Press Clippings IV
|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... These clippings
represent a range of opinions about Hawkwind, from the snide to the ecstatic, and an equally wide range
of writing abilities.
Brief gig review from October 1997
It is six years since I last saw Hawkwind, so it was hard to know what to expect - except the
inevitable change of line-up. In the place of past laureates Nik Turner and the late Robert Calvert,
stepped Captain Rizz. I had no idea whatsoever where he was coming from - he's obviously very good
at his job, but I felt he lacked the quark, strangeness and charm of his predecessors.
And there in the background behind his day-glo barricade, was sole surviving original member, Doctor
Dave Brock, who was greeted on stage with the question "How come you're not green?" Nevertheless,
underneath it was still the Hawkwind of old, still energetically driving out old classics, Brainstorm and
Assault & Battery as well as newer Alien 4 material against a light show that could put any multi-million
millennium party to shame.
After a flawless 90 minutes came the two-minute pleas for an encore, which was dutifully delivered
with a tactful omission of so-called Rock Anthem Silver Machine. reinforcing the fact that after 28
years in the business Hawkwind are still willing to progress and it seemed tonight that their proliferation
was still healthy.
From Record Buyer & Music Collector, 2000
Hawkwind were arguably the prototype spacerock band. Formed in 1969, the year man first walked
on the moon, and originally named Group X, their cosmic rock soon found an audience in the stoned
hippie era of the early 70's. Though their main man was singer and guitarist Dave Brock, the only
Hawkwinder to stay the course throughout, their most famous ex-member is bassist Lemmy, who
formed Motorhead after being sacked in 1975.
In reality Hawkwind took their musical cues from German bands of the early 70's, like Kraftwerk, Can
and Neu, music with repetitive chord sequences and electronics. Brock thinks it was "...the beginning
of dance music, in a way..."; this was confirmed when Jim Cauty from the KLF remixed their biggest
hit 'Silver Machine' for reissue last year as a single. Nothing about Hawkwind's progress seemed
planned, however: everything appeared spontaneous. "It wasn't about wanting to be the next Beatles
and make loads of money" explained saxophonist Nik Turner. "It was about getting up, having a blast
and trying to blow people's minds - ourselves included."
'Silver Machine' itself was a happy accident. It was recorded at a benefit gig Hawkwind organised at
London's Roundhouse in 1972, onto which Lemmy overdubbed a different vocal - another band
member, Robert Calvert, was supposed to do it, but was ill. The 'video' that was used to promote it
(the band being reluctant to appear on chart shows) was from a performance at the Edmonton
Sundown and caught them in full live flight, complete with scantily clad dancer Stacia. (She later
married drummer Roy Dyke of Ashton, Garner and Dyke fame, and went to live in Germany.)
The Urban Guerrilla came out as the follow-up single - unfortunately coinciding with an IRA bombing
campaign. The band's record label immediately withdrew the song (sample lyric: "I am an urban
guerrilla, I make bombs in the cellar") from sale. "If that had got to No. 1," muses Dave Brock, "who
knows what would have happened? We might even have gone on Top Of The Pops!" In the wake of
the furore, Nik Turner claims his flat got turned over by the bomb squad, who tore the floorboards
up. He would survive Lemmy's 1975 sacking but got his own marching orders a year later.
The group's personnel thenceforth fluctuated wildly with Cream drummer Ginger Baker part of the
crew in 1980. He was keen to recruit former bass-playing colleague Jack Bruce which might have
been interesting ("Creamwind") but Dave Brock refused to sack incumbent Harvey Bainbridge. "I
couldn't kick him out. Then Ginger went off with the keyboard player Keith Hale and toured Italy as
Hawkwind. But it was no big deal."
Other individuals involved with the Hawkwind collective at some level included designer Barney
Bubbles, South African sci-fi writer Robert Calvert, lighting expert Jonathon Smeeton (aka Liquid Len)
and Dik Mik, who played a home-made "audio generator" whose 'strangled seagull cries' as one
reviewer put it, became a band trademark.
