Press Clippings XIII
|Many of the following clippings were kindly provided by Wilfried Schuesler, to whom my very, very
grateful thanks! I retyped them from Wilfried's digital photographs - consequently, in most cases I
don't know the name or date of the publication in which they originally appeared...
down a couple of years later so that he could start Motorhead.
Sadly, my fantasy is a preposterous one, rather like much that the band has done since '74. I always hope
that one day, something will land on my desk which will prompt me to reappraise the 'wind's career, but as
a further three titles offer more of the same hackneyed, space drivel (which has inspired a whole host of
dungeons-and-dragons modern-day prog acts), there seems little chance of this ever happening.
"Live Chronicles" covers the 1985 "Chronicle Of The Black Sword" tour, where words like "monstrous",
"sorceries", "treacheries" and the trusty Elric abound with rip-roaring regularity. Griffin offer an additional
four previously unreleased tracks for those with an iron constitution, and -"Aye, Master"- a collector's
reprint of Michael Moorcock's 'The Dreaming City' book.
The saga of Elric of MelnibonÃ© was also recorded for posterity in the studio, on the 'Black Sword' album
(here with two extra live tracks), but he fails to materialise at all on 1982's "Church of Hawkwind", now
boosted with three extra cuts. Is this really the end of the hippie trail?
"Amps" column, 26/2/1977 (publication unknown):
To give his keyboards voice, Simon House of Hawkwind puts them through an HH IC 100, five channel PA
amp which then runs through two Eliminator reflex enclosures. He's considered direct injecting them
through the mixer and relying on monitors to hear what he's doing, but as he says: "Hawkwind are a
high-energy band and we need a lot of volume on stage to get that energy."
Review of Bob Calvert's "Revenge" CD (Record Collector, date unknown):
Originally recorded as instrumental backing tracks by Pete Pavli and Simon House (ex-Hawkwind) in 1981,
this group of four songs represents a fascinating example of the late Robert Calvert's songwriting ability.
The unmixed tape sat around for 10 years and was eventually released on 200 demo cassettes, mixed by
Pavli and Shaw, and sold by mail order. Now on CD, this gem of an archive release displays raw, lyrically
complex and decidedly beautiful music. It rivals the very best of Lou Reed and shares much of his tragedy
All four tracks are enigmatic and haunting, with an understated brilliance which leaves you wanting more.
They recount poetic fables, like that of "Isadora", a mysterious dancer, and in "Revenge", the act of murder.
There's an additional tune at the end that makes up about half the CD's length. This was presumably
written and performed by Pavli, although there are no credits. It's highly repetitive, with a robotic voice
against a wailing siren background - strangely charismatic and soothing.
Review of "Year 2000: Codename Hawkwind
Volume One" (Record Collector, date
The Hawkwind bandwagon rolls on, with more
substandard releases from the archive of original
bassist Dave Anderson. To be fair, the first disc
of this set is pretty good, coming from the
Brixton Sundown gig used for some of the
transcendent "Space Ritual" album. What we
have here is basically the second half of that
double set with a rougher mix, plus some
unheard out-takes. So far, so good. Disc Two
claims to be live at the Cambridge Corn
Exchange in 1972, but the track listing, first
album material, suggests it comes from a year or
two earlier. Not that it matters as the quality is
rubbish - barely listenable, distorted, bassy
garbage. Attractively packaged, though.
Review of the "Solstice at Stonehenge" DVD
(date & publication unknown):
What better band to perform at the climax to the
very last Stonehenge festival than Hawkwind,
veterans of the annual gathering of the tribes
since its inception in 1973.
Although the 'Wind may have been a pale shadow
of the grouping that frequented the free festivals
during the early 70's, Nik Turner and Dave Brock remained in command, supported by Harvey Bainbridge,
Huw Lloyd-Langton and Danny Thompson. Stacia, too, was a distant (if still vivid) memory, although in
her place were a half-dozen white-clad women 'dancers', who snaked in and out of the players like a
Musically, they start off with the kind of driving improvisations guaranteed to go down well in amongst the
stoned circles of Wiltshire, and while the introduction of punk-influenced Inner City Unit tracks like
'Watching The Grass Grow' proved to be vastly influential on later "crusty" bands, it wasn't quite the stuff
of legend that the group had once been, for a while in the 70's.
