), Miquette Giraudy (Vocals / Keyboards), Steve Hillage (Vocals / guitars) TAG: 70's , Live
"Rainbow 1977". Everything is in the title which immediately sets the stage, temporal and formal promise of these set pieces, one of those performances in which this time was fond and generous. This live, captured in that famous room in London, wants to be a witness of these great moments of rock, progressive or not, when groups used the stage as a theater suitable for all extensions, boat launch to instrumental paradise. Artist his time, although his future "Rainbow Dome Musick" recorded two years later, will make him a precursor, Steve Hillage book here, accompanied by a fabulous trio (Curtis Robertson, Miquette Giraudy and Joe Blocker), a river filled concert sumptuous guitar solos, keyboards galloping, all backed by a rhythm section of the fire god ('Electrick Gypsies'). From its teeming 15 minutes at the withers, 'Searching For The Spark' as such constitutes the best example, where everyone is entitled to his moment to him. De demonstration by box of 12 maybe, but English retain all along a kind of warm relaxation makes them always pleasant and exhilarating art, a lovely simplicity.Guitar virtuoso and (especially) a former member of Gong , the master of the house not yet watch ever stingy with grandiose electric effusions, like on 'Solar Musick Suite (Part 2)' but delicate air, his playing takes all. While some pinceront nose tackle this live another age, "Rainbow 1977" appears to be still a moment of pure joy, despite its length. picking in the first three albums of the combo, starting with " Motivation Radio "(Octave Doctors', 'Radio' ...) to which he then turns, this album is a good opportunity to (re) discover the work of this iconic guitarist of the school of Canterbury which is not tire to enjoy the light and refined lines.
Review: UK Review
Live at the Rainbow (Gonzo)
Recorded later in the same year that gave us Live Herald
and hot on the heels of his two most successful albums –L
and Motivation Radio
– this set cherry picks the best from his three solo albums and, even though this is a cut down four piece from the line-up on Live Herald
, it captures Hillage in full on psychedelic rockin’ form, in fact the more basic line up seems to drive his guitar playing to even more blissed out flights of fantasy, and if his vocals still remain something of an acquired taste, the music reveals an important link between the proggy lunacy of Gong and the techno ambi-bliss of System 7.Ray Harperbuy this album
Review: US Review
(GONZO MULTIMEDIA; 2014)
I gotta be honest: I wasn’t into the whole Canterbury scene (odd, jazzy pop groups like Caravan,Soft Machine and Gong, the band Steve Hillage was in immediately prior to launching his solo career with 1975′s FISH RISING) or anything (other than Frank Zappa) that sounded even remotely like THAT kind of music. For a couple of years there (probably about 1975 through 1978 or so), I was all about one thing musically: Hard rock with screaming guitars, heavy rhythms and – above all – absolutely no keyboards (unless they were provided by people named Hensley, Emerson or Lord) or horns; to be blunt, I was an idjit. Once I finally got all of that “musical snobbery” out of my system, I started to realize that I had missed some amazing music along the way. I was still a few years removed from “discovering” Steve Hillage, via his 1982 double release, FOR TO NEXT/AND NOT OR, so I was totally unfamiliar with the music here, aside from the two covers. Of the eleven tracks, six are from the just-released MOTIVATION RADIO (the album Hillage was touring behind); I certainly remember seeing the record in the bins back in ’77 but, being totally unimpressed with the cover, I didn’t give it a second thought (more idjitry). Thankfully, most of the music I overlooked (for whatever dumb reason) through the years tends to be reissued on a fairly regular basis. Likewise, stuff like RAINBOW 1977 crops up upon occasion.
Steve Hillage during his time in Gong (uncredited photo)
Before we get into the particulars of this release, let’s get into a little bit of history about the band, the show and how RAINBOW 1977 came to be. Steve and long-time partner, Miquette Giraudy, went bare bones for this tour, using only bassist Curtis Robertson and drummer Joe Blocker (both coming from the jazz funk group Karma… Blocker was also in the final version of Love for the REEL TO REAL album) to augment their sound, rather than additional guitar and keyboard players. The decidedly funky American rhythm section gives the music a much heavier bottom-end than Hillage bands had offered before (or after, for that matter). The Rainbow show was the final date of the MOTIVATION RADIO TOUR on November 3. Some of the show had appeared on a bootleg calledGGGONG-GO-LONG which, after hearing it, prompted Hillage to find the original tapes and release the full concert – or as much of it as was usable, at least (more about that later).
