More Things To Do in and around York: when the love of music and food combine, plan on. List No. 99, courtesy of The Press

Over the Moon: Chef Stephanie Moon, delighted to be cooking in the York Food and Drink Festival demonstration kitchen on Wednesday at 1pm

FOOD for thought from Charles Hutchinson as he contemplates what’s on the menu for autumn days and nights out. 

Festival of the week: York Food and Drink Festival, Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, York, packed with flavour until October 2

IN its 26th year, York Food and Drink Festival offers demonstrations and hands-on participation, taste trails and wine tastings, markets and street food, with two marquees and live music until 9pm.

Look out for the free Food Factory cookery classes in the Museum Gardens and the Coppergate Centre; trails through the doors of artisan food producers, delicatessens and restaurants; Bedern Hall crowning York’s finest pork pie at its York Pork Pie competition and York Mansion House hosting a week-long tea exhibition and tasting. Head to for the full five-course details.  

For the love of Nina Simone: Apphia Campbell in Black Is The Colour Of My Voice, Grand Opera House, York, Monday, 7.30pm

Apphia Campbell: Brings her play to York on Monday

INSPIRED by the life of Nina Simone, writer, director and performer Apphia Campbell’s play follows a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist as she seeks redemption after the untimely death of her father. 

Complemented by many of Simone’s most iconic songs sung live, she reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy, destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or

Cameron Sharp: Confirmed for Stacee Jaxx role in Rock Of Ages

Musical of the week: Rock Of Ages, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm Saturday matinee

CAMERON Sharp returns to the rock demi-god role of Stacee Jaxx on the latest tour on Rock Of Ages after earlier appearances in the West End and on the road. He joins Coronation Street legend Kevin Kennedy, playing ornery Bourbon Room owner Dennis Dupree once more in this tongue-in-cheek musical comedy kitted out with classic rock anthems galore, from The Final Countdown to We Built This City, all played loud and proud.

The storyline invites you to “leave it all behind and lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the hair, and yes, they can come true.” Box office:0844 871 7615 or

Lucy Worsley: Uncovering the real, revolutionary, thoroughly modern Agatha Christie

History meets mystery: An Evening With Lucy Worsley On Agatha Christie, York Theatre Royal, Monday, 7.30pm

THE Queen of History will investigate the Queen of Crime in an illustrated talk that delves into the life of such an elusive, enigmatic 20th century figure.

Why did Agatha Christie spend her career pretending that she was just an ordinary housewife, a retiring Edwardian lady of leisure, when clearly she wasn’t? Agatha went surfing in Hawaii, loved fast cars and was intrigued by psychology, the new science that helped her through mental illness. 

Sharing her research of the storyteller’s personal letters and papers, writer, broadcaster, speaker and Historic Royal Palaces chief curator Lucy Worsley will uncover the real, revolutionary, thoroughly modern Christie. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Steve Hackett: Revisiting his Genesis past in Foxtrot At Fifty at York Barbican

Golden celebrations of the week: Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights, York Barbican, tonight, 7.30pm; Don McLean, 50th Anniversary of American Pie, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.30pm

GUITARIST Steve Hackett, 72, revisits Genesis’s landmark 1972 prog rock album Foxtrot, the one with the 23-minute Supper’s Ready, preceded by an hour of highlights from his six years in the band and his solo career.

New Rochelle troubadour Don McLean, 76, marks the 50th anniversary of his 1971 album American Pie and its 1972 top two single, the poetic 8 minute 36 sec title track, a double A-side that had to be split over two sides of the vinyl with its mysterious, mystical tale of lost innocence “the day the music died”. Expect Vincent, Castles In The Air and  And I Love You So too. Box office:

Missus in action: Katherine Ryan mulls over life, love, marriage and motherhood at York Barbican

Comedy gig of the week, Katherine Ryan, Missus, York Barbican, Thursday, 8pm

AFTER previously denouncing partnerships, Canadian-born comedian, writer, presenter, podcaster and actress Ryan has since married her first love…accidentally.

“A lot has changed for everyone,” says the creator and star of Netflix series The Duchess and host of BBC Two’s jewellery-making competition All That Glitters, who looks forward to discussing her new perspectives on life, love and what it means to be Missus. Box office:

Budge up! Everyone tries to find Room On The Broom in Tall Stories’ staging of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s picture book. Picture: Mark Senior

Children’s show of the week: Tall Stories Theatre Company in Room On The Broom, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday, 1.30pm and 4.30pm; Wednesday, 10.30am and 1.30pm

IGGETY Ziggety Zaggety Boom! Jump on board the broom with the witch and her cat in Tall Stories’ adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture book.

When they pick up some hitch-hikers – a friendly dog, a beautiful green bird and a frantic frog – alas the broomstick is not meant for five. Crack, it snaps in two  just as the hungry dragon appears.

Will there ever be room on the broom for everyone? Find out in this 60-minute, magical, Olivier Award-nominated show for everyone aged three upwards. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Wild Murphys, wild times: Tribute band revel in Irish bar favourites in One Night In Dublin

Irish craic of the week: One Night In Dublin, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

IRISH tribute band The Wild Murphys roll out the Irish classics, Galway Girl, Tell Me Ma, Dirty Old Town, The Irish Rover, Brown Eyed Girl, Seven Drunken Nights, Whiskey In The Jar, Wild Rover and Molly Malone.