The first Hawkwind line-up featured drummer Terry Ollis, while guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton was an
early addition. Along with fellow early members Nik Turner (saxophone) and Thomas Crimble (bass)
they have been playing summer 2000 dates as the Hawkwind Reunion band prior to a planned full
reunion with Brock, Lemmy and co at the Brixton Academy on 21 November [sic]. This 'all-nighter'
was scheduled for last year but never happened. Of other members, Lemmy's replacement, ex-Pink
Fairies/Deviants bassist Paul Rudolph returned to Canada to run a motorbike shop, while Simon King
followed his father's footsteps and became an antique dealer. Simon House (who went on to play with
Bowie) is still in music and his son Thor is involved on the dance music scene.
Many weird and wonderful Hawkwind compilations exist but few do more than regurgitate poorly
recorded live shows. Castle have reissued 1980's material previously released on Charisma, but it's the
United Artists (EMI) period that shows them at their best. For Dave Brock, though, the story
continues and the best is undoubtedly yet to come. "I don't listen to many of our old albums. It's like
art - you do a painting, then move on."
Hawkwind In All Their Cosmic Glory - from a local Leicester newspaper, 1984
Long time heavy metal heroes Hawkwind are back in Leicester yet again on Sunday. As their press
release says: "Real heads have been banging for many years to the spacey sounds of the mighty
Hawkwind and they are back in all their cosmic glory." Right on man. Believe it or not, Motorhead's
Lemmy and veteran drummer Ginger Baker have both been members of the band at some stage in their
Their back catalogue is simply massive. Although Silver Machine seems to be permanently re-released
every six months, the band have churned out many "classics". Remember Who's Gonna Win The
War? or Psychedelic Warlords? No, nor do I.
Anyway, former roadie Nik Turner is still in there pitching and their 30-date tour is all but sold out. As
a taster for their Leicester show they have released four new tracks on their new E.P. Night of the
Hawks: The Earth Ritual Preview. Joining Nik Turner will be Dave Brock, Harvey Bainbridge and Huw
Lloyd Langton, with the drummer still under wraps.
Review of 'Space Bandits'
Hmmm...'Space Bandits'. Completely surprising to see the 'Wind still pursuing their mind-blown sci-fi
theme... For all the futuristic slant of Hawkwind's imagery, the band effortlessly set themselves in the
recent past rather than the distant future. They remain a quaint curio, but at least they make qualitative
progress over the LP's two sides. The first half has the plausibility of the original version of Flash
Gordon. By side two they've acquired the hi-tech authenticity of, ooh, a really good episode of Blake's
We start with 'Images' - a clanking, over-long drive that mixes spooky synth chatter sections with an
FX-laden romp that's more bad Mission than 'Silver Machine'. Bridgett Wishart adds anonymous
vocals. 'Black Elk Speaks' is prime hilarity. A drum machine pow wow beat plods on while John
Niehardt of the Oglala Sioux Reservation Foundation tells of Red Indian gods. Synth wind chimes
create a terrible ersatz atmosphere before Wishart witters about 'the magic of the ground'. 'Wings'
cleverly begins with bird song.
Side two is much more like it. 'Out of the Shadows' begins with revving engines and contains as much
synth wash as anything on side one. But here they generate the feel of wind-rasped velocity that
hallmarked the synth texturings of yore. 'Realms' is a brooding wedge of atmospherics with all the
cliche that goes with the territory. But, for all the melodrama, it keeps its dignity. The closing 'TV
Suicide' features transmitted voices over a riff that's almost a tape loop. The metronomic drive is close
to the Belgian-based latter-day European electro-groove.
The space cadets only have half a galaxy left to traverse before equalling the endearing nonsense of
Review of 'Choose Your Masques' from Kerrang! magazine, 1982
Hawkwind have never been the most approachable of bands, nor have they ever courted fashion.
Indeed, I am one of the few Kerrang! scribes who will admit to owning Hawkwind records, let alone
actually liking them, and 'Choose Your Masques' happily shows Brock at last regaining some direction
and advancing positively . The last album 'Church of Hawkwind' saw the band slipping into an esoteric
rut destined for oblivion, but 'CYM', while not exactly 'commercial', God forbid, at least has indications
that their imaginative flair has been rekindled.
