|Hawkwind 1972 Press
These clippings from 1972 really sum up how it became Hawkwind's annus mirabilis in terms of media
coverage. The first piece is from the July 22, 1972 issue of Record Mirror
Space in the charts for Hawkwind?
Hawkwind having a single in the charts seems as
likely as the Prime Minister joining Sha Na Na on
keyboards or Tottenham Hotspur getting relegated
into the Second Division. But all things are
possible, and Hawkwind look like scoring heavily
with "Silver Machine" written by a former member
of the band, Bob Calvert.
watt stacks had been built for each member of the crew but only one was able to be used due to their
massive power being too much for the PA to cope with. The Sky Hooks the band had been hoping to
borrow from Yes had not arrived and most of the elaborate set, built around the stacks, had not been
erected. So, despite the mighty lightshow dominating the Civic Hall on its' 10 ft. scaffold, the Space
Ritual visuals were not what they might have been.
However, none of these problems affected the group's performance which was nothing short of
sensational and probably the best of many sets I've seen from Hawkwind over the past two years.
They ignited at 9pm with Nik Turner's Brainstorm from their new LP Doremi Fasol Latido and at once
the three-strong dance team whirled into action, Stacia being joined by the beautiful Renee and Frendz'
John Mann. Bob Calvert, space poet and link-man, took the group into Seven By Seven, the flip of Silver
Machine with his Space Is Infinite poem and at once the audience was on its feet, clapping and flashing
peace signs over their heads.
'Hawkwind Fly' shot across the back projection, merging into the Silver Surfer as Master Of The
Universe surged from the stage - a regular Hawkwind killer number. By this time, one and a half hours
into the set, the crowd was dancing deliriously, waving sparklers, exotic cheroots, scarves and all the
other paraphernalia of a Hawkwind crowd. Calvert welcomed everybody to the future and, to thunderous
applause, the band left the stage. For five minutes solid the stamping continued until Hawkwind returned
and smashed the collective skull with a riotous version of Silver Machine which merged into Shouldn't Do
That, its insistent beat and breathless chant whipping 2,000 spaced-out lunatics into a final ecstacy of
whirling and shouting. Even the Angels danced, as the satisfied customers left the hall after two hours
ten minutes of simulated space travel, clutching their free programmes and sporting their free badges
given out with the tickets.
Even half a Space Ritual was brain-blasting so by now, when the whole show is properly set up and
choreographed, I doubt if Hawkwind will be prepared to answer the consequences.
Hawkwind's Space Ritual lifted off on only two
engines at Dunstable Queensway Hall on Thursday
A capacity crowd of between 1,500 and 2,000
freaks packed the hall to see the Sonic Assassins'
voyage through time and space; and their rapturous
reaction to every swoop and swirl in Hawkwind's
thunderous set showed that they, at least, were
unaware of the problems that had beset the tour at
its "preview" in Kings Lynn the night before. 2,500
If somebody had told me a couple of months ago that H. Wind would be doing "Top of the Pops" and
things like that I would have declared them insane. But "Silver Machine" is a very commercial song,
already beating off contenders in the lower reaches of the charts, that will get a lot of support from the
Hawkwind followers who seem to be gathering (to take over the world?) in every nook and cranny of
every town in the country. The band have always been a popular act, especially in "underground" music
circles, and have been drawing enormous crowds to their live gigs since the beginning of the year.
The single was recorded at the Greasy Truckers gig at the Roundhouse a few months ago, and was later
overdubbed here and there. It wasn't included on the Truckers album but can be heard in its entirety (the
single was cut to eight minutes) on the L.P. of the Glastonbury festival.
"It wasn't conceived as a single" said lead guitarist Dave Brock. "We've been doing it on stage for about
eight months. We only release about one album a year, so we thought we'd put "Silver Machine" out as a
"Silver Machine" is, in fact, part of a Space Ritual the band are currently working on. The ritual, they
stress is not an opera like "Tommy", is to be about space in its broadest sense - having space to live,
work and breath, outer space, and any other kind of connotation the word has.
Although the ritual will be a stage act, it is likely that the band's next album, which goes into the shops in
October, will be a "taster" for it - a sort of prologue for the whole thing which people can listen to before
going to see the show.
When the ritual is ready to be unveiled the band want to issue a kind of programme to people as they
enter venues, to see the Wind. "We want to get people involved and let them know what it's all about"
said Nik Turner, the band's flautist and alto sax player. "We want them to sing along with us, chant, and
get into it all."
"The act is continuous" Simon King the drummer told me. "We play for 90 minutes non stop. When we
finish a number we let the electronics take over instead of saying something like 'Thank you very much
and our next number is...' "
Most rock bands use a permutation of lead, bass, drums, organ and vocals, but as Hawkwind are rather
more than a straight rock outfit, their line-up is a little unconventional. Apart from Simon, Dave and Nik,
the band comprises Lemmy (possible origin: "Lemmy 'ave that bottle of Newcastle") on bass, DikMik on
audio generators and percussion and Del Dettmar on synthesizer.
"We depend heavily on electronics and we want to bring more of that into the act" says Dave, "but we
also want to include country things and other stuff too."
"The music and sounds' are just toys to play with" said Lemmy taking his bottle of Newcastle away from
his mouth for a moment. "They're things to play with and have fun with. We can't get off into what we're
doing unless we're enjoying it."
"You've got to keep a balance between the music and the electronics" said Nik.
The following piece appeared in a November 1972 issue of Record Mirror. Now this is what I call a gig