Kick back in Murphy’s Pub, sing along and imagine being back in Temple Bar as Middi and his band roar into York. “Ah, go on, go on, go on!” they say. Box office: 01904 501935 or

Tom Robinson at 72: Sing if you’re glad to be grey at The Crescent

2-4-6-8, don’t be late: Tom Robinson Band and TV Smith (solo), The Crescent, York, Friday, 7.30pm

PUNK veteran, LGBTQ rights activist and BBC 6 Music presenter Tom Robinson returns to The Crescent with his band to reactivate 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay, Up Against The Wall, The Winter Of ’79 and the cream of his early albums, 1978’s Power In The Darkness, 1979’s TRB Two, and beyond, maybe War Baby.

Support comes from  TV Smith, once part of Seventies’ punks The Adverts, of  Gary Gilmore’s Eyes notoriety. Box office:

Don McLean: Marking American Pie’s golden landmark at York Barbican on Wednesday

Steve Hackett revisits Foxtrot to find new revelations in Genesis at York Barbican

Steve Hackett: Visiting York Barbican to revisit Genesis’s 1972 album Foxtrot

GUITARIST Steve Hackett’s 25-date Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty tour arrives at York Barbican on Saturday night (24/9/2022).

Hackett had joined the English progressive rock band in 1971, and Foxtrot would be their fourth album, recorded in August and September 1972 for release on Charisma on October 6 that year.

“We were a young, struggling band at that time,” recalls Pimlico-born lead guitarist Steve, now 72, who played with Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks until 1977.

“By the time we were doing Foxtrot, the band was becoming more ambitious. Foxtrot is a must for fans of the early Genesis work. Fifty years ago? It doesn’t feel like those ideas are 50 years old because it was-genre defining, rather than following trends. It still sounds current now.”

Foxtrot, the one with Genesis’s longest-ever song, all 22 minutes and 52 seconds of the album-closing Supper’s Ready, became a college student staple of the Seventies. “I’ve got one or two friends saying it was the record that got them through college, got them through isolation, and that played its part in the Genesis back story, that connection with Foxtrot, that romance with it,” says Steve.

“Peter was enacting things theatrically from his lyrics to personify Genesis, and there were so many elements that went into constituting Genesis’s magic. Music sticks with people when it affects them when they’re young, when the school curriculum is being forced on them and you’re told you have to be good at school.”

Foxtrot became the first Genesis album to make the UK charts, its diversity encapsulated in the science fiction-influenced Watcher Of The Skies and the social commentary of Get ‘Em Out By Friday, with its  depiction of concrete tower blocks replacing ageing slums, not out of concern for communities but driven by the greed of developers.

Hackett, meanwhile, was the lead writer of Can-Utility And The Coastliners and also contributed his classically inspired solo piece Horizons.

Fifty years on, Steve returns to Foxtrot in concert in the company of two Swedes, Nad Sylvan, vocals, and Jonas Reingold, bass and backing vocals; Roger King, keyboards; Rob Townsend, saxophone, flutes and keys, and Craig Blundell, drums.

“Over the years, I’ve played with orchestras to expand the sound, and now, the way it can be presented live is with an expanded sound palette, with real brass, real woodwind, as well as keyboards,” says Steve.

“It’s music that’s survived well beyond its sell-by date. Maybe ‘classical’ music has to be 100 years old, but this is 50 years old. I was part of creating it, and going back to it, I’m struck by the breadth of Foxtrot.

The tour poster for Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty

“People will have their favourites, maybe they’re attracted to the more proggy moments or maybe the less proggy, but what matters is that it stuck with them. Songs that first struck me as ‘just another of our pieces’, now I look back and think it’s very detailed music, as detailed as a five-piece band could be.”

Steve is revelling in broadening the Foxtrot canvas. “It takes a lot of rehearsal, but the gigs have been going very well. Now we can add the reverb, which is all part of the detail, and it all sounds much bigger than it did on the record. It’s music that was written to be performed live within palace walls in Italy, where the music could be recorded around the rooms and you got the feel of a space age band playing,” he says.

“Now, on this tour, the little Cinderella songs get the chance to go to the ball. I want to be authentic, but to expand, to extend, the sound is important. I don’t want it to be a slavish reproduction of the record, so we’re doing three-part harmonies rather than one-and-a-half-part harmonies.”

What happens to Supper’s Ready, Steve? “At the end, I tend to take it to the mountain and then keep it going, so I’m striking a balance between reverence and having a rave-up,” he says. “It’s not a heavy metal show but to have these wide dynamics brings it alive.”

Although the term “prog rock” has negative connotations for nay-sayers, Steve prefers to think of the possibilities of such flexible music-making. “It’s supposed to involve everything, so that it will evolve to include world music, the blues, whatever. That’s why it’s ‘music from heaven’,” he says.

“I’ve just got this love of classical music; my guilty pleasure was listening to [Spanish classical guitarist Andre] Segovia at the same time as watching Jimi Hendrix, and then the baroque and the blues did come together. Music without prejudice is the ideal; the stuffed shirt making way for letting it all hang out.”

Steve continues: “John Lennon said some nice things about our [Genesis] music; Yehudi Menuhin used some of my music, and if there was a point that they agreed on, I had their ear for a few seconds.”

Steve, who “wants to be the glue” that bonds different musical forms, reflects on the Steve Hackett of today and of 50 years ago. “The similarities between these two different times in my life is that I’m still trying to get it right. It’s never finished. One lifetime is never enough if you’re dead serious. Music doesn’t end with Chuck Berry. It goes on,” he says.

“In heaven, my ideal band would have both Lennon and Menuhin in it. Maybe their confluence came with Eleanor Rigby, as realised by George Martin.”

Looking ahead to Saturday, Foxtrot will be preceded by an hour of “Hackett Highlights”, drawn from both his Genesis and solo catalogues. Be ready for much more than Supper’s Ready.

Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights, York Barbican, Saturday (24/9/2022), 7.30pm; Sheffield City Hall, September 30, 7.45pm. Box office: York,; Sheffield,; both concerts, and