|Hawkwind live at Eastern Haze festival 22nd July 2006
Love in Space was followed by the triple treat of Lord of Light, Paradox and Spirit of the Age. I'm not
sure I've ever seen Hawkwind play the first of those live, so that was excellent to hear. Paradox has
apparently been updated and featured some very pleasant piano from Jason in the intro and a screaming
guitar solo from Dave. Spirit of the Age was as crowd-pleasing as ever, though I couldn't help but notice
Dave missed part of my favourite couplet: "....you'd rejoice in your uniqueness and consider every
weakness something special of your own".
|Thanks to Dr.M for this review, and cheers also for the pics - all photos (c) Melissa Joseph 2006 & used
by permission. Below L-R Alan Davey, Richard Chadwick, Dave Brock, Jason Stuart
|Above: not mentioned in Dr.M's review was this incident, when the Faerie Dancer stuck one on
Mr.Dibs, which garnered some surprising applause from Dave Brock. Quite uncalled for.
Despite having had to repeatedly run a gauntlet of over-intrusive security guards to enter the main festival
arena, Saturday saw a relaxed Hawkwind crowd at Eastern Haze Festival in Suffolk. Hawkwind came on
at about 9:15 pm and played until 11:00 pm. The set featured unusual golden oldies such as Lord of Light,
Upside Down and Paradox, with only a sprinkling of more contemporary numbers like Greenback
Massacre, Out There We Are and Love in Space.
Left & below: lightshow by Chaos Illumination
The set kicked off with The Right Stuff, which was only marred by the sound balance. The overall mix
didn't improve for the first 20 minutes, though a decent enough sound was maintained for the remainder
of the gig. The Right Stuff still appears to include an extra instrumental section, which I've always
thought to be unnecessary and disruptive to the flow of the song. This was followed by the Alan-lead
Sword of the East and Greenback Massacre, which then made way for 7 By 7. It's great to see them play
this one, as it is the ultimate live track, with Mr. Dibs doing a good job of the spoken section and finishing
with a great piano line from Jason Stewart. Out There We Are provided a bridge to another non-studio
track - Uncle Sam's On Mars, which is as allegorically true and pertinent now as it was when Bob Calvert
penned it nearly 30 years ago. The irony of Bob's lyrics was highlighted by fusing on The Iron Dream as
an outro, before continuing the astral theme with Love in Space. Dave has been playing more guitar
recently, which stood out the most during his solo on Love In Space. The visual spectacle of the lights
and projected backdrop was enhanced at intervals by a dancer with wings, her faerie/alien persona
anchored firmly to the stage by overlarge boots, which appeared to only let her stomp up and down, while
waving a fluorescent, spiky rubber sphere about while wearing a simpering smile.
The late '70's era continued to be revisited with the very welcome Psi Power and Hassan I Sabha, where
Jason tackled Simon's signature violin riff with atmospheric assurance. Hassan I Sabha continues to be
split by Space is Their (Palestine), which has a certain hypnotic quality, but I think I like the title more
then a raver-pleasing interruption. A typically muscular Brainstorm followed and then the set was finished
off by the unorthodox but apposite choice of Upside Down and Brainbox Pollution. There must have been
something in the air, as all in all, it was the most vibrant Hawkwind gig I've seen in ages. It was especially
great to see them in the middle of a field doing what they do best.
Left: ...and clothes, of course. Below: Richard
|Left: headgear in honour of the Norfolk location?