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Dave Brock and Jason Stuart, and nobody else.   We've come to expect large line-ups and a lighthearted
atmosphere at Hawkfests, but the mood here was brisk and businesslike, no doubt on account of the questions
about the line-up change.

They kicked off the gig with little interaction with the audience, plunging straight into the opening number,
which was a rendition of Warrior On The Edge Of Time narrated by Mr. Dibs.  Then straight into Assault &
Battery, with the familiar opening bass riffs well handled by Dibs.  He even repeated this motif elsewhere in the
song, which was an excellent innovation...though the changeover to The Golden Void was a little bit rough,
having to be rescued by the Captain slamming out the chords so that everybody knew where we were going.  
Still, the band were really very tight and Where Are They Now, the third number in the set, was punishingly
heavy, and incorporated a ripping guitar solo (the first of a fair old few!) if I remember correctly.  They seemed
to be relaxing a little bit now, and Dave Brock announced that although Tim Blake couldn't be there in person,
they would do Lighthouse anyway.  And they did, though it creaked a bit.
Hawkfest 2007 - Part 2
At long last we filed into the big tent to see Hawkwind,
whose set was billed to start at 10pm.  Normally I try to
stand down the front on the right hand side, so as to be in
front of the Captain.  That area was already pretty tightly
packed, so I wandered over to the left, about 6 rows
back from the stage, where there was more room.  It
soon filled up, and while waiting for the band to come on
(they actually got off the ground 15 minutes later than
advertised) realised I had planted myself in front of
whoever was going to be playing bass.  As the band filed
onstage, that person turned out to be Mr. Dibs, looking
quite apprehensive, so already this was going to be a gig
with a difference...he was joined by Richard Chadwick,
After that, The Right Stuff was pumped out, Spacehead
style (not surprising really) and then Mr. Dibs stayed in
the limelight with a narration of The Awakening.  He does
these things pretty well, but the set dipped alarmingly with
Orgone Accumulator, which was next up, but through no
fault of Mr. Dibs.  I am told this arrangement got an
outing on last winter's UK tour but it was new to me, and
not to my taste at all.  I am sure some fans enjoyed
hearing what was once prime blanga reduced to a bouncy
singalong, but I thought it terribly ill-advised.  One good
thing was the middle section consisting of the main riff
from You Know You're Only Dreaming, but the rest of it
made the succeeding song (Paradox) sound wonderful by
comparison: and that's another arrangement I personally
don't like, i.e. the 2005 rendition.  Again, there are surely
people who hold a totally opposing view and fair play to
them, but for me this is almost a karaoke arrangement,
with the band trying too hard to be melodic and soulful, so
that the end result is, well, contrived.  Horses for courses,
Normal service was restored with Robot, which featured some grinding slabs of rhythm guitar from Dave - but
Steppenwolf followed it and proceedings went a bit "cocktail bar" again, with the jazzy piano tinklings coming
across as particularly inappropriate for the Hawkwind sound.  But from this point on the set really went from
strength to strength, though Dibs' voice gave out on him in the next number, Flying Doctor.  It was a good thing
the band had the assistance of a pair of new backing vocalists: bridesmaids-to-be Sophie (Kris Tait's niece) and
Claudia.   The musical backing behind these young ladies was solid, and one noticed how well the new boy was
doing on bass.  I've never got to grips with his bass sound in Spacehead, but for Hawkwind, Dibs definitely
backed off the gain and mined a more restrained, musical vein.  Alan Davey is such an accomplished musician
that he often dominated proceedings, his bass parts frequently propelling the band along breathlessly: this didn't
happen with Mr. Dibs in the fold.  Instead, he fitted into the overall vibe of the band, didn't overplay it, and
consequently sounded like he's been doing it all his life.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  The bloke
answered his critics (me foremost among them) in style.

Another heavy slice of blanga came along with Arrival In Utopia (always a favourite for me) and then a bit of
light and shade was deployed with Infinity coming in.  
This was played with a shifting starry backdrop being
projected behind the lads, and reminds me that I've said
nothing yet about Chaos Illumination, who *of course*
did their usual brilliant job.  Theirs seems to be a
constantly evolving element of the Hawkwind experience,
and on this occasion they seemed to rely less on slides
and strobes and more on something which wasn't an oil
wheel, but in terms of the fluid, brightly coloured
projections melding and flowing behind the band, fulfilled
a similarly psychedelic role.

Following Infinity, a somewhat surprising inclusion in the
set was Images, with Richard handling Bridget Wishart's
vocal parts.  I was agog to see what he would make of
And of course, they did come back, led by the man on
bass, and powered into Master Of The Universe.  Once
again, the unison riffing of guitar and bass was at the core
of what the band were doing, and not for the first time in
the set (though I've failed to mention it until now) I was
struck by the matching power and quality of Dave's and
Dibs' voices.  They seemed to sing the same parts, but the
stereo separation being excellent, could be heard as
separate voices of complementary timbre.  I don't think
this has been present in Hawkwind before now.

They closed it out with a fairly brief and unremarkable
"the fee-uh and the ang-uh", but that whole middle section was done more briefly and creditably than the original
arrangement managed.  Overall though, this number didn't quite gell for my money, and came across as
lacklustre or slightly weak.  I would not be surprised if it were to gather strength with a few more outings - it
certainly seemed to be a late addition to the new line-up's roster of material.  Another surprise followed hot on
its heels, with Only The Dead Dreams Of The Cold War Kid.  I think this might be only the second time it's ever
been played live
[previously at Oxford New Theatre on 6th October 1978].  This was a fairly muscular rendition
which I think faltered in a couple of places, but from the almost stiff opening to the gig, the band were by now
well into their stride and turning in a competent, powerful performance that totally belied any idea of uncertainty
or instability in the ranks.

A case in point was Sonic Attack, which halfway through pulled the riff from You Shouldn't Do That out of thin
air, and this was the most ripping version of it, ever, thanks to the deft bass fingering of Mr. Dibs...who didn't
do the sledging bass chords that luminaries such as Lemmy and Alan Davey have put into this number.  He
actually played the individual notes in that distinctive phrase that goes duh-duh duh-duh duh-DUH-duh-duh....  
(Yeah, I know that isn't particularly descriptive but it's the best I can do at the mo!)  And given Alan Davey's
absence, quite a few people around me had been wondering between numbers if Hassan-i-Sahba was going to
be dropped from the set.  It's been there for such a long time that the consensus seemed to be that a rest was
well overdue, but no.  It closed out the main part of the set and even included a (mercifully abridged) Space Is
Their Palestine interlude, succeeded by an elongated "It is written" passage.  And that was that, with the band
filing offstage, Mr. Dibs looking pretty happy with how it had turned out and we the loyal fans cheering and
hollering for more to bring them back on.
trundle through Welcome To The Future, and it had to end there.  There was a midnight curfew and the band
had played on a little past that.  Mel of Tarantism, who was  stage manager for the big tent, came on and told us
so, which was actually very good sense: everyone accepted we had had our lot for the night and shuffled out
into the mud, some to head on to the Strangeness stage and some, for whom any other music would be an
irrelevance after seeing Hawkwind in action, to return to our tents.  But most likely everyone was hungrily
anticipating the set by Technicians Of Spaceship Hawkwind, to take place at the same place and time a day later,
which it had been announced would feature plenty of special guests.
End of Part 2 - continue on to Hawkfest 2007, Part 3