Press Clippings VII
|More from the scrapbook, with the usual range of opinions and writing abilities...
audience were on their feet with triffid tendril arms swaying above their heads. The lights were directed
behind the band onto a screen where a montage of meterological, astronomical, sonic and electronic images
flashed, and in front onto the three dancers. The familiar, almost stolid figure of Stacia has been joined by
John May (who looks like someone who crashed the stage and didn't get bounced) and Renee, whose
white-wrapped shape appeared to fragment under the UV's and strobes.
The effect on the band, obscured between this sandwich of light, was to eliminate individuality in the same
way as their music does. Solos do not remain in the mind, instead a combined force of the incredible. The
only traditional part of the affair was the encore, "Silver Machine" (which they actually announced) and the
audience loved that too.
It's Hawkwind, Man (Melody Maker, 16/12/72)
Hawkwind will headline the guest list at Man's Christmas Party for underprivileged children at the Patty
Hall, Swansea, on December 19. The party will be an all-day affair with other groups playing during the
afternoon. Apart from Man, other bands from the UA label will include Brinsley Schwarz, Help Yourself
and Gypsy. All the acts are giving their services free. During the afternoon a number of underprivileged
children will be attending the party.
Hawkwind are also to play a concert at Wandsworth Prison during the afternoon of February 7. The group
offered their services to the prison authorities because they know a number of the inmates at Wandsworth.
"A lot of their friends are inside," said a spokesman for UA.
"Hawkwind: a group in search of melody" (review of Doremi Fasol Latido, Melody Maker, 16/12/72)
It's not melody and it's not harmony and it's not really rhythm. Remember that the self-styled "lords of the
Hawk" have always talked in terms of ambiguity. So if their musical ideas can be reduced to one definitive
word, it is that one - ambiguity.
It is the spaced-out slipstream, the rushing, gurgling torrent of weightless sound that first turns the circle of
mental pictures, associations and impressions picked out from space, time and earth. And if nothing
comes, if the mind remains blank? Then the point of the music has been missed. It's demanding,
confusing, even to be faced with so many signs and directions. But that's the challenge. The listener is as
much a traveller as the musician.
While it's true that space sounds (for want of a better description) are prominent and perhaps form the key
to the music, Hawkwind have at last started to combine them imaginatively with more orthodox qualities.
The group's musicianship is catching up with its visionary thought. Intelligent use is made of contrasts in
the rhythm and in the instrumentation. As in the last LP "In Search Of Space", but with increased impact,
changes from heavy electric to fantastic acoustic have their parallel in the effects upon the listener. There's
a well-balannced continuity in the order of tracks and moods, beginning with the initiatory "Brainstorm"
(Turner) and proceeding through a varied spacescape.
The music may have its share of ambiguity but the lyrics are often relatively detailed and not to be shrugged
off as updated "windmills of your mind." Unfortunately the words can't always be heard through the
music. A lyric sheet might have been a nice idea, but with great deference of ambiguity they've left you on
your own. Lemmy's ominous, brooding "The Watcher" is the only track which allows Nik Turner's vocal
to filter through completely intellligibly. Other tracks repay contemplation: Dave Brock's "Lord Of Light",
for instance. Listen carefully, and think in straight lines.
Finally consider, this is a mere third album. Can Hawkwind go on from here? Can they speed towards
even greater heights or have they progressed so fast that inspiration has burned out? Only the fourth will
"Hawkwind - eight gigs called off" (NME, 22/02/74)
Hawkwind, after playing five British concerts immediately before Christmas and another 21 since January
7, have cancelled the bulk of their remaining tour dates at short notice. The eight gigs cancelled were
scheduled for Folkestone (this Saturday), Gloucester (February 27), Yeovil (February 28), Dunstable
(March 2), Aberystwyth (7), Port Talbot (8), Preston (11) and Halifax (12). The band will, however, fufil
engagements at Guildford Civic Hall (this Sunday) and Worthing Town Hall (next Monday). Three of the
abandoned dates -at Port Talbot, Dunstable and Yeovil- are being re-arranged for the first week in April,
together with one additional gig. Hawkwind say they would like to have retained the Folkestone date in their
schedule but they had to pull it out due to "inadequate stage facilities" at the Leas Cliff Hall.
