Glasgow ABC, 07/11/2013

Thanks to Graham P for this gig review and photos
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Although the American shows didn't happen, fortunately, the UK tour survived including a show in
Glasgow on 7 November. The ABC had two shows on, with the Hawks getting the early slot (doors open
18.30). The merchandising stall was selling CDs as well as t-shirts and signed posters, and there were
leaflets about (well, against, obviously) badger culling. Aside from Onwards and Spacehawks there were a
few copies of SpaceBrock (in blank cases; no covers, sleevenotes or tracklisting), apparently handed over
without explanation by the man himself. The music being played on the sound system should have given a
clue though, namely that this was the original "mis-pressed" version of SpaceBrock which includes
"Damage of Life".
The stage set included a tiny drumkit stage left which turned out to be for Hypiersonik, last seen (or in my
case, missed) at Hawkeaster. Friendly, unassuming and personable they may be but their music is less
likeable. Most of the instrumentation was pre-recorded (and emanating from a small box tended by the
vocalist), with drums, sax and spoken vocals added live. More to the point they don't really go for tunes or
structure, but at least the closing cover of "21st Century Schizoid Man" raised the pulse, despite vocals
shouted through a megaphone and which emerged as a loud buzzing noise. As soon as Hipiersonik left the
stage, curtains were drawn so all we saw for the next half hour were vague shadows, accompanied by
occasional sounds of instruments and microphones being tested, plus Spacebrock on the sound system of
course.
At eight o'clock the curtains parted and we were rolling. The set has evolved since Hawkeaster but not that
much. Dibs recited the Awakening before the band charged into a workmanlike "Master of the Universe".
Reasonable sound from in front of the stage but Dibs' cello added a prominent and not altogether welcome
drone. Niall recreated the Dave Anderson bass solo at the start of the second verse.
Taking stock, the stage set up had been switched around: Dave Brock and Dibs kept their usual places
either side of the drumkit but Fred was stationed stage right, Tim in the middle and Niall out to the left.
Guest sax player Michal Sosna stood between Dave and Tim when on stage, and there was plenty of room
at the front for the two dancers. Oh, and there were two people in badger masks hiding out at the back
most of the time.
Of the other songs preceding the main event, Dibs was in especially good vocal form for "Steppenwolfâ
€�. He seems to be acquiring more front man mannerisms - holding one arm aloft while singing,
occasionally shifting into a higher almost falsetto register. Dave Brock has added congas to his on-stage
armoury. The dancers and slideshow were as excellent as ever.
The performance of WOTEOT had grown in stature. "Assault and Battery" was more aggressive, â
€œDemented Man" sounded closer to the original, Fred played more violin, and both "Dying Seasâ€� (for
which Dave Brock left the stage and Michal provided the honking sax) and "Kings of Speed" were
extended into jams.
The final section was inevitably mostly a selection of greatest "hits". "Assassins of Allah" had a re-tooled
mid-section. The version of "Arrival in Utopia" paid lip service to verses and chorus and was mostly a very
long and not very interesting mid-song jam. "Reefer Madness" was a very welcome addition. Despite the
otherwise slightly underwhelming closing segment of the set, it was a very solid and powerful performance
and audience and band apparently went come (early and) happy; Dibs in particular seemed well pleased at
the end.
The setlist was something like: Awakening, Master of the Universe, Steppenwolf, The Hills Have Eyes,
Southern Cross, Assault and Battery, Golden Void, The Wizard Blew His Horn, Opa Loka, Demented Man,
Magnu, Standing on the Edge, Spiral Galaxy, Dying Seas, Warriors, Kings of Speed, Sunship, Silver
Machine, Reefer Madness, Assassins of Allah, Arrival in Utopia, Seasons.

-Graham P