Review of the reissued debut album "Hawkwind" on Repertoire Records (date and publication
Hawkwind never matched their debut for sheer variety of ideas and musical styles. Often overlooked by
fans, ahem, in search of space rock, "Hawkwind" was as eclectic and imaginative as any British rock
album from 1970. The pleasant, sitar-strewn folk rock anthems, "Hurry On Sundown" and "Mirror Of
Illusion" (which were coupled as a rare single), contrast with the album's less accessible moments - the
monotone ambience of "The Reason Is?", the lengthy jazz-rock exploit "Be Yourself", the menacing three-
note repetition of "Paranoia" and the epic space rock exploration, "Seeing It As You Really Are", which
accelerates slowly to an anarchic finish.
Review of the "BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert" CD (Dec 1992, publication unknown):
Another band who shared Joe Meek's fixation with Little Green Men (see Album of the Month) were
Hawkwind. Funny noises, courtesy of Dik Mik's audio generator and Del Dettmar's synthesizer (in 1972,
when this "In Concert" was recorded, such instruments were the height of modernity) battled it out with a
relentless riff machine, provided by drummer Simon King, guitarist Dave Brock and bassist Ian "Lemmy"
The likes of Loop and Spacemen 3 have made the sound of this vintage-era Hawkwind fashionable once
more, and born-again 'Windies can approach this live set with confidence: it's nothing less than the fourth
part in a quartet of essential Hawkwind releases, joining 'In Search Of Space', 'Doremi Fasol Latido' and 'A
There are no new songs on this disc, but the intro and the outro, intoned by the infamous Stacia and
compere Andy Dunkley, suitably top and tail the performance with all the space-jargon you'd expect from
a band that teamed up with sci-fi writer Michael Moorcock. The similarities between Hawkwind's two or
three chord overload and the rudimentary style of punk a few years later have already been noted: one of
the objections to Hawkwind at the time by fourth-form know-alls was that they couldn't really play. This
memory jogger of old favourites like "Brainstorm", "Seven By Seven", "Masters Of The Universe" and -of
course- "Silver Machine", which had just spent several weeks in the singles charts (and who remembers
that great concert footage shown on "Top Of The Pops"?), is a timely reminder that you should never trust
Review of Nik Turner's Space Ritual at
Falmouth Princess Pavilions on 6th
May 2005 (publication unknown):
Nik Turner describes his musical
aspirations as "playing freeform jazz in a
psychedelic rock band". Here, rejoined
with four of his ex-Hawkwind bandmates,
he got pretty damn close to his original
goals. Turner is older than Methuselah and
larger than life. He's a showman, a
ringleader and a magician. He could be the
next Dr.Who. In his various terms with
Hawkwind, his irrepressible personality
soared higher than a tab of acid as he
elbowed his performances in between the
guitars of Dave Brock, the piledriving
basslines of Lemmy and the theatrics of
Among his Space Ritual comrades he's
more subtle, as though mellowed by the
leadership of a band. But there are no
other members here that are as in your
face as Turner. There's the avuncular ex-
Skin Alley bassist Thomas Crimble,
perched behind a Roland keyboard, and the
slight Mick Slattery, looking like he arrived
1994 Review of Griffin CD
reissues of Live Chronicles,
Church of Hawkwind and The
Chronicle of the Black Sword
(date & publication unknown):
The fantasy I'd most like to hear
about Hawkwind is that on the last
date of their "Space Ritual" tour of
1973, the band packed their gear
back into the communal van, only
to discover that it had been taken
over by alien beings who then
whisked the group off into that
great gig in the black hole of the
universe, dropping Lemmy back
for a 40-year reunion of a Merseybeat combo. Laying on the pressure in the middle are original Hawkwind
drummer 'Caveman' Terry Ollis (no longer playing in the altogether!) and 'In Search Of Space' bassist
Dave Anderson. They're under-rehearsed, primitive and improvised, but they're infectious, matey and
Driving though a surprisingly long set made up predominantly of early 70s Hawkwind, they show off a
couple of newer numbers too, of which Crime Time is a particularly catchy and upbeat success. They
have a CD in final remix stage and are clearly ready to distance themselves from their origins and spread
their own stellar gospel across the land.
