|Glasgow ABC, 4th December 2010
Thanks to Graham P for this review and photos
Hawkwind at the O2 ABC, Glasgow 4-12-10
It was touch and go whether I'd get to this one. Due to the snow and ice, road conditions were poor over much of
Scotland and all trains from Aberdeen to Glasgow had been cancelled. However, the message came through on the
website that the band were on the road and, fortunately, coaches from Aberdeen to Glasgow were running!
As promised the venue doors were open at 7 (and must have been open already as there was no queue and some
people inside already) and it seemed only a few minutes later that The Jokers took to the stage. The Jokers are
actually among the best support acts I've seen with Hawkwind over the years: heavy good time rock and roll with
glam influences and considerable poise and swagger - and they look the part. The crowd was very sparse when
they started but the hall partly filled up during their set. They do a good line in covers (Helter Skelter) and offer
some pretty decent homegrown songs. The CD ("The Big Rock & Roll Show") is good value at Â£5!
The Hawks also came on early. Once the Jokers' gear had been removed, Richard, Tim and Niall were in evidence
pottering around on stage alongside Keith and the other stage hands and it must have been around 8.30 that Niall
switched on the sequencers and they were up and running.
Bludgeoning power is the motif tonight, with Niall, Dibs and Richard offering a thunderous noise even when DB isnâ
€™t contributing rhythm guitar. The light show is excellent and the dancers are used sparingly but are good. Niall,
Dave and Dibs tend to stay at their posts but Tim Blake takes every opportunity to strut around stage front like a
teenager, soloing on his hand-held synth (and, frankly, showing rather too much flesh for a man of his years! More
of the dancers, less Tim please!).
Dibs starts proceedings by reading a barely audible poem and then attacks his bass with relish: down at the front,
stage left, the volume off his stage monitor is almost painfully loud (later on Dave makes a quip about this music
making you go deaf). The band gradually build up to a taut "ShouldnÂ´t Do That". Dave isn't smiling though and
remains unmoved during a workmanlike "Lord of Light", which is sung by Dave and Richard. A so-so "Sonic
Attack" follows and then a surprising reimagining of the previously jaunty "Star Cannibalâ€�, here sung by Dibs.
Next is, I think, "Parasites are here on Earth", in which case it offers conclusive proof that there's still back
catalogue material available to fill the gap caused by the notable lack of new Brock-penned material. While the
sound is powerful and aggressive, they still havenÂ´t locked into that elusive Hawkwind groove yet.
A sizeable cheer greets "Prometheus" and reminds us how much Dibs is responsible for keeping this band moving
forward - praise also for NiallÂ´s increasingly confident soloing. A bigger cheer greets the sequencer-based intro
to "Spirit of the Age". Dave is now smiling and hams it up for all heÂ´s worth on the vocal delivery. Now weÂ´re
all smiling. However, a strident but thoroughly unmusical "Robot" is not the best way to continue. There's plenty
of ranting by Richard about the three laws of robotics but preciously little guitar from Dave. "Sentinel" ups the
ante before Dibs, convincingly now, reads "Warriors". "Angels of Death" follows, seriously heavy, especially
when NiallÂ´s second bass is finally turned up. "Tide of the Century" is welcome light relief. The set closes out
with an excellent "Wraith" and a heroic â€œBrainstorm". The encore is, inevitably, the remake of "You'd Better
Believe It", ending a high energy set on a real high. A glance at the watch tells me it isn't even 10 pm yet. Looks
like an early night after all.