Steve Hillage Band – live at The Spectrum, Philadelphia – February 2, 1977 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Steve Hillage tonight. One of the prominent figures in the Canterbury/Experimental scene from the late 1960s on, Hillage has been a pivotal figure in a number of bands, most notably Gong, whose collaboration produced three milestone albums. Before that, he collaborated with Kevin Ayers which produced Bananamour. After Gong he briefly worked with Mike Oldfield on his landmark Tubular Bells album. Needless to say, Steve Hillage has been in the right place at the right time a number of times and has lent his unique vision to achieve awesome results. The label credits offer ample proof.
After his stint with Oldfield, Hillage took over leadership of Gong for only a few months before he went solo, and on to the next big chapter. His solo career has afforded him the opportunity to not only to work with a continuous flow of musicians, it’s also given him the chance to broaden his musical horizons. In the 80s he got into producing and that has yielded an even broader range of acts and successes – from Simple Minds to The Charlatans. At last check he’s still bouncing from project to project.
This concert, recorded at The Spectrum in Philadelphia is an excerpt; a 21-minute sample of Hillage during this period. It comes between the releases of Motivation Radio (September 1977) which found Steve Hillage exploring Funk, and L which came out in September of 1976. Both albums represented opposite sides of the musical field Hillage was working in – Motivation Radio was recorded in Los Angeles, and aside from diving into Funk also dabble in Dance. While L was pure Cosmic. Both albums were warmly received by the Press – the audience took time to warm up to Motivation, but had no trouble with L. Both did well commercially although Motivation has been considered a turning point in Steve Hillage’s career, with a heavier electronics direction.
Another artist that if you’re not familiar with, you really need to check out. Fans will have this cranked up to 11.
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