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