Director: James Russell, Andy Derbyshire
To the Everyman in Kings Cross for the premiere of Steven Wilson’s film “Home Invasion”, filmed at the Albert Hall earlier this year. I went to the gig but on a different night, but I can report that the film absolutely captures what’s great about SW. Often pigeonholed as “prog”, which is not unfair, this shows off his other pretty dominant influences of acoustic harmony, pop and more experimental electronica through to Bollywood. Dipping right back into the Porcupine Tree catalogue as well as the hit albums of “The raven who refused to sing”, “Hand. Cannot. Erase” and “To the bone” the film is an excellent record of Steven summarising his career with his superb band. They are all terrific players but particular mention should be made of Ninet Tayeb, whose second vocals bring the house down every time she opens her mouth, and the awesome Nick Beggs on bass who represents several metric tonnes of concrete in the foundations of the sound, one minute slapping and popping like an 80s bass player (who was that band…?), sitting in the pocket for pure pop mobility or getting all King Crimson on us on the Chapman Stick.
Equally interesting for me was the pre-film VIP area to which my reviewer status gained me entry – at one end, ripped of jean and leather of jacket, long haired rock dudes chatted. At the other, glad to be there liggers like me enjoyed the gratis rioja and felt an uncool thrill at realising Steven Wilson was standing next to them. Passing SW and Nick Beggs in the corridor before the screening, the interesting thing is that Beggs has rock star charisma you can see from space where SW looks like one of the audience. Nice to know there’s still space for an introverted, quite serious music fan with a sense of tradition to have a no.1 album in 2018.
Before the film there was a Q&A with SW being interviewed which was typical of other SW interviews you can find on YouTube – serious, self deprecating, at time hilarious – he admitted a few things had been “fixed” – especially Beggs’ bass parts which had suffered from onstage posing about – cue torrents of heckling from the back row…the second question from the audience was “there are lots of Stevens in rock – so who would be your dream Steven band”? “Whose fucking idea was this” muttered our hero.
The DVD is from one concert end to end so it’s like being there, plus extras filmed at sound check in a spookily empty Albert Hall, so if you missed the gig and are kicking yourself, get in. Apologies for non-NME style shoeing – I’m a fan and loved it.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Of course the film is fantastic. SW is a nerdy perfectionist by his own admission, ready to bring in experts on other instruments or his own, illustrators, directors, animators – but attention to detail runs through the set. If you like Steve Wilson already you’ll love it – if you like a stunning rock show, find a mate with a copy and watch it on a widescreen TV and prepare to be blown away.