Explaining the reasons for cancelling eight gigs, a spokesman said "All members of the band are suffering
from nervous and physical exhaustion, after two British and three American tours in the last 12 months.
Matters came to a head at London Roundhouse last Sunday when about a thousand people -who had been
unable to get in- tried to burn down the side entrances, and the police had to be called. The various
members of the band and their crew couldn't get back into the theatre for over an hour."
Hawkwind's Nik Turner added: "The hassles at the Roundhouse were the straw that broke the camel's
back. We all realised that, despite the disappointment we would be causing our followers, there was no way
the band could continue without time for a rest. We apologise for calling off these gigs - but really, there
was no alternative."
Review of Psychedelic Warlords (NME, 03/08/74)
They do more than disappear in smoke, mate. They fall down in it, and roll about on the floor gurgling
inanely and trying to find that stash of back issues of "Dr. Strange" that the cat was sleeping on last night.
When they get up, they tune up all the gadgets, adjust the six-string sonic blaster to "stun - no permanent
damage" and make this record which is in fact pretty nice. It's about time that somebody faintly resembling
a human being (hi Lemmy!) got onto Top Of The Pops, and just between you'n'me, pop-pickers, it'd be
nice to see this one happen in a big way, and give those lads the single hit that they so richly deserve.
"Second Drummer Joins Hawkwind" (NME 03/08/74)
Hawkwind have added another new member to their line-up. He is drummer Alan Powell, who was
formerly with Vinegar Joe. He played with Hawkwind during the band's European tour earlier this summer
when Simon King was indisposed, and it has now been decided that he should become a member on a
The group recently added mellotron player Simon House to their line-up, following the departure of Del
Dettmar, who emigrated to Canada. The arrival of Powell means that Hawkwind are now featuring two
drummers, and their new line-up will be on display for the first time in this country at the Harlow Town
Park free gig on Saturday August 10. The band's third American tour opens in Cleveland on September 4.
"Hawks lose a drummer" (NME 30/10/76)
One of the two drummers in Hawkwind's line-up, Alan Powell, has left the band. They are unlikely to
replace him, and are expected to continue working with one drummer.
Hawkwind are currently in the studios putting the finishing touches to a new single for rush release, under
the supervision of ex- Joe Cocker producer Bob Potter - the title is "Back On The Streets".
The band will be undertaking a European tour in November, and are to headline a short series of British
concerts in December, immediately prior to Christmas.
Alan Powell, who is now hoping to get his own band together, explained his reasons for leaving
Hawkwind. He said "I was working in New York with Robert Palmer two months ago and, when I got
back, I had to admit I wasn't really enjoying the sort of material I was playing with Hawkwind. And I made
no attempt to disguise it. On our last tour, the other lads found me listening to cassettes by Herbie Hancock
and James Brown. This didn't go down too well, and helped to make my departure inevitable!"
"Hawkwind lose dancer, lights" (NME, 06/09/75)
Following their appearance at Reading, Hawkwind are now minus a dancer and lightshow. Dancer Stacia,
who married just after the Reading festival, has been planning to leave for some time to concentrate on the
development of her career in films and modelling. When she returns from holiday at the end of September
she will discuss her career plans with her management and record companies.
Jonathon 'Liquid Len' Smeeton, who has operated Hawkwind's light show since 1970, has left to work for
equipment and lighting company Electro Sound. However, it appears that Smeeton's partner John Lee is
now planning the 'Lighting plot' for a new Hawkwind show now being put together by the band with
former member Bob Calvert.
Hammersmith Odeon gig review (NME, 16/10/76)
...The Hawkwind audience were real space cadets. The guy in front of me was wearing a pair of incense
sticks as antennae in his leather hat. Sometimes he would light them to show everyone that he was
smoking a joint...