Steve Hillage, unknown date (uncredited photo)
The set opens with “Octave Doctors,” an instrumental intro with a funky bass groove and powerful drumming underpinning the layers of synthesized textures and an awesome, phased guitar solo from Hillage. The track leads directly into an absolutely stunning version of George Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much,” which is fueled by what can only be called “majestic” keyboard work from Giraudy. A couple more MOTIVATION RADIO tracks are up next (“Octave Doctors” being the first). A weird, psychedelic introduction from Steve leads into “Light In the Sky,” a weird, psychedelic number with sci-fi lyrics and a spacey Hawkwind vibe. The song features another in a long line of great Hillage solos, as well as an odd, little kids voice (it’s either Miquette or Hillage) reciting the line, “Oh, me! Oh, my!/There’s a light in the sky.” “Radio” is a mostly instrumental piece, with a nice Hillage solo guitar (sounds like a hollow body, kinda like Steve Howe, but with more balls) over a funky bottom by Blocker and Robertson. The minimal lyrics are about – incredibly – radio. They’re really rather unnecessary, but rather unobtrusive.
Steve Hillage, unknown date (uncredited photo)
“Electrick Gypsies,” from the Todd Rundgren produced L, is probably the purest example of rock ‘n’ roll here. The synthesizer embellishment adds the prerequisite spacey feel, while everybody else gets funky, including a funked-up guitar from Steve. The tune segues into a movement from “The Salmon Song,” which features a cool sounding solo from Hillage and the return of that little kid voice. The piece moves into another FISH RISING number, listed as “Solar Musick Suite (Part 2).” If I’m reading things correctly, that would be the section of the song sub-titled “Canterbury Sunrise.” The tune features Robertson’s three-minute-plus bass solo, with guitar and synth adding some echoey texture before the drums kick things into overdrive.
Steve Hillage, Rockpalast 1977 (video still)
And, so, we’re back to the final three songs from MOTIVATION… , starting with “Motivation,” which features more groove-oriented guitar. The tune has probably the best vocal performance of the entire set; Hillage’s voice was made for this funkier style. Of course, better lyrics help, too. There’s a crazed solo at the end of the song, while the drums are particularly impressive. The vibe and music of “Saucer Surfing” reminds me more of Hawkwind than anything else, with lyrics like: “We’re real reality gypsies/Surfing on vibrations with our minds.” Miquette has a heavily processed spoken word section toward the end, sounding vaguely like a computer (which, obviously, was the intent). Things remain trippy and spacey on “Searching For the Spark,” which is highlighted by a long solo from Joe Blocker. With his jazz background, Blocker’s solo is anything but boring. The final number is an impressive cover of Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” This version features ethereal keyboard and vocal work. Now… remember when I mentioned that I had my doubts about this being the entire concert? Here’s where that question comes to mind; just about every live Hillage version I’ve heard of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” has a long guitar solo. This one doesn’t. I can’t tell if the solo has been edited out or if, for some reason, Steve just didn’t play one at the Rainbow that night. It really doesn’t matter… it’s a minor complaint; RAINBOW 1977 is one of those records that grows on you with each listen, never sounding boring or pretentious.
Review: Portugese review translated
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Review: Rainbow 1977 (Steve Hillage)
Rainbow 1977 (Steve Hillage)
(2014, Gonzo Multimedia )
Steve Hillage is one of the most idiosyncratic and recognizable guitarists of today. Always associated with theCanterbury Scene (studied at the University of Kent), has architected its psychedelic and experimental work since the 60s and in individual name has been widely applauded, also in the group has highlighted not only by its presence in legendary Gong , and more recently in Khan , System 7 , System Mirror and The Steve Hillage Band , with the last three names to operate in parallel. Aware of this name, the British Gonzo Multimedia has released cyclically jobs London guitarist, being a reference in each of the last years - Gong Unconvention - Amsterdam 2006 (in 2012), Live In England 1979 (in 2013) and now a work recorded live in 1977 at the legendary Rainbow . Some of these issues had already appeared in previous releases - although Hillage has the ability to systematically go presenting slightly differently - but here there is not present in previous releases material. And there are mostly good sound pickup and a set of themes where all the quality Hillage is wide open and mixed with a whole psychedelic aura, much courtesy his companion ever Miquette Giraudy . A disc that undoubtedly still sounds as fresh form, it seems that not a recording for nearly 40 years. It's a historical document for fans of guitarist and for fans of rock progressive.
1. Octave Doctors
2. It’s All Too Much
3. Light In The Sky
5. Electric Gypsies
6. The Salmon Song
7. Solar Musick Suite (Part 29
9. Saucer Surfing
10. Searching For The Spark
11. Hurdy Gurdy Man
Steve Hillage - guitar, vocals
Miquette Giraudy - keyboards, synthesizers, vocals
Joe Blocker - bateria
Curtis Robertson - under
Review: Italian review (not translated)