After leaving Gong, Canterbury scene graduate Hillage entered his commercially successful guitar-hero years. The Todd Rundgen-produced album L was a 1976 Top 10 hit and a ‘cosmic rock’ classic. His band supported Queen at Hyde Park, and the following year’s Motivation Radio kept things simmering.
Steve Hillage: Rainbow 1977
Live document of one-time Gong man’s guitar-star years.
This previously unreleased live album from November ’77 catches him enjoying that period at Finsbury Park’s Rainbow, bursting into selections from those records with a lively fusion of proggy soloing and crackling adrenalin. Electrick Gypsies and Solar Musick Suite highlight his UFOs-at-Stonehenge hippie tendencies, but fiery covers of Donovan’s Hurdy Gurdy Man and George Harrison’s It’s All Too Much exhibit waspish energy, even if the eager-beaver drummer misses his crucial intro cue on the latter.
Hillage has since branched out into a number of genres, and within the ebbs and flows of the longer numbers on this sparky souvenir you can hear him start to explore the perimeters.