Tuesday, 30 July 2013


steve-hillage_live-in-englandHe was never as progressive as Steve Howe or as pretty as Peter Frampton, but Steve Hillage is an interesting British guitar player who has never gotten the attention or due he deserves. Associated most frequently with England’s “Canterbury Scene,” a group of musicians somewhat on the periphery of what the scores of other British musicians, from Yes to Humble Pie, were doing, Hillage was his own man and never enjoyed the success, especially on American radio, that so many of his contemporaries got. He did gain some acclaim as a member of Gong, but it was short-lived.
On the new CD/DVD set Live In England 1979, fans of progressive and British rock who had been unaware of Hillage can now check him out after a relatively long period of obscurity. With a band that owed as much to what was happening in American rock as much as to the British prog rock scene, Hillage performed material in this live show at the University of Kent that was written largely by him and longtime companion/keyboardist Miquette Giraudy, though he wasn’t afraid to cover fellow countrymen like George Harrison (“It’s All Too Much”) and Donovan (“Hurdy Gurdy Man”).
Hillage also is known as a producer for such acts as Simple Minds and Robyn Hitchcock, but he’s really a guitar player at heart and it shows on this set. For those who are looking for a new (albeit old) talent to be introduced to, or get a kick out of good musicians stuck with bad video footage on the DVD, Live In England 1979 is a good bet.


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