The Hawkwind fans bellowed rudely all through the quieter passages of [support band]Tiger's act,
particularly their namesake number "Tiger, Tiger". Since it is a setting of a Blake poem, it was probably too
intellectual for the poor fellows. Afterwards one of Tiger said it was the deadest audience they had ever
I would have taken the equivalent of a small A-bomb to get this audience moving, and even Hawkwind had
trouble at first. They opened with a pleasant little number about having 11 fingers and someone stealing his
stash. They turned the volume up to pain level for openers and the audience began to twitch and jerk like
insects as the great waves of sound streamed from their hair back, causing a dandruff slipstream.
Revamped 1968 licks, cretin simple, gave one a great feeling of deja vu. It was like being hunted through a
labyrinth by a band of maniacs with laser guns. The audience sat motionless as if experiencing increased
gravitation. Rudimentary Notting Hill Rock filled the hall as the Space Lords of Portobello Road gave the
audience what they wanted - creating a huge time warp bubble of psychedelia. The stage set was pretty -
five large lumps on columns, connected at the top like a cave and illuminating from inside. It made some of
the band glow pink as if they were radioactive.
Hawkwind made a bid for the punk rock vote, hitting the audience with psychedelic strobes, a light show
and a one chord beat that didn't vary at all. It was a total experience. As a nearby hippie slid to the floor
holding his head, Hawkwind shifted into "Life On Mars". They can present the most simplistic images in a
convincing way. A Martian dropped dead as a spacesuit-clad astromaut pissed-up the stage through a metal
hose and waved a "Holiday Inn" flag. The audience roared their appreciation of the symbolism, a sequence
of slides portrayed a tree in the country, steadily being engulfed first by houses, then tower blocks and a
space city. Then the city became ruinous, fell down and all that was left was the tree. It was very moving.
Review of "Back On The Streets" (NME, (05/02/77)
Unlike the majority of dandruff-encrusted hippies, this lot have never been averse to knocking out a decent
single once in a while. 'Silver Machine' was okay, and the sunk-without-trace 'Kings Of Speed' was great.
This single sounds more like the stuff you hear coming from the stage of the Roxy than does The
Stranglers - which just goes to prove once more how meaningless labelling anything punk-rock is. Here
you get cranked-out basic chords designed to make your eardrums bleed, lyrics that are unintelligible apart
from the chanted title-chorus, and the rhythm section playing like they enjoy feeling those blisters squish
against their instruments...
"Paul Rudolph Quits Hawkwind" (NME, 19/02/77)
Yet another Hawkwind member has quit the band, the third to do so within the space of two months.
Latest to go is bassist Paul Rudolph, who has already been replaced in the group's line-up by Adrian Shaw.
He joins the remaining members - Robert Calvert, Simon King (drums), Simon House (keyboards) and Dave
Brock (guitar) - and they have already been rehearsing together for three weeks. The new-look band make
their first appearance in a special one-off concert at London Chalk Farm Roundhouse on Sunday, February
27, as a prelude to an extensive European tour.
Meanwhile, Rudolph has got together with another recent departure from Hawkwind -drummer Alan
Powell- and they have formed a hard rock band called Kicks. They have been rehearsing for a month with
two other musicians, and plan to go out on the road in March. Rudolph, who was one of the original
members of the Pink Fairies, will be reverting to lead guitar in the new band. The third man to have left
Hawkwind, Nik Turner, is not involved in the Kicks venture.
Review of 'Masters of the Universe' (NME, 26/03/77)
If you walk into a room when this is playing, careful. Do not panic - simply move the turntable speed to 16
r.p.m.. Make sure the room is totally dark. Find a safe place to lie down. Lose yourself.
Confusion... surroundings gone... reflective irregularities... rapid muscular and nerve reactions attempting
comprehension of compositional implications... can't you see I'm well into accurate pattern reception using
the technique of Retinal Stabilisation (something useful)... unemployed colours... throbbing expanse...
"Entities which have their being not in the spaces known to us, but between time, calm and primal, of no
dimensions, and to us unseen" ...sounds.
Get up when you're bored stiff.
