Steve Howe, Gig Review. Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.


Steve Howe at The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool. September 2014. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

Steve Howe at The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool. September 2014. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Life is meant to be taken with equal amounts of pleasure and pain, of hope and despair and with a certain degree of unimaginable delicate beauty that filters through to the soul as if carried by a being with a great taste in music and who knows that television, has tried its best to destroy any type of sensuality and indulgence between artist and audience. Thankfully it hasn’t succeeded yet but there are times when you go to a venue, no matter where, and you know deep down in your heart that like those that try to feed the constant mantra of “The Economy” that somewhere, somehow, executives have managed to convince some that by staying in and watching the latest act it wants to promote for profit is good for music.

If it be good for music, no matter the genre, whether it be classic 80s Pop, Prog, Metal, Folk, Rap or even Opera, then surely to be able to go out and see something performed live, even it is just once a month, is better than being spoon fed the acts/singers that make television their be all and end all on a permanent cycle is the way forward, especially when it of the highest quality in the shape of one of the masters, the legendary Steve Howe.

Pleasure and pain, two sides of the very same coin and yet in the hands of three acoustic guitars, music that has spanned and been so revered for so long that it could be placed next to the Forth Bridge and draw crowds away from the man-made wonder, captivated the audience inside the Capstone Theatre in Liverpool to the point of keeping hold of one’s own breath so it didn’t disturb the aura and sublime beauty on offer.

Steve Howe has worn many musical hats in his career, from Prog kings Yes to the superb Asia and to his on music with the Steve Howe Trio and as a solo performer and yet somehow he managed to combine the deliciousness of each defining era into a performance that if painted onto a canvas would have art critics falling over themselves trying to postulate their best theories and quivering with excitement at a Master’s work.

With the evening inside The Capstone Theatre split into two halves, the exhaling of breath was regulated at least as not to cause damage, and movements and suites were performed with delicacy of a surgeon delving into the finest mind in a tantalising operation of skill and dexterity. Pieces such as the opener Pyramidology, Leaves Of Green, the superb Ram, To Be Over, Hint Hint, the exceptional Little Galliard, Valley Of Rocks, the dramatic Sketches In The Sun and the evening closer Clap were greeted with a near reverence and smiling joy plastered on the faces of all inside the theatre. There was even a point in the proceedings in which someone whispered excitedly the word wow under their breath and it was meant in the best possible way, knowing full well that they had been privileged to see something performed so well that it could only be admired fully and completely.

Music will always capture the hearts and minds of those who wish to submit, it can only be hoped that it never dies at the hands of those who seem to wish it harm.

A tremendous night of music captured by one of its leading exponents!

Ian D. Hall