1997 Review of "The 1999 Party" Live At The Chicago Auditorium, March 21, 1974" (publication
The photographs in this well-packaged document of Hawkwind's watershed U.S. tour in 1974 (they parted
company with Lemmy soon afterwards) bring back memories of those grim days when rock was virtually
a male-only pursuit. Hawkwind, of course, had Stacia, who did her bit on stage, but pre-Girl Power,
pre-Riot Grrrl, pre-'Women In Rock', rock was all about blokes with beards, bellies and scooped T-shirts.
Hawkwind's heavy metal space rock was scented with joss-sticks, and the ghost of '67, but by 1974, even
they were starting to sound a bit grizzled. The best material here -Brainstorm, Seven By Seven, Sonic
Attack, Master Of The Universe- had already been tried-and-tested on 1973's "Space Ritual Alive" album,
perhaps the quintessential Hawkwind document. The versions here aren't too dissimilar -Brainstorm hits
its' usual trance button- but there's a distinct feeling that the band had already peaked. Why, they were
even beginning to thin on top! That said, 'The 1999 Party' is still hugely welcome, and its presentation
-boxed and with a poster- is in keeping with the lavish reissues from a year or so back.
Review of "Epoch-Eclipse: 30 Year Anthology" (Record
At last, after years of dodgy cut-price rip-offs, the lords of
light get the tribute that they deserve. All three discs are chock
full of the band's greatest moments, bringing together for the
first time tracks from all eras and from a multitude of record
labels. There's nothing particularly rare here, just prime album
cuts and a few single sides, but it's just what was needed to re-
establish their reputation as space cadets par excellence.
Disc One takes us from 1969's "Hurry On Sundown" through
to "Psychedelic Warlords" from 1975, stopping off at all
albums en route -2 tracks apiece- plus "Silver Machine",
"Urban Guerrilla" and their attendant B-sides. This, for most
fans, is the band's heyday, as almost everything they released
during this period is gold and the track selection here is
Disc Two only covers the four years from 1975 to 1979 and
features most of the vocal tracks from the era when Bob
Calvert moved centre stage. Calvert's lyrics and commanding
stage presence moved the band on from the hippie space
traveller image and Hawkwind developed into a tighter, more
focussed unit, releasing four superb albums with Captain Bob
at the helm. A 1978 name-change to the Hawklords was an
attempt to sneak the band past the punks, and listening to
'Death Trap' (released in 1979) you could almost believe it was
Wire, the sound is so upfront and tense.
Calvert's mental health eventually let him down, and Dave
Brock re-grouped with an entirely different line-up, on a new
label and with a more 'rock' sound which appealed to a wider
audience, somehow sharing a fan-base with UK spandex-rockers Saxon and Iron Maiden. The last 20
years are covered on Disc Three and though it's the weakest of the set, it's still never less than brilliant.
Hawkwind have covered a lot of aural territory in recent times and it's all very well represented here, from
the hard rock of 'Angels Of Death', the commercial 'Right To Decide' (a Peel fave for a time!) to 1997's
electronic 'Love In Space'. Leaving us with the only bummer of the package, Jimmy Cauty's (KLF)
superfluous, badly conceived remix of 'Silver Machine'.
With the whole shebang handsomely packed in a slipcase imitating an eclipse and selling at the 25 quid
mark, this could well be the release of the year. Highly recommended.
Review of "Daze Of The Underground: a Tribute to Hawkwind" (Record Collector, 2003):
*** Herbally appropriate covers of space-rock standards
Although this motley crew of psych, death metal, folk and electronica acts make an incongruous
combination on paper, this 27-track round-up of Hawkwind covers is mostly successful thanks to the
essential simplicity of the original compositions. This allows the various interpretations enough air to
breathe in a way that other tribute albums simply can't provide - after all, a droning Lemmy bassline is the
same whatever musical style you throw at it.