One particularly unnecessary six track compilation of Hawkwind material from U.A. albums between '71
and '74, it merely reinstates as long-held theory about Hawkwind music. They played eveything at twice its
"Unidentified Flying Ryvita" (NME 15/12/79)
Looking backward for revolt were those Masters of the Universe, Hawkwind. Since the universe is an
unappealing expanse of grey matters, hostile gases and even more of nothing, it's not much of a boast.
Still. never mind.
Their music, of course, is crass, bloated and tedious. Their lyrics aren't your domination abominations but
ridiculous sci-fi tales with a hamstring injury. Real Trash. When they feel like a kip they swamp the stage
with repugnant smoke so you can't see them.
The Lasers! Hush, this is the serious bit. A UFO arrives to take us away from the concert. But, too fast,
tracer bullets fly from behind the drumkit and gun it down. Finally, in a massive symbolic gesture, an
oversize piece of Ryvita lingers overhead. So much for tasteful advertising.
Dunstable gig review (NME, 18/11/72)
This second gig of Hawkwind's "Space Ritual" tour
was at the Queensway Hall, Dunstable, last
Thursday. The previous night at King's Lynn -the
opener- had not been without its problems. In order
to present the ritual the band had got a whole lot of
new equipment together, but the money for the gear
came through so late that the band had no time to get
used to it.
So at Dunstable there was hybrid equipment: instead
of a stage full of insignia-branded stacks there were
just a few. The new Hawkwind standard did hang
from the electronics gantry at the back of the hall
where a team was working hard for its bread,
operating the all-important lights.
Beside the gantry was the place to watch the event,
for that way the audience, reacting physically to each
mood created on stage, became part of the spectacle.
Whenever the stage gave off electronic pulsations, the
crowd became uneasy, restless, perturbed; when the
characteristic heavy metal riffs started up the sense of
relief was made physically manifest. By the time the
band played 'Seven By Seven', most of the seated
Review of "The 1999 Party" (date & publication unknown)
On the tour from which this show was recorded, members of both band and crew wore t-shirts saying
"Lemmy a quid till Friday", a testimony to the meanness of Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister, who played bass and
sang for Hawkwind during their wildest and most creative years before moving on to form Motorhead.
The 1999 Party finds Hawkwind at their drug-fuelled peak, playing elongated psychedelic rock jams like
Brainbox Pollution and Master of the Universe, each full of trippy effects and whirring spaceship noises.
The latter track contains the seed of the Motorhead song Orgasmotron and is proof that Hawkwind made
some of the heaviest, most chaotic music of the 70's.
Review of the "Anthology" CD issue (date & publication unknown)
Kicking off with the band's demo for "Hurry On Sundown", and ending three CDs later, with the band's late
eighties recordings for GWR, this comprehensive set does at least cover the entire spectrum of the group's
career. But steer clear of it if you're expecting a box set of the band's finest moments, because this
collection of averagely recorded live performances, combined with studio material dating from the group's
less memorable years, is for completists only.
As an early warning, none of the material has been licensed from United Artists, whose archive holds all the
Hawkwind you'd ever want to hear, and if the presence of "Silver Machine", "Space Is Deep", "Born To
Go", "You Shouldn't Do That" and "Urban Guerilla" prove tempting, these substandard recordings are not
the ones you need in your collection. Stick to "Stasis: The Best Of The U.A. Years, 1971-75" or the recent
Windsong** live set instead.
