|Gig Review 1 - Hawkestra, Brixton Academy, October 21st 2000
This was originally written for the now-defunct web page of the Bargoed Rowing Club, a
collection of idiot boys not unknown to me personally. So if it seems like an in-joke - it is...
On 21st October 2000, six lusty fellows turned out for the annual
Bargoed Rowing Club day trip to see ye olde gods of space rock,
Hawkwind. Originally the festivities were to be attended by BRC
members Dai Cwm, Kenneth Williams, Chee Sai Yoos, and Ifor
Bytwyckle, with 2 guests: Megan Bytwyckle and Neale Llancoch.
In the event Kenneth could not attend as he was in the bosom of
his family, particularly his ex-wife's. And when belatedly Megan
Bytwyckle realised she would be prey to bellows of "Get 'em out
Megan!" and "Where's my cocking tea then", she declined to attend.
That left Dai, Chee Sai and Ifor. Chee Sai was acting as honorary
treasurer in the enforced pecuniary absence of Owen Money, who
was laying low in Machynlleth to evade various creditors. This left Chee Sai in the alarming situation of
having to pay for 6 tickets and only get reimbursed for 3.
Fortunately Ifor came to the rescue and arranged for a friend of his, Nick, to replace Megan. Nick
thought this meant for the trip to see Hawkwind only. His ignorance and air of rectitude were rudely
penetrated apres-gig... And Neale Llancoch also brought a friend, a bulky youth called Daa-aa-a-ss. The
omnomatepaeic quality of this name had the unfortunate effect of sexually inflaming those members of
the Principality present - well, OK then, just Ifor. What happened to Daa-aa-a-ss after the gig...well, this
is neither the time nor the place....
Assembling first at Ifor's flat, Nick and Dai joined the rest of the BRC th(r)ong at London Bridge. Then
an uncomfortable 10 minute minicab ride to Brixton was endured. During this cab ride, Chee Sai
recalled exactly why it was that Neale Llancoch had once been described as looking like a ferret peering
out of a bear's arse.
By the time we reached Brixton we were already well acquainted with Bob and had had several pints.
One of these was at the Beehive, but we had missed the hardcore fans there... THEY took it all
seriously enough to queue up for tickets. We just had another drink and waited until we could walk in
without having to stand in line. We got into the hall at a quarter to eleven, 3 numbers into Hawkwind's
set. The sound was awful, very indistinct, and reminded us of Rhys Cynach demanding service at the
bar of the rugby club. Being somewhat the worse for wear, the BRC lads were at the back of the hall
(near the bar) and it was difficult to see exactly who was doing what. For the first half of the gig it
looked like appalling Canadian Paul Rudolph was playing bass - it has since transpired that it was actually
Alan Davey (2nd only to Lemmy) with a tea-towel on his head. BRC lads impressed by this cunning
Things moved up a gear when Lemmy arrived some time after midnight, and some of it was very good,
despite the sound. Hawkwind played mostly early 70s and late 70s stuff, including Hurry On Sundown,
Space Is Deep, Psychedelic Warlords, Silver Machine, and a superb Orgone Accumulator. They also
played some Hawklords stuff from 1978 which should have sent Ifor into raptures. However he
decided he would rather hop about in a desultory fashion to the ear-splitting and utterly shite techno
disco which had been laid on in the foyer. Hawkwind were providing an altogether superior aural
experience inside the hall...more thud and blunder than blood and thunder, admittedly, but Ifor was left
to his ruptures all on his own (along with 50 other fleece-clad technoheads).
Altogether Hawkwind played until twenty past two, i.e. about 4 hours, and the BRC contingent left the
scene at about 3am. One of those present said "Overall the sound almost ruined it for me, but just to see
lined up on stage (from left to right) Nik Turner, Lemmy, Simon House and Dave Brock was superb.
Turner did the frontman duties and suggested same thing again next year...that got a big cheer. I really
hope they do, and if they can get the sound sorted out, it would be fantastic. They can still do it,
everyone played really well."
After that we were too tired and emotional to stay any longer so we missed Spiral Realms and Bedouin.
Another time, with any luck...