Gonzo Multimedia offers us a glimpse into guitarist Steve Hillage's early solo career with this vintage recording and film Live in England 1979. The title is more than a little general in it's description. This CD/DVD recording is actually from the BBC's Rock Goes to College series with Hillage and band performing at the University of Kent in Canterbury (where Hillage studied for a short time).
My first experience with Hillage came with 1976's L, produced by the legendary Todd Rundgren. (At the time I was collecting most anything Rundgren was recording or producing). Having little experience with his previous band Gong, Hillage's psychedelic space prog rock ran rings around my brain, but it did love his clever guitar work.
Live in England 1979 gives you both the audio and visual experience of Hillage's experimentation with aforementioned styles but also working jazz and funk grooves as found within Unzipping the Zype. It's also an interesting look into the early use synthesizers in rock music. Those used by long time partner and collaborator Miquette Giraudy take up a massive amount of stage presence.
The concert includes some Hillage standards like the popular Salmon Song and the George Harrison penned It's All Too Much. It also includes Hillage's interpretation of Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man, a song I have never liked no matter who's playing it. Better is the Hillage-Giraudy Hurdy Gurdy Glissando, which occurs as a bonus track from a 1977 recording.
Both the CD and DVD include the Rock Goes to College gig, but differ in bonus material. The CD also includes Electrick Gypsies, another 1977 recording. The DVD adds Radio and Light in the Sky from Motivation Radio, and a 2007 interview with Hillage and Giraudy discussing the band's career.
Live in England 1979 offers glimpse into guitarist Steve Hillage's early solo career and progressive rock sounds via some vintage concert footage.
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