|Dome on the Rock
The title of this page being a tip of the hat to author Malcolm Dome who has written and broadcasted about
Hawkwind for decades. A keeper of the flame.
suggesting the band lied about their age, and one brief missive from Eric Clapton, which probably came from
his assistant (but fair play to him for bothering to acknowledge Hawkwind).
However, the absence of any celebrities onstage -although TV's Matthew Wright does provide backing vocals
during Silver Machine- is appropriate. Hawkwind have always been, and remain, a dedicated underground band,
one that doesn't need any guests to legitimise an event such as this. Instead what we get is a quite breathtaking
performance from the current incarnation of the band, with founder-leader Dave Brock partially hidden behind a
massive, and rather ridiculous, lectern.
The set draws back the years, featuring some of the best-loved material among diehards. Warriors... kicks it all
off, leading into Assault And Battery (Part 1) and The Golden Void (Part 2) - already it's clear that Hawkwind
intend this to be a celebration that reaches far back into their colourful history
The band are backed by projections, films and a light show that pays homage to the much missed Liquid Len,
but is also decidedly 21st century, plus exotic dancers who are dressed as 1950s sci-fi pulp movie heroines
(hardly Stacia, but nobody complains). Musically, there's a new dimension to Lighthouse, Space Is Deep and
Angels Of Death, before the combination of Spirit Or The Age and Silver Machine nod towards the more
The main set closes with Brainbox Pollution, You'd Better Believe It and Right To Decide, before everything
reaches a crescendo with an astonishing encore version of Assassins Of Allah, which becomes a dub reggae
space rock acid trip, thanks to the vocal rappings of occasional Hawkwind collaborator Captain Rizz. This is
where everything should have ended. But the band come back for the anticlimactic Fahrenheit 451. Still, they're
allowed one slip. Afterwards, it's strange to hear an announcement for everyone to eave quietly and respect the
local residents. But being Hawkwind, everyone does.
It's Hawkwind's 40th anniversary. Or rather the 40th
anniversary of the first time the band then called Group X
stepped onto a stage, at the All Saint's Hall, just down the
road from this venerable venue.
The fact that the Porchester looks like a church hall is
fitting, given the fact it was in such a locale that Group X
first entered the public domain four decades ago. There
are, unusually, performance artists wandering through the
crowd including jugglers, dancers and even one man
dressed as a cleaner washing the floor. Oh, hang on, this
bloke is actually washing the floor. And when was the last
time you saw that happen in the middle of a gig?
There are no special guests tonight. Rumours that Foo
Fighters mainman / Them Crooked Vultures drummer
Dave Grohl is to turn up are false. David Gilmour is
apparently in attendance somewhere, but doesn't get up
onstage. And whereas on the previous night, Iron
Maiden's Bruce Dickinson introduces the band, tonight,
there's only a cheeky message from Girlschool,