A Hawkwind Wedding
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Imagine getting married and having Hawkwind play at your wedding.  For Arin and Rich it really happened,
on Midsummer's Day, 21st June 2003.  Both active members of the fanbase, Arin and Rich met through
Hawkwind, at the Hawkestra gig at the Brixton Academy on 21st October 2000.  To round off this real-life
fairy tale, Arthur Brown officiated at this celebration of their union

The celebration was attended by friends and family and four of these friends commemorated the occasion
in pictures and words.  Thanks to Mike Holmes, Nick Lee, Tom Byrne and Jill Strobridge for their
contributions, below
Above: Kris, Dave, Arin, Rich



Left: Arin, Rich & the best man
Mike Holmes remembers the occasion:
Arthur's discourse on matrimony...
...concluded with this advice: "Pssst!  Don't let her
drag you into IKEA whatever you do!"
Nick Lee was also in attendance:
Tom Byrne recalled the day as follows
Last but by no means least, Jill Strobridge commemorated the day with the following excellent
piece of poetry:
What can I say?  Everything's been
said -

the joy, the laughter, happiness

as

Arin and Richard, lovebound,

sharing vows and wedding rings

while Arthur Brown

resplendent in a flowing gown of
darkest hue

upon a terraced stage with backdrop
to recognise the love that stirs our deepest soul

And so we shared the ceremony

privileged and honoured friends

we laughed and talked

and ate and cut the cake then afterwards we walked

or swam or simply in a lazy way

sat back absorbing all the moments of the day

Eventually we gathered, all of us

into an underground environment and there

with Hawkwind in control

we danced or flew or simply stayed still

and let the memories of all that day drift and fill

and echo back to us in dreams, the themes

of friendship, love and sharing all as one
And so to Arin and to Richard now I
come

to offer you my gratitude and thanks
and best endeavour

and most of all the wish that all
your love will last

forever

-jill
Gig Photos
Below: the possibly unfamiliar
figure on the left is Keith Barton,
crew member and lucky bastard :-)
My thanks to Mike Holmes, Nick Lee, Tom Byrne and Jill Strobridge for their writings, and thanks to
Rich, Nick and Tom for the photos.  I wish I could have used them all.  And congratulations, of
course, to Arin and Rich!
While I can't promise to match the prose style of Mr Timpson there I did promise to write a few words
about this most wonderful of weekends.  As Mike pointed out it does seem odd trying to write a review of
a wedding, but here goes...

We arrived Friday evening after a not-too-bad drive with only minor delays caused by holiday makers
flooding into Cornwall.  We quickly found Arin and Rich sat in the hotel bar/lobby area sorting out some of
the final details for the following day and in a state of calm panic.  Arthur was to perform the ceremony
but had to come down from Oxfordshire the next morning. Was the PA going to be ok?  We had a quiet
evening meeting a few of the other revellers in the hotel's bowling alley/bar downstairs after a quiet walk to
a nearby pub.

Next morning we had a pleasant coastal walk in Newquay town centre before returning to the hotel to find
a few more arrivals - Dave & Kris, and shortly thereafter some of the road crew with the rest of the band
following.  Having changed we sat outside on the terrace for a drink by the mini bowlerama and were
shortly joined briefly by Dave & Kris who were checking out the adjoining function room where the band
would be playing that evening.  Dave even managed to persuade the young assistant to let him have a quick
crack at the old tenpins.  Wandering upstairs we found Jill and Mike who was in need of some sunblock
from a chemist.  Taking pity on the poor man's pallid Scottish complexion, a most leisurely drive to a local
apothecary followed.

Shortly after our return the proceedings got underway out on the hotel terrace in the glorious, if windy,
weather.  As reported Arthur presided over the fairly brief and very informal ceremony, starting with an
amusing and informative history of marriage.  Arin and Rich's heartfelt vows followed then we all retreated
inside for drinks followed by some group photos.  After dinner, speeches and cake cutting (someone
suggested Dave should make a speech as it was 'all his fault, after all'!) we all dispersed until the evening
party started.