** - The Windsong live set referred to is the BBC Radio 1 In Concert recording. Read on...
Review of "Hawkwind - BBC Radio 1 In Concert (date & publication unknown)
Hawkwind had just enjoyed a freak smash hit with Silver Machine when Radio One broadcast this Paris
Theatre show in October 1972. Since they failed to better themselves again, this is Hawkwind's classic
set., delivered by the Brock / Lemmy / Turner / DikMik line-up. Prime examples of their wind-tunnelling
space boogie rifferama are best experienced through 15 minutes of Born To Go and 10 of Brainstorm,
alternating between dazed-and-confused mesmerism and the severely numbing, with only Turner's queasy
sax for sonic comfort within the cement-mixing churn, although the restraint of Seven By Seven makes for
a poignant anthem to match Silver Machine's clenched-fist heroics. Abetted by Dave Brock's
Captain-Kirk-on-acid spiel, Hawkwind were always low on ideas and high on vision but nobody came close
to their strobe-lit freak-out. ***
Review of the "Acid Daze" compilation (date & publication unknown)
This three-set 'anthology' has already been available as picture disc releases on Samurai back in 1986. Now
suitably reinstated onto black vinyl, the original artwork on the discs has been recreated on the sleeves, all
space mother and extraterrestrial landscapes.
While there are some familiar titles spread over the six sides, like "Space Is Deep", "Masters Of The
Universe", "Born To Go", "Hurry On Sundown" and "You Shouldn't Do That", the versions here are not the
standard studio takes or the official live ones, which appeared on "Space Ritual". Sounding as if they've
been taped at a variety of different locations on equipment of variable quality, these live recordings will
appeal to the Hawkwind completist more than to the casual buyer, who will be wiser to plump for a more
conventional compilation such as 1976's "Roadhawks".
Review of "The Text Of Festival" reissue (date & publication unknown)
It seems as if there are now more early live Hawkwind albums than the rest of the band's catalogue put
together. What confuses the matter is the fact that a number of these usually sub-standard fares have been
At least "The Text Of Festival", previously issued in 1983, retains its title, although the music contained
therein on this double LP of live recordings from 1970-72 doesn't sound any different. Lo-fi recordings of
early classics like "Master Of The Universe", "You Shouldn't Do That" and "Paranoia" may not be essential
listening to many of us, but completists who missed this first time round will obviously be delighted.
Review of "Space Ritual" CD reissue
Recorded live in Brixton and Liverpool in 1973 with what might be described as their "classic" line-up,
Space Ritual is the much derided Hawkwind's finest hour, or 86 minutes 55 seconds to be precise. Studios
merely seemed to cramp their style, but out on the road with room to expand and dancer Stacia to keep
busy, they managed to exert an almost hypnotising power, hammered home by the ruthless rhythm keeping
of Lemmy and drummer Simon King. In fact, when they really got stuck into a riff like Born To Go,
Orgone Accumulator or Master Of The Universe they really took some shifting, just easing off every now
and then to allow Bob Calvert some room for his jeremiah mode, sci-fi ranting or DikMik's pretty useless
electronic bleeps. The sound quality is, even by the standards of the day, er, murky but they were true
originals with history only now according them the influential status that eluded them at the time. A
vertiable Sonic Attack and most welcome reissue. ***
Sidebar to a piece about psychedelia (date and publication unknown):
Although one could argue that Hawkwind lie outside the timespan of this feature, the group's brand of
interstellar psychedelic rock is as authentic and definitive as earlier excursions by luminaries like the Pink
Floyd and Group 1850. Once perfectly described as "Britain's premier stoned freak band", they debuted in
1970 with (by their standards) the fairly conventional "Hurry On Sundown", which is reminiscent of the
Byrds' experiments in country-rock. On the flipside, "Mirror Of Illusion" set the tone for the space rock
that the band are famous for. Some aficionados prefer their later material, but this author can only
recommend the first two albums: "Hawkwind" (produced by Pretty Thing Dick Taylor), which includes
both sides of the debut single and some mad instrumentals; and "In Search Of Space", which must rank as
one of the most cosmic vinyl acid trips ever!