The title track and opener features some demonic guest sax from Nik Turner and sets an overall tone
of malevolence that is carried through much of the album. Ian Holm (remember him in 'Alien'?)
supplies a brief, chilling narration at the beginning of 'Dream Worker', followed by some idle
'spaceman' witterings. And then up comes the album winner, 'Arrival In Utopia / Utopia', where Huw
Lloyd Langton surpasses himself on guitar and the tempo picks up dramatically before the calm of
Hawkwind's vision of paradise gives way to the dronal advice that 'If you wanna get into it, you get out
Side two has 'Silver Machine' first up. An utterly pointless exercise. Quite what possessed Brock to
revamp this and then to omit S. MacManus' credit (who was he?) remains a mystery. Take a severe
rap across the knuckles. However, the rest of the side continues in more lucrative spirit. Listen out
for the 'Outer Limits' intro to 'Void City' and Langton's tasteful fret work throughout.
In short, take heart: Hawkwind are back on course, boldly treading where few, if any, have trod before.
1990's Preview of forthcoming Christmas gigs
Lasers, fab sci-fi effects, voluminous dungarees, thundering space rock - forget your acid raving,
matey, and get on one with the originals.
Hawkwind are a live treat who have remained so steadfastly time-warped that they now threaten to find
the rest of the world completing their umpteenth orbit and coming into line with them. Last time out
the stage set was a hilarious sub-Blake's Seven spaceship. This time it'll doubtless be a sub-Doctor
Who starship affair, if only to emphasise the 'Wind's dedication to change.
Empires may topple, Berlin walls may fall, but the Hawkwind Christmas dates go on forever. Their
faithful will be there, as will their well-seasoned song portfolio. This institution is a nostalgic feast to
rival anything this festive season.
Warriors On The Edge of a Tour - from Sounds, 1989
Hawkwind tour Britain in December to celebrate the band being 20 years old this year. The band,
currently consisting of Dave Brock, Harvey Bainbridge, Simon House, Alan Davey and Richard
Chadwick are recording a single, which will be released on their own label, to coincide with the dates.
"After years of both us and our fans being ripped off by other labels releasing old Hawkwind product
and endless unofficial compilations, we've decided to get our house in order and control all releases in
the future," said Dave Brock last week. But just where did many of those unofficial tapes and
compilations originally come from, Sounds would like to know.
Hawkwind are about to embark on their first American tour in ten years as their cult following over
there is in danger of reaching commercial proportions. And the band are also working on a new laser
and liquid light show with Anark Illuminations, to preserve their pioneering reputation in the face of
competition from the new generation of psychedelic bands...
Britons at Odd Rock - Milwaulkee Journal, 30/06/1989
Depsite a dizzying series of personnel changes and musical shifts, the band Hawkwind has been
blowing around the globe for the last two decades. After a long period of non-productivity, Britain's
prototypical acid rockers have forced their way back into the public consciousness with a new album
"The Xenon Codex", and a tour that stops Sunday at the Odd Rock Cafe, 2010 S.Kinnickinnie Ave.
Founded by Dave Brock and Nik Turner in 1969 as Group X, the band developed a small but fanatic
following. One writer dubbed the group "Britain's premiere stoned-freak band."
By the mid-70's Hawkwind had delved into science fiction themes, catching the imagination of sci-fi
author Michael Moorcock, who wrote about the band in his 1976 novel, "The Time Of The
Hawklords". The current incarnation includes two original members; lead guitarist and vocalist Brock,
and guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton. Since the 1985 release of the 'Live Chronicles' LP, the lineup has
also included bassist Alan Davey, keyboardist Harvey Bainbridge and drummer Danny Thompson.
F/i opens the show at 9.30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Hawkwind's Blasts Rock Riverside - unknown local Milwaukee paper, March 1974
Hawkwind blew into town from outer space Tuesday, and a capacity crowd jammed the Riverside
Theater for the British rock quintet's interstellar cruise.
It was " 'ello Milwaukee!" again, as yet another heavy English group captivated the kids with loud, hard
rock. But Hawkwind, with its art deco amplifiers, exotic electronic noises and dazzling visual effects,
was more intriguing than the usual Anglo import.
Besides playing guitars, drums, saxophones and keyboards, Hawkwind used every electronic trick from
phasers to lasers. Mixing endless variations on the "spaceship takeoff theme" with Moog synthesizer
dominated rock, the band worked in front of a constantly changing galactic backdrop. Between songs,
saxophonist Nik Turner delivered mock Shakespearean oratory dealing with a journey to "the edge of
However the outstanding performer of the evening was a lady of Amazonian proportions named Stacia.