The set was as Mike listed, and one of the most laid-back performances I've seen from the band, but not
without some great rocking moments.  Dave was seated for some of the gig and looking very comfortable,
suggesting that he might do this more often!  Everyone seemed to be having a whale of a time (possibly
assisted in many cases by the unmarked bottles of wine mentioned by Mike, courtesy of Julie & Merrick,
most of the band were seen clutching bottles as they left the next day!) and seeing so many of Rich's
relatives bopping away to Assassins of Allah was a truly memorable sight!  Becky, my girlfriend, a
Hawkwind newbie, really rather enjoyed the show too.  I'm currently trying to persuade her that she can
put Hawkfest before work.  Following the gig was a disco with much chatting and banter, but pretty much
no dancing, until the hotel staff had finally had enough.  Dave led a few brave souls off on a moonlit walk
on the beach while the rest of us departed to our rooms after a wonderful day.

After breakfast and some fond farewells to those who were leaving Mike, Jill, Becky and I had a very
pleasant lunch in Newquay before they got their train.  The afternoon was marred a little by the poor
weather, maybe we should have gone to the Eden Project after all!  After quiet meal in a very nice
restaurant in Newquay we attempted to go to the advertised Reggae night at a bar round the corner from
the hotel.  No such luck - it was dead as a doornail.  Following breakfast and another lovely coastal walk
we set off for home, basking in the memory of a truly lovely weekend to which this meagre write-up
scarcely does justice.

Thanks once again to Rich and Arin for letting us be part of such a unique wedding and we wish you all
the best in your life together.  A big hello goes out to everybody we met, old friends and new.  Look
forward to seeing you all at Pentrich and/or Hawkfest.
A truly inspiring weekend; congratulations to Arin & Rich.  I take my hat off to Mike Holmes for having
the amazing presence of mind to itemise the set list. I am afraid I was too busy bopping.

The proceedings started convivially with a wine reception. I can personally vouch for the quality of both
the red and white wines offered. Both bride and groom were resplendent in multi-coloured outfits, a
reflection of the colourful guests, no doubt.

The wedding ceremony took place on an extensive veranda overlooking the Atlantic. Arthur was the
officiator, and his theme was the history of marriage. We were treated to an account of marriage's pagan
origins, an explanation that the ring represented the joining of the male and female dichotomies into a
unified whole, an account of the Synod of Whitby in 664 where the church in these islands resolved to
take the Roman rather than the Celtic route, some musings on the "rule of thumb" and finally eloquent
good wishes for Arin and Rich. The happy couple then exchanged personalised vows, supported by a
good natured and stoical best man who was outrageously dressed in a 3 piece suit.

Drinks followed and then dinner and speeches - all very well received.

As for the evening entertainment, I can't fault Mike's list - I will only add that when Hawkwind sang
"Where Are They Now" - it was obvious - they were all on the dance floor bopping.

Congratulations to Colin Allen to pristine sound quality. The delivery of all the songs was crisp and tight.
Arthur has blended well into the band; an excellent front-man.

Many photographs were taken and will shortly be on the net, including (if she doesn't hide it first) the wife
dancing vigorously to "Assault and Battery".

I can't tell you too much about the end of the evening, because I don't remember it terribly well, apart
from the fact that trying to find an open take-away in Newquay after midnight is as lonely as any
nocturnal walk Harry Haller ever made. In fact, the wolf in me would have been happy with a plate of
chips, but remained unsatisfied.

What lingers after the event is the sense of everyone's bubbling good nature. It was a real "family" event.
This is kind of hard to do in a gig review format since it's a wedding of people I admire and care about and
a private party involving a bunch of people I really like to be around but I'd find it hard to do it another
way.  I can't plausibly claim the talent to describe just how much fun it was and so I hope you folks will
indulge me:

We arrived at Newquay in the early afternoon and after a quick trip back into town for suntan lotion lest
radiation burns strip our skin from our bones and destroy the mood. Courtesy of Nick Lee's savage
approach to road sense, we made it to Boots, or some facsimile thereof. This guy really doesn't deserve to
be in the dungeon, but he's redheaded, and we can't make exceptions.

We got changed for the wedding.  I have to say that I never really expected to see Hawkwind wearing a
kilt (and I still haven't, but I wore one) but there was a certain atavistic aura on the day and this Solstice
was always destined to be different.

Slightly late to the ceremony we discovered that the man in the cassock marrying the clearly
preternaturally happy couple was none other than a certain Mr. Brown.  After a savage indictment of
modern mores (well, OK, in fact a very amusing speech) Rich and Arin took turns to make their own
declarations to each other with the exchange of rings, and it was very moving.