Review of "Electric Tepee" (date and publication unknown):
Hawkwind have lost a great deal over the years -personnel, commercial appeal, the right to be taken
seriously- but not, surprisingly, their marbles. Now down to a trio, with only Dave Brock of the original
space boogie crew still in place, Hawkwind's undying commitment to dreamy keyboards and driving guitars
sounds almost fashionable again. True, they don't really have a vocalist as such, the sound is unhelpfully
soupy at times and Richard Chadwick's drumming is too busy for much of Alan Davey's cosmic
synthesizering, but somehow they still manage to get the majority of these 14 tracks airborne. Faster the
better is the general rule: LSD, Mask Of The Morning and a brilliantly Quo-esque Right To Decide storm
more convincingly than psychedelic New Age doodles like Space Dust float. Even in its more lethargic
moments, though, and no matter how silly the song titles, Electric Tepee sounds beguilingly confident of its
own cosmic mission. Listen, as somebody once said, without prejudice.***
Review of "California Brainstorm" (date and publication unknown):
A lavishly packaged live Hawkwind CD, resplendent with a 178-page book which lists a multitude of
releases, live shows and offshoots over the past 23 years. The band have become an institution of sorts and
this live recording from 1990 ably displays their strange mix of cheap and cheerful Floyd, surging
electronic swirls and punky verse/choruses. Past their tacky simplicity and musical shortcomings, there's
actually quite an eclectic view of world music for sale. The book is highly detailed, illustrated by sleeves
and discs to make it just about essential for anyone with more than one Hawkwind release and reasonably
interesting anyway. What it doesn't explain, though, is the Fortean puzzler as to why such longevity has
been achieved while all around has changed and the band's bizarre view of a sci-fi future has stayed almost
Review of "Stasis: The U.A. Years 1971-1975" (date and publication unknown):
The Hawkwind back catalogue has been exhumed and revamped on several occasions, causing
considerable confusion among casual buyers. Thankfully, there's no need to worry this time round as EMI,
together with Paul Cox, have put together a useful collection of rarities covering the band's classic era,
which also acts as a fine introduction for the un-initiated.
Over the years, several original single mixes have gone astray, while the occasional bonus live track from
this period has turned up on a compilation. "Stasis" picks up the threads, making this an ideal release to sit
between "In Search Of Space" and "Doremi Fasol Latido" on any Hawkfan's shelf.
For your convenience, then, here is the original single mix of "Silver Machine", the remixed "Seven By
Seven", both sides of the "Urban Guerilla"/"Brainbox Pollution" 45, single version edits of "Psychedelic
Warlords" and "You'd Better Believe It", plus three live cuts and assorted oddities. Paul Cox's detailed
sleeve-notes offer a useful guide around the rarities and a close look at the comings-and-goings of the many
people who passed through the group during the early Seventies. Never again did Hawkwind recapture the
heady mix of power chords, space noises and glam vocals as featured here, and uniquely, this album is
perfectly aimed at collectors and those wishing to sample psychedelia Seventies-style.
Dual review of "Complete 79" and "Live At Glastonbury 1990" (date and publication unknown):
Pity the poor Hawkwind collector - hardly a month goes by without something getting repackaged or
remastered, and some of the dodgier releases have been reissued half-a-dozen times, with very little in the
way of upgraded packaging or sound. "Complete "79" could certainly have done with some of the latter. It's
a hissy, swishy, heavily-compressed, sound-board source that, nonetheless, carries much of the
atmosphere of a great performance.
The recently regenerated line-up power through crowd pleasers like "Brainstorm" and "Masters Of The
Universe", alongside recent additions to their set-list, such as "Levitation" and "Shot Down In The Night".
Recordings of this gig have been around for years, but "Complete 79" claims to contain the full concert for
the first time and, at 90 minutes, I almost believe it. It also features an excellent reproduction of the 1979
Little praise can be spared for "Glastonbury 1990". An audience recording containing half-heard
conversations, the wind-blown mic effect, dogs barking and some badly mixed, poorly recorded music - in
fact, "Recorded In The Travellers' Field".
Profile (date and publication unknown):
A bunch of Ladbroke Grove hippies, specialising in acid-laced, other-wordly monotoriffs and lyrics that
droned ceaselessly on about interstellar flight, exploding galaxies, etc..
Although their first album, 'Hawkwind', came out as late as 1970, without the psychedelic era the band
would never have existed. Indeed, up until the release of their second album 'In Search Of Space',
Hawkwind were still regarded by many to be a 'people's band' and even 'the last true underground outfit'.