A member of Hawkwind's entourage, she came out in midset and stole the show. She writhed
robotlike across the stage under flashing strobe lights, accompanied by the howling distorted guitars of
the band, in a wonderful mime of agony and abandonment.
The members of Hawkwind leave no doubt after a performance that they have mastered the
complicated technology of their sound and light equipment. Hawkwind's electronic, experimental
approach to rock is competently shared by its Welsh warmup band, Man.
Hawkwind: A 60's Trip - Chicago Sun Times, 21/04/1995
Legions of bearded, big-bellied bikers descended on a sold-out Park West Wednesday night, and it
could have meant only one thing. No, it wasn't a Harley Davidson convention. Hawkwind was in
The veteran English space-rockers have been building a devoted cult following since 1969. Their
music mixes the psychedelic dreaminess of Pink Floyd with the unrelenting drive of the best heavy
metal. Motorhead's Lemmy was a founding member; the group is second only to Steppenwolf in the
hearts of those who were born to be wild.
Hawkwind's popularity has been renewed in the 90's by a slew of reissues on Griffin Music, a label in
west suburban Carol Stream, and a new appreciation for psychedelia prompted by the techno rave
scene. Never one to miss an opportunity, Dave Brock has responded with his first U.S. tour in years.
Dozens of members have passed through the band, but Brock is the one constant. A rival group of
ex-bandmates led by Nik Turner played Lounge Ax last year. But Brock remains the heart and soul of
Onstage at the Park West, Brock and bassist Alan Davey delivered heavy riffs while manipulating banks
of synthesizers to evoke the whooshing and whirring of Deep Space Nine. Drummer Richard
Chadwick provided a rock-solid pulse, and vocalist Ron Bastard sang of aliens, robots and
psychedelica. Geometric patterns flashed over the stage throughout the two-hour concert, and Bastard
wore an "electric suit" wired with tiny lights. At one point, Bastard chanted "I am losing my mind. Are
you losing your mind? I am losing my mind."
Hawkwind's mixture of cartoon science fiction and swirling psychedelia may sound silly or outdated on
paper, but it's undeniably effective. I for one was searching for my brain under the table when the
show finally ended.
Review of 'The Business Trip' - Exclaim! fanzine, March 1995
For those moments when only long drawn out instrumental jams and psychedelic reminiscences are
appropriate, comes Hawkwind with a live album culled from a UK tour in November 1993. All the
appropriate elements are here - spacey keyboards, long drawn out guitar solos, you can just imagine
what the light show was like - bring your own hallucinogenics. Hawkwind knows their target audience
and they know exactly what to provide. It's a shameless combination of various elements from the
genre, not just Pink Floyd / Grateful Dead stuff, but also elements of early Bowie with some new wave
nuggets thrown in. When you go out to get albums like this you know exactly what you want, and
Hawkwind goes olut of the way to accommodate. You can, of course, do what you want, but I would
stay away from the brown acid - there have been some reports that it's not too good. Decide for
CD review from Alternative Arts & Lit fanzine, 1994
Here I'd like to review 3 CD's that have recently been reissued domestically. 1) This Is Hawkwind Do
Not Panic 2) Zones 3) It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous (1994 Griffin Music).
Griffin has been superb in releasing all these (and more) Hawkwind titles in the U.S. I can't wait to see
what else they've got lined up. My first reaction to some of these CD's is that they have great covers.
