Gig Review 3 - Aldershot Prince's Hall, 1st April March 2001

Below: The Aldershot gig.  This picture is from the Mission Control website.  That's yours truly in the lower
left corner.  Rob, the proprietor of the dreamworker.co.uk website, is wearing a blue jacket and leaning on
the stage.  I am next to him in the brown leather jacket.  Yappy Girl is next to me.
Set List (may not be the right order):

Assault & Battery / Golden Void / Flying Doctor / Money Tree (?) / Angels of Death / Space Is Deep / Spirit
Of The Age / High Rise / Uncle Sam's on Mars / Spiral Galaxy 28948 / Hassan-i-Sahba / You'd Better Believe
It / Motorway City / Hurry On Sundown

One week after the Croydon gig, Hawkwind return to a rather different venue, the Prince's Hall in
Aldershot.  The capacity is maybe only 1,200 and it is mostly standing...security is much looser and we are
allowed to smoke and drink inside...oooohhh!

Tonight's bill is Bedouin on first, then an acoustic set from Huw Lloyd Langton, then Hawkwind.  Bedouin
come on at 7.40pm and again play a stormer, including a number from the Chronicle of the Black Sword
(Elric The Enchanter).  We only get 35 minutes from them.  They play the title track from their forthcoming
album & it lives up to the description of Bedouin as "a psychedelic Motorhead".

Huw is a little more lively than at Croydon and plays better.  He gets the crowd to clap/stamp in time &
maybe this helps.  Numbers include Rocky Paths and an excellent version of Moonglum and Elric.  Nice to
see Huwie engaging in a bit of banter with the crowd.  Again only 35 minutes' worth, but the bill works
really well with Huw's set allowing everyone to chill out a little between the twin slabs of Blanga that are
Bedouin and Hawkwind.  At the end of his set Huw offers to do a jam session in the foyer later on.

So far this tour is running like clockwork.  Hawkwind hit the stage at 9pm and go straight into Assault and
Battery, segueing this into The Golden Void.   The line-up is the Captain, Simon House, Richard Chadwick,
Jerry Richards, Alan Davey, Jez Huggett (new sax player) and Ron Tree.  Keith Kniveton is not there, nor
do we see Captain Rizz at all during the evening.  Compared to the Croydon gig the light show is very
pared-down and the volume of dry ice is equivalent to 2 acne'd teenagers smoking Player's No. 6 behind the
school bike sheds.
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The sound is pretty good, clearer but maybe not quite so
balanced as at Croydon.   Simon House's violin is
difficult to pick out, but for once we can hear Dave's
rhythm guitar loud and clear.  The band are even tighter
than last week, in fact they probably couldn't get any
tighter than this.  Set list is pretty much the same,
concentrating on mid-to-late 70's material.  Ron handles
maybe half of the singing and is barechested this time,
with targets for nipples.  Volume is loud but not
deafening, near enough perfect (down the front
anyway).  Brockwatchers will be pleased to hear that the
Captain was in jovial spirits and wore one of the new
Mission Control T-shirts.  At one point Ron seemed to
have a problem with a microphone and turned round to
Dave as if to explain or complain.  Dave gave him a
paternal smile that said "pull yourself together young
man!", then grinned to himself as Ron made the best of a
bad job.  This was after Ron had already wrecked his
microphone stand with his Wild Man of Space Rock
persona, and I don't think Mr. Brock would be too
thrilled about picking up the tab on account of any
equipment smashing.  Actually Ron was difficult to hear
anyway, but Dave and Alan did brilliantly on the vocals -
crystal clear. There seemed to be a few idiots in the audience yelling out things like "Turner!", which
prompted Ron to give his rather studied views on the matter.  ("He's a fucking arsehole!")  This week's
Most Interesting HW Fan award goes to Yappy Girl.  Yappy Girl was at the front and could not stop - but
she was OK really.  We heard all about how she was out of it at Brixton on Magic Mushrooms, four or five
times.  And Huw is the spitting image of her mate Terry, even though Terry's only 30, and.... I have to take
issue with Yappy Girl on one point, though.  She told me there's a rumour that Dave Brock can't play any
more because he has arthritis, and that's why Jerry is in the band, to play Dave's parts for him.  That's total
crap, as anyone who knows Dave's sound & style could tell.  He played a lot of guitar here and even came
out a little way from behind his sofa-throw bedecked bank of synths.  We heard more of him than Jerry
(who was lower in the mix) although Jerry played excellently and even sported a few rockist attitudes here
and there.

Spirit of the Age started off with just a synth à  la Live 79.  Then the band went into it full throttle and Ron
ran back on stage, mouth full of grapes.  He chucked the stalks on the floor and started singing with pips
and grape juice (hopefully) flying everywhere.  Spirit of the Grape.  At the end of the gig a woman ran on
the stage to retrieve one of Ron's grapes and that was the only time we saw security: a bloke charged after
her and gave her a hard time.  Never mind the fact that people had been using the front of the stage for
skinning up, that grape belonged to the band and she had no right to it.

The band were in their customary positions on stage, Simon again wearing his pyjama jacket and cuban
heels.  Not so much Oxford professor as Roman Emperor this week, remote and Olympian, to mix
metaphors.  When not playing he stands languidly at the back of the stage, surveying the audience.  During
one of Jez Huggett's solo spots (there are a few of these) I catch his eye for a moment before his gaze
slides away to the right, disinterested.  He does come forward to announce Spiral Galaxy and this is
probably the high point of his playing.  At the end of the number Alan Davey commends him to us all as the
original Mean Fiddler.  But he's more Herculaneam than Harlesden...

While we're on the subject of anthropomorphising, Richard Chadwick could be a Victorian engineer.  Give
him a high collar and bugger's grips and Mrs Brunel would have trouble telling him from her own boy
Isambard Kingdom.   Another ironclad performance there, too, but it's Alan Davey who is really stoking the
boilers.  I would guess that he is not going through the PA, just using his own backline (the Lemmy recipe
of old Fender head and 8 x 12"(?) speakers.  You're superb Alan, but you're too loud.  Turn it down a bit so
we can hear everyone!

One guy I talked to reckoned Jez Huggett should not be in Hawkwind.  Too jazz-orientated, too melodic.  I
suspect the way he dresses (Blues Brothers) is part of this...but he is certainly a decent musician.  Thanks
to Jez we get flute during Spiral Galaxy and soprano saxophone during Hassan-i-Sahba (Assassins of Allah)
which really brings out the eastern vibes.  After the sometimes unsubtle blaring of Nik, it is certainly
different.  I think he should keep the music but ditch the look.  Get yourself one of those Mission Control T-
shirts, Jez, and maybe a proper Hawkwind moustache like the Captain's.

Hassan-i-Sahba was the last number of the main part of the set.  They came back on and did You'd Better
Believe It, Motorway City and Hurry On Sundown for an encore.  Huw reappeared for Motorway City
(during which I couldn't hear him) and Hurry On Sundown.  Definitely a bit of guitar interplay between
Huw and Jerry on Hurry On Sundown, which seemed to come to a close, and Ron wished us all good nightâ
€¦but they cranked it back up again for one last chorus, and even Ron laughed.  That was it.  All told they
played for 2 hours, and at the end Ron's Grape Groupie was rewarded when he jumped off the front of the
stage to rap with her.  I do not know if his got his grape back.