As the band became more successful, so did their hippy philosophies fully emerge - not only in the music
itself, but also in dazzling, swirling lightshows and in mime.
A much-changed band exists today, although the music is essentially the same.
Review of the 1st 5 album CD reissues (date and publication unknown):
Well, they got there in the end: proper reissues for the first five Hawkwind albums, dating from their
EMI/United Artists stint between 1970 and 1974. A typical Hawkwind song from the era now sounds like a
cross between the primitivism of X-Ray Spex and a hugely disordered Pink Floyd - a perfect meeting-place
of punk and psychedelia in other words, which is probably why my waters tell me that the 'Wind's time has
And if you're still wavering, then take a look at the presentation, which is first-class: fold-out sleeves
bearing original notes, plenty of period photos and memorabilia, plus picture discs and - where appropriate -
booklet inserts. Each disc also includes quality bonus material.
That thumbnail, punk-psych characterization of the band bears no resemblance to what you'll hear on
Hawkwind's self-titled debut from 1970, though. The opening "Hurry On Sundown", for example, is brisk,
summertime psych more evocative of Hyde Park than of the black hole of the cosmos; while the great
stoned hippie jam reveals itself on "Seeing It As You Really Are" and parts of "Be Yourself".
The three bonus tracks include an earlier take of "Hurry On Sundown", "Kiss Of The Velvet Whip" (which
sounds like it ought to take its cue from the Velvet Underground, but is in fact far closer to Gong), and a
suitably pastoral version of Pink Floyd's "Cymbaline". All three are credited to Hawkwind Zoo, unlike "Bring
It On Home", which finds Dave Brock doing a Don Partridge on an old Willie Dixon number.
"In Search Of Space", from 1971, comes with a repro of its original log-book. It's crammed with cosmic
baloney, as are many of the band's lyrics, but there's no doubting that the group had found its niche by this
time. The 15-minute-plus "You Shouldn't Do That" shows that Hawkwind were closer in spirit to the
newly-fashionable Krautrock acts - its rudimentary, hypnotic rhythm overlaid with Nik Turner's
effects-laden sax and some synth sounds from the ultraworld, courtesy of Del Dettmar and DikMik. No
wonder dancer Stacia was compelled to peel off when the 'Wind took to the stage - this is idiot dancing
The Hawkwind groove, best exemplified here by the old warhorse "Master Of The Universe", consisted of
simple chord progressions, which didn't always endear them to the progressive rock-seeking hordes of the
day: they were the band that young fans would somehow "grow out of". But "In Search Of Space", like
the two albums which followed, reduces 99% of the work carried out in the name of prog rock to
codswallop - especially now that the original "Silver Machine" single, the "Seven By Seven" flip, and the 45
live cut of "Born To Go" have been added to strengthen the set.
Hawkwind took control of the production for "Doremi", which probably helps explain why it wasn't quite
the perfect successor to "In Search Of Space", though the quieter material, like "Space is Deep", fared
better. It's difficult not to raise a smile as the numb-crunching chords of "Time We Left This World Today"
strike up, but then, Armstrong and co. had barely come back from the moon when Hawkwind (and Paul
Kantner in the States) were earning a living with their cosmic hippie fantasies.
Lemmy's arrival was more notable on the band's 'lost' single, "Urban Guerilla / Brainbox Pollution", which
added a Pink Fairies-ish sense of rock'n'roll to the group. Also gratis, courtesy of the vaults, comes the
single edit of "Lord Of Light", and a previously unreleased version of "Ejection".
The double-album set "Space Ritual" in many ways marked the pinnacle of Hawkwind's achievements.
Recorded live, where the self-styled 'Musicnauts' could rely on their stoned audiences to leave their sense
of reality in the cloakroom, "Ritual" was perhaps the greatest concept album of its time. It was the spirit of
'68 transported to some unspecified point in the future, a two-hour trip down the band's black corridor of
heavy metal noise and space tannoy interludes. Check out the photos in the two accompanying booklets for
proof that space-rock clearly does something very unusual to the brain.