It was good to see some of the other hardcore again, although their foul flesh-eating habits became all too
apparent during the main course when whole herds of buffalo had apparently been slaughtered for their
slightest whim. The beef and Yorkshire pudding was rather nice too.

Only a swim with the sharks (and Chris W.) in the pools of the Hotel California managed to ease the pull
of gravity after Cornish ice cream, the production of which undoubtedly required cows to be tortured for
weeks.

We then gathered downstairs.  Things were very relaxed and laidback and ably assisted by Merrick and
Julie's Rocket Ship, a wine fermented apparently for special occasions.  A bottle seemed to be under every
table, or certainly the ones I fell under.

I guess I'd better try to remember the setlist though, so over to Gig Report Mode:

At the special request of the Bride and Groom they opened with Love in Space with Rich and Arin trying
out a new dance for this out there on the floor.

This was followed by You Shouldn't do That which sounded much more like the Roadhawks version than
the one from Tiz the Biz days and this was confirmed by the Seeing It As You Really Are encore, right
down to the whooshy seque that marks the intro to Silver Machine on that album.

Lighthouse came next, a Timless version, this time sung by Richard and it worked just fine without Tim,
though I hope we'll see him back there soon.

The venerable Mr.Brown then entered to much cheering and the band launched into the beat for Time
Captains. The drumbeat was held for at least the length of time on Arthur's album and probably longer,
allowing for the usual time/space distortion on the M&J Rocketship. An excellent rendering of the song
followed with folks edging up towards the dance floor.

Take Me To Your Leader mellowed things out again and was followed by Assassins of Allah. The
timorous encroachment onto the dancefloor became a full scale invasion at this point with the dancefloor
covered (well, OK, the band already had half of it) by the time the Space Is Their Palestine techno riff got
into its stride. There were a few variations and some playing with the toys during this which kept it going.
Rich's relatives were up for a bop and his mother confided to me that she "thought they'd be much
noisier". Then back into the Hassan riff. By this point the dancers were melting and the band had gone into
the red on the heat down there, so everyone took a break for a drink and some cool.

When they came back, Arthur was in full Steppenwolf regalia and they proceeded to do an amazing
rendering of the song. If Calvert's ghost was there he'd see that his work goes on. I'd never quite got the
German "I don't know what it is that I'm saying" lyric in the middle but Arthur's acting of a drunk German
finally closed the connection for me. Some impressive wolf-howling got in there too. If there is a tape,
then I guess it'll sound like the Glastonbury dogs were at it again. No seagulls made it past the door though.

Then into Angela's Android.  The start of this reminds me a little of a much older song (Rock and Roll
Disgrace I keep thinking) and it does sound a little like a speeded up 50's riff.  This was an awesomely
blanga version though and the dancefloor took another pounding, and a little beer spillage.  We were
cheering the end when the band looked around and saw the vibe took off again into an impromptu jam
based on the riff from the song, with Simon, Alan and Dave taking turns playing around with it.  The
blanga level went up to eleven and a half and it let Alan let rip the way he does on LSD from Business Trip
only more so.  If the new album has anything like this on it, some of us are going to wear out our CD
players.

Assault and Battery and Golden Void were next with the latest variation on Void's End segued on. Always
great to hear these.

Finally, one I'd waited a long long time to see live: Where Are They Now? Well OK, I was at the Astoria,
but it's been a long time. I've run out of superlatives but you get the picture.  I hope this one gets extended
too and an appearance on the album certainly wouldn't go amiss from where I was standing.

Truly a great day and night and something I'll remember when I'm down to my final brain cell.  Everyone I
saw or spoke to was having a great time.  Thanks Arin and Rich for putting it all together.  Best wishes for
that joint timetrip into the future.

As for the rest of you: if you haven't seen and heard the latest lineup and setlist then you'd be better cutting
off your own heads with a buzzsaw than missing the Hawkwind Festival this year (don't try this at home)
- book your tickets now or we skewer the seagull.


Hunter.S.Timpson (Shoe providers to the Royal Family since at least last week)


P.S. The lineup was Barton, Brock, Brown, Chadwick, Davey, House, in no particular order except
alphabetical.  Personally, I think the new guy shows promise.
of the finest view

of Cornwall's landscape urged us all