|Phil's Krankschaft Adventure
Many thanks to Phil Swanson for this charming reminiscence :-)
The scene... May 1986...a few stoned Cov Poly students, the hardcore Hawkwind / festival casualties,
decided to go and watch Bob Calvert and Krankschaft at the Princess Charlotte in Leicester. Myself (Phil),
Aide and Jez drove up to Leicester from Cov in Jez's van. Aide actually got backstage before the gig and
had a brief chat with the band prior to the set.
Toward the end of an excellent gig of Calvert solo plus Hawkwind / Calvert tunes (many of which I had
never heard live prior to this, such as Quark & Damnation Alley), Bob collapsed. It may have actually been
in the encore, I can't remember. He had been overcome by artificial smoke from the smoke machine,
definitely not 'dry ice', this stuff was toxic!! I think he also hit his head when he fell. Anyway, an
ambulance came & took Bob to Leicester General. We suggested to the band that they could stay in Aide's
flat in Cov that night as they were supposed to be playing Coventry (The General Wolfe) the next night
(Friday). So us three in Jez's van were followed by Dave Anderson (bass, ex-Hawkwind), Brian Snelling
(keyboards, also an engineer/producer on ICU's 'New Anatomy' LP) and a chap called Martin (guitar, a
neighbour of Bob's from Margate or Ramsgate) in Dave's silver Ford Capri and drove down the A46 from
Leicester to Coventry. We got to Aide and Jez's flat about 1.30 am and spent the rest of the night, way into
the morning, skinning up constantly until we were pretty mashed. I don't think Brian smoked, but Martin
was persuaded and Dave needed no encouragement at all.
The next morning Dave said he was going to see Bob at the hospital. He phoned the hospital up and spoke
to Bob and told Bob not to tell his wife that he was in hospital! I asked Dave if he wanted any company
and so me and Dave went back to Leicester. We got to the hospital about 11am, but had to wait until 2pm
to see Bob, who was being prodded and inspected by the docs. Dave and I just sat around chatting about
this'n'that, early Hawkwind, the tour, whatever, until we got to see Bob about 2pm-ish. He didn't know
who I was, this confused him somewhat, but he took it all in his stride... Where was he? Who was this
strange hippy degenerate type talking bollocks at him? Then Bob's wife Jill turned up and the shit hit the
proverbial fan. Anyway, Dave and I returned to Cov...
That night's gig was definitely off, so we picked up the band and went round to the Wolfe to explain to the
manager. Then after calling in at my house for a butty, everyone dispersed, I think Dave went back to
Oakengates (Telford), others went to Wales and wherever else. The gig on the Saturday night at Retford
(Notts) went ahead, but the band told us later that Bob remained seated throughout the gig on a high bar
stool (I am sure Bob carried this off with his usual degree of style and panache).
We met up with the tour the next week in Liverpool. My parents live on the Wirral, so me and Aide got the
National Express bus from Cov to Liverpool the day before the gig. We met up with the two roadies
(sorry, their names elude me), driving their van down Mount Pleasant / Brownlow Hill in Liverpool. We
directed them to the venue, a place called Krackers, that used to be Dingwalls - an excellent bierkeller type
place, with long tables in the traditional German style. The band arrived after a bit, after a few hello's plus
the obligatory smoke we did a bit of humping gear, taping up cables etc to justify our roadie status passes
for the gig, obviously we were only too happy to help. Trev Hughes was there with a stand, I bought some
pictures (prints) off him which I luckily got Bob to sign one of. After the gig, a stormer, we helped pack
The next gig was in Milton Keynes so the band were invited by Aide to stay at his place in Cov. Dave
drove Bob, Aide and myself (someone else was in the car but I can't remember who) through the Mersey
Tunnel. They dropped me off outside my Mum and Dad's house about 1 am. I had visions of rushing back
in the house, grabbing as many Bob-era LP's as possible and getting Bob (and Dave) to sign them. Things
never work out as planned so I had to be content with my one signed print of Bob.
That is nearly the end of my tale.... Bob plus band stayed at my mate Aide's place in Earlsdon, Cov that
night. The next morning they split up in Aide's front room!!! The Milton Keynes gig was blown out and so
was the rest of the tour to my knowledge.
Just as a final aside to this, I was living at 154 Stoney Stanton Rd, Coventry, at this time. When Hawkwind
played Cov Poly on 5th Nov 1985, we had a party before the gig, it being bonfire night and all. Aide came
up trumps again and brought Alan Davey to the party. We got mighty stoned on a bubble pipe, watched
fireworks, drank and talked bollocks prior to trooping up the road (about 50 of us, Alan and Aide at the
head of the pack), to the Students Union hall where the gig was. So that house saw two Hawkwind bass
players in the course of approx 6 months (Alan and Dave Anderson during the aforementioned Calvert tale,
6-7 months later).
P.S. I believe Aide went on to roadie for Hawkwind a few years laterâ€¦one of my mates said he went to a
Hawkwind gig in the early 1990's and Aide was on the mixing desk!!