"This Is Hawkwind...:" has new front and back covers (the disc has over 50 minutes of killer live
tracks from the 1980's) "Zones" has a wild new back cover. Collectively these two reissues sound
incredibly clear with the traditional tracklistings faithfully maintained. "It Is The Business..." is a new
release by the band which I must say is quite yummy indeed. It has a bit of instrumental tracks with 2
re-worked HW tunes but I think most Hawkfans (myself included) will be (or have been) blown away
by the title track and the 11+ minute 'Space is Their (Palestine)'. This CD holds firm with the Brock /
Davey / Chadwick trio. Yoiu have to be careful when buying HW recordings because of the sheer
volume of anthologies and collections out there, but you've got a sure winner if you see Griffin on the
label. 1)***** 2)****1/2 3)*****
CD review from Option Music Alternatives magazine, Jan/Feb 1995
Maybe it's the new generation of space rockers, or maybe it's just 70's nostalgia (a Carpenters tribute
album can only lead to one for Klaatu). Either way, fans of Hawkwind have a flood of reissues to thrill
them. If you're one of the millions unaware of Hawkwind or know it only as the band that began
Motorhead, this 1980 album might be a good place to start (though of the numerous Hawkwind albums
I've heard, I find Quark, Strangeness and Charm the most engaging). The extended jams and loopy
pop of Pink Floyd and early Genesis get thrown against the shiny hard rock of bands like Budgie and
Mott The Hoople., Still, Levitation revels in its own unique and quite goofy charms. What do you
expect from a song called "The Fifth Second of Forever"? Or a guitar riff on "World of Tiers" that
sounds like Joe Walsh? Collectors may want to note the presence of jazz-wannabe Ginger Baker (this
band has had nearly as many drummers as Spinal Tap). A live album, Live Seventy Nine, is a bit too
extended for its own good, but nevertheless gets off one good joke. When the band launches into its
millionth encore of Silver Machine, their biggest hit, an enormous bomb blast terminates it after just a
CD review from Seconds magazine, 1995
You've got to give it up for Hawkwind. Refusing to let themselves go down in the annals of Rock
history as "the band Lemmy used to be in", the Hawkers have kept themselve current and maintained
enormous international appeal. Aided by Chicago-based label Griffin Music, close to a dozen
Hawkwind titles are suddenly available on CD. Live Chronicles, one of the more exceptional titles, is a
1985 double live set recorded in support of The Chronicle Of The Black Sword album. With sci-fi
notable Michael Moorcock in tow, Live Chronicles delivers the majority of the Black Sword album as
well as older Hawkhits like 'Master Of The Universe' and 'Conjuration of Magnu / Magnu'.
Hawkwind's regal space rock vibe firmly establishes itself in the 90's with It Is The Business Of The
Future To Be Dangerous, a wholly legitimate brand new studio album. A trio at this point, with
mainstay Dave Brock augmented by a bassist and drummer, It Is The Business can hold its own with
any modern day Ambient / Trance / Tribal dope-out music. Very relevant to the current explorations of
Progressive Electronic Music, Hawkwind is mandatory listening for all you new school space truckers.
Review of the COTBS video from Kerrang! 1986
On face value this is a lifelike live performance recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon last year, during
for all intents and purposes the Hawks legendary 'Chronicle Of The Black Sword' tour. So therefore
the video inevitably features most of the successful tracks from that particularly far-out opus plus
profusely prominent period pieces like 'Master Of The Universe', 'Choose Your Masques' and
'Brainstorm' wherein that manic mechanic Michael Moorcock literally blows his top!
What a fine bunch of acid heads they are at all times, harbouring every one of the good things that
make this superb to watch (quality camera work, scratch editing and a guitar solo with the camera
focussed on the guitarist) proving that there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't wish to
purchase this souvenir artefact immediately.
Review of the Night Of The Hawks video from Kerrang! 1984
You know you've begun to lose your credibility when the (dearly beloved) editor of the Scanners page
rushes in and says 'Here Tibet, here's a video we know you'd love to do'. Anyway, Hawkwind went to
the stage where they were so unfashionable that they've become fashionable again; whether that's
necessarily good, I'm not so sure about, but at least it means they can release videos as excellent as
this. It's a recording from their latest tour with Nik Turner doing the vocal honours on most of the
songs, clad in assorted pieces of bacofoil, lumps of rubber and mutant duck hairstyles. Apart from the
inevitable 'Silver Machine', 'Brainstorm' and 'Sonic Attack', it's all fairly recent material with the added
bonus of Inner Cirty Unit's 'Watching The Grass Grow'. The strength of the whole project lies in the
unpredictability of the visuals. At one moment you're faced with spirograph loops of colour straight
out of the Outer Limits alien landing scenario and then catapulted into almost complete obscurity in
which you can vaguely see Mr. Lloyd Langton chundering along as a colour Xeroxed image of Dave
Brock drops and dissolves all over the screen.
It's this capacity of work outside the expected norms of what's fashionable that has always been the
Hawklords' main strength and the reason for their continued success. The excellence of the live show
is captured perfectly, from atmospherics to power to plain eccentricity. If you're a Hawkwind fan,
buy it. If you're not, buy it and you soon will be. Bloody excellent, boys. (Now can I have my afghan