Although there are too many indifferent tracks here to make Daze Of The Underground an essential
collection, Huw Lloyd Langton's re-recording of his own 'Moonglum' is an interesting reflection, Acid
King's gritty take on 'Motorhead' is worthy and Tim Blake's 'Spirit Of The Age' is a crisp, if functional,
reworking. Much better are the various extreme metallers who raise their ugly heads: Japanese acid-metal
band Sigh revisit 'Psychedelic Warlords' with aplomb, and the Finnish death metal quintet Amorphis do the
grind and growl thing on 'Levitate' [sic] with evil panache. Most amusing of all is The Enchanted's take
on 'Song Of The Swords', a budget-recorded Napalm Death-like thrash, which would probably even have
Mr. Kilmister covering his ears.
Review of "Take Me To Your Leader" (Uncut,
*** - Return of original spaced cadets and "special
Less remarkable than this being Hawkwind's first
outing in eight years is Dave Brock enlisting TV host
Matthew Wright as a vocalist. Most shocking of all,
Wright's turn on reworked classic 'Spirit Of The
Age' is pretty good. Other travellers include Lene
Lovich on the prog-bop of 'Angela Android' and old
mucker Arthur Brown for a wiggy 'Sunray' and 'A
Letter To Robert' - an extended rap directed at late
singer Robert Calvert bemoaning the power of
women and the cosmic significance of golf.
The space-rock sometimes gets stodgy, but they're
impressive when trance-dubbing to the hilt.
[That was an interesting contrast to the review
published the same month in rival mag Classic Rock,
seen on the Press Clippings XII page]
"Just The Two Of Us: 15 absurd collaborations that made us scratch our heads - and cover our
ears" (from Classic Rock, Oct 2005):
10: Hawkwind & Samantha Fox
As a former Page 3 'stunna' who had stirred the loins of building-site blokes throughout the 1980's,
Samantha Fox was perhaps the last person Hawkwind fans expected to see at the band's Brixton Academy
reunion gig in 2000. With the absurdity of the pairing apparently lost on her, the diminutive sexpot gamely
squawked through Silver Machine with Lemmy, prompting an audience of bewildered ex-hippies to
conclude that they must indeed have 'touched the brown acid'.
[Seems a bit unfair to put all the blame on Sam - presumably Hawkwind were also aware of the "absurdity
of the pairing"!] And thanks to Mark Von Bargen for this next piece...
London Astoria gig review, from UK national paper The Independent, 29/12/2005:
Once the house band to the freaks of late-Sixties Notting Hill and, for many, the festival band of the British
underground, the space-rock legends Hawkwind have now been on the road for at least 37 years. As their
annual winter-solstice gig, at the Astoria in London, demonstrated, there is plenty of tread on the wheels yet.
They've had more members and associates than some bands have had audiences. These include Lemmy,
the great Robert Calvert, the novelist Michael Moorcock, "Fire" man Arthur Brown, the drummer Ginger
Baker, and more recently, the TV host Matthew Wright, a Hawkwind Ã¼ber-fan who sang the
late-Seventies Calvert classic "Spirit of the Age" on the band's first studio album in almost a decade, Take
Me to Your Leader.
"Spirit of the Age" featured in a set dominated by a string of classic Calvert songs that haven't been aired in
years - the storming "Psi Power" being among the highlights - though there was no space for the
Lemmy-driven "Silver Machine". These days, Hawkwind are a three-piece, with longtime bassist and
vocalist Alan Davey and drummer Richard Chadwick led by Dave Brock, the one constant in the band's
many incarnations, augmented by keyboards, sundry electronics, and the sax and flute of their longtime
associate Jez Huggett.
Just as Dave Brock and Lemmy's guitar-and-bass interplay anchored and defined the Hawkwind sound in
the Seventies, so the symbiosis between Davey and Brock is the rock on which the band now rests. Indeed,
Davey's bass is as much a lead instrument as any, carrying an epic reworking of "Brainstorm" when
Brock's guitar dies on him mid-solo
Visuals have always been a dominant part of the show, and tonight's gig was heavy on fractals projected at
dizzying speed on a screen above the stage, while lengthy periods of strobe lighting combined with the
churning, pounding beat to suitably disturbing effect. There was also a trio of dancers, in fairy, alien and
Surprisingly, there were only a few songs from the new album. The heavy protest-punk of "Greenback
Massacre" easily exceeded the studio version, while Chadwick's jokey "Angela Android" sounded like Chuck
Berry on mescaline and the classic "Seven By Seven" got an airing.
Hawkwind delivered a set drawing deeply from their Seventies heyday, while still sounding vital.