Live At Rockpalast 1977

Steve Hillage

MIG, 2020

REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa


I like the feel of these Rockpalast releases. At the time when these recordings were made, it was for a German TV station, possibly with a local reach only. There wasn’t this big pressure on the performers; the shows went on as another gig. Most of those concerts are very relaxed and the bands are clearly having a ball. Such is the case with this Steve Hillage show from Bensberg in 1977.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Steve Hillage is a very innovative guitar player with eyes turned towards space. This one-time Gong member managed to release a series of very impressive solo records and developed a very nice solo career in the late ‘70s. His music can certainly be classified as progressive rock, but he definitely added a special flavor of his own. He is not the best-known guitarist, but he has a dedicated cult following. In other words, once you discover Steve Hillage, you instantly become a fan.

Hillage has a very cool band joining him on this trip. The two names that come to mind are drummer Clive Bunker of Jethro Tull and bass player Colin Bass of Camel. Despite the more known names in the line up, it’s the whole band that creates the magic here. The interaction between the musicians here is very intuitive. They play well together.

Steve Hillage is up front with his guitar, and his soloing is as always very impressive and melodic. The man knows his craft well, and it shows every second of this concert. Hillage and the crew really shine in “Hurdy Gurdy Glissando.” It’s a great jam, and you know you’re listening to a show that took place back in the ‘70s; no other decade had such specific sound and spirit. “Solar Music Suite” and “Lunar Music Suite” once again deliver some great jams as the band leaves the planet behind.

Live At Rockpalast 1977 is released as a CD/DVD combo. The DVD portion presents the full concert, whereas the CD only gives as much as it can fit. It’s a solid package, and it sounds great. Also, there are nice liner notes explaining the circumstances in which this concert took place. The Rockpalast series are great releases, and they very nicely complement individual discographies.

Rating: A

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