That high came at a price, for the band clearly decided to steer themselves more closely back to Earth for
the follow-up, "Hall Of The Mountain Grill". The arrival of Simon House and his trusty synth was probably
for sound musical reasons, but his technical attributes were clearly no substitute for the wayward
wobbliness of Dik Mik. No doubt the constant drone by critics that space and Sixties idealism were no
longer fashionable affected the group; kicking off the album with "The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In
Smoke)" said as much. That song, like "You'd Better Believe It" and "Paradox", now appears twice, with
its edited-for-single format bolstering the disc. Dave Brock's "It's So Easy", rounds off the set.
So by 1974, the slide just starts to kick in, but overall, it's space cake all round for everyone involved on
this otherwise stunning reissue job. Space may be deep, but how far down do your pockets go?
Hawkwind's Eerie Eclipse - Sounds, 01/09/73
The most artistic aspect of Hawkwind's concert at Worthing Assembly Hall on Wednesday evening was the
intricate light show.
Back on the road after a three-week rest, the group played with remarkable energy. But their music was
primitive and unemotional. Thumping bass and tortured guitars delighted the large crowd, but without the
mountains of the moon and the eclipse of the sun projected on the back screen, it would have lost much of
its eerie appeal.
Behind the feedback shrieks and electronic wizardry, Hawkwind are a competent rock band with a few
good ideas which they tend to over-repeat. To hear them without experiencing the visuals would be like
eating bread with no butter.
No doubt this is why Hawkwind make more impression on concert audiences than record sales. At a time
when image is all-important, they must rank among the leaders in stage presentation. The songs, mostly
based on slamming guitar chords, did not seem to be well known to the listeners, and were performed
unannounced in a continuous stream, linked with spoken passages and ear splitting rushing sounds.
This never varying formula became rather tired towards the end of the show and over-enthusiastic use of
echo made it impossible to decipher the poetry. It was the driving beat that had the audience stamping and
shouting for more.
Hawkwind's Giant Tour Set (date & publication unknown)
Hawkwind's Space Ritual takes the road on November 8 when they open their extensive tour at the Corn
Exchange, King's Lynn. Three light shows will be accompanying the band along with a specially converted
cinema screen, and the entourage will also include four dancers, three designers and disc jockey Andy
The five-man sound crew will be under the supervision of tour manager John Burroughs and in the
meantime special equipment is being constructed for the tour by the band's designer Barney Bubbles who
devised the "In Search Of Space" album sleeve.
The concept of the tour is based around the "astronomical concept of the nine planet system" said a
spokesman, "and the dancers will be choreographed to imply the movements of planets around the sunâ€�:
the group's equipment will be housed in six-sided cabinets built into six pointed star formations.
It is hoped that the Space Ritual will be recorded live sometime during the tour and be released on an album
next year while the band's third album "Doremi Fasol Latido" is issued by United Artists on November 10.
Negotiations are taking place for Hawkwind to appear at the Sundown, Edmonton, on December 29 or 30 -
right at the end of their tour...
Hawkwind: problems resolved (Melody Maker, 10/05/73)
Reported upheavals in Hawkwind have now been solved, with the band back to full strength for their May
27 concert at Wembley Empire Pool. They begin a visit to Holland on June 1, and are currently negotiating
British, American and Japanese tours.
Bassist Lemmy, who missed the start of Hawkwind's recent German tour, was apparently ill but rejoined
the band after three gigs. Electronics guru DikMik left temporarily -"he leaves practically every week"
according to their manager- but will be appearing at Wembley and on other British dates, although he's
expected to miss the Dutch tour.
Poet Bob Calvert rejoined the band last week after a short absence spent writing new material - for
Hawkwind and his own projected group, Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters. Guitarist Dave Brock is
also preparing new material for the band, and a spokesman this week denied that he had missed any
Hawkwind gigs or had any intention of leaving.
The new double album "The Space Ritual Live at Liverpool Stadium and Brixton Sundown" is released by
United Artists this week - packaged in a six-page full-colour foldout sleeve.