Summer Daze Festival - Langtree 1996
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Many thanks to Marie Jenkinson of Chaos Illumination, who gave permission for this piece to appear
here.  It was previously published in Trevor Hughes' 'Ship Of Dreams' booklet which was sold as part of the
official merchandising on the 1997 UK tour.  (See
A Tale Of Two Programmes for more detail.)

Thanks also to Dave Law of the Hawkwind Museum, who gave permission for me to use the photos from
Well, I can certainly say one thing about the festival, they couldn't have held it at a more remote place in
Devon than Langtree.  Nine hours after setting off, driving through fog banks, perpetual drizzle and lanes
with knee-high grass growing down the middle, we found the place and settled down for a "good night's
sleep" hoping the weather would be better the next day.                                   
(Below: see if you can find it)
Saturday arrived - what a beautiful day.  The sun was shining (I got sunburnt) and the day began to turn
into the Daze.  With a number of stalls selling wares at fairly reasonable prices and the extremely low-key
local police force, the atmosphere from the start was very laidback.  Surprisingly, the bands that played (on
the main stage, anyhow) were of a high standard.  One of the opening band, Bhang II Rights, complete with
a stark naked bass player, offered a Levellers / Punk sound that was really rocking and went down well
with the few that had turned up at twelve.  Circle Groove gave a good performance highlighted by the
female saxophonist giving a jazzy / funk edge to their sound.  Other worthwhile bands included the Bates
Motel, again a Levellers / Punk cross, but still very interesting to watch.  Captain Rizz gave their usual good
performance attempting to get the crowd going a bit for the headliners.  Following these were Trip, who
sounded like some ambient group, although I was that busy talking to friends that I didn't really pay that
much attention.
The bands on the second stage also sounded
fairly good.  However, by the time we decided
to wander over to the next field they invariably
finished.  One of the thoughtful things about
this festival was that the rave / techno music
had been placed in another field leaving those
who enjoy that sort of dance music in peace
and keeping it well away from me!

By the time Hawkwind came on stage the night
was just about perfect.  The half moon
occasionally peeking through the clouds was
the only other light source visible, making the
lighting show one of the best that I have ever
seen, certainly beating Pentrich Rock and Blues in '93 and '95.  The projection screen, due to the outdoor
venue, was large and the images also very crisp.  The strobe flowers, etc., were almost blinding at times
and the fire breathing by Kris also looked far better outside, probably because the atmosphere wasn't as
smoky as usual!  Visually, it was sheer psychedelia, though I did miss the two excellent dancers during
such tracks as Love In Space and Kapal, which as a result didn't seem quite so engrossing as usual.  The
band's newest, and certainly youngest, member -Troy  (Ron's son)- gave an appearance as an alien, a sort
ET with a denim jacket!  That
appearance surprisingly worked,
although getting Troy off stage
proved to be another matter.
Musically the gig was just as mind-blowing.  The set list (I think!) was as follows: Abducted, Psi Power,
Vega, Blue Skin, Steppenwolf, Assassins of Allah, Sputnik Stan, Xenomorph, Aerospaceage Inferno, Love
In Space, Kapal, Silver Machine and Welcome To The Future, with an encore of  Secret Agent mingled
with elements of Living In The Future.  
[Note: the actual set list was Abducted; Psi Power; Awakening;
Photo Encounter; Blue Skin; Steppenwolf; Hassan-i-Sahba; Space Is Their; Hassan-i-Sahba; Sputnik Stan;
Xenomorph; Vega; Love In Space; Kapal; Aerospaceage Inferno; Elfin; Silver Machine; Welcome To The
Future; Secret Agent]
Thankfully the ending that was used in the mini-tour in June was dropped (it was
different but went down like a lead balloon at Brixton!), moving Abducted back to the front of the set.  The
best section of the set for me started with Steppenwolf through to Assassins, Sputnik and Xenomorph.  
Brilliant!  Just one kicking track after another, which went great with Ron's usual blend of spoken and sung
lyrics, with some poetic improvised (?) additions, the whole gig was, as you'd expect, hard-hitting space

The only downside to the entire gig was the behaviour of the crowd at the front of the stage.  After
Hawkwind had finished their encore and retired from the stage, a member of Captain Rizz came on stage
and after enticing the usual cheering from the crowd, stated that they would do another encore providing
the crowd at the front would stop tearing the stage apart - there had already been a few invading the stage,
something almost unheard of [at these] usually peaceful mellow gigs.  The crowd at this point started
booing - whether at the Rizz member or at the trouble-causers was unclear - but arguing with a crowd of
about two thousand is not recommended.  Needless to say, Hawkwind did not do another encore - the
midnight curfew offered as the reason, although the disgusting behaviour of some crowd members were
probably more at fault.

In conclusion, the festival was a good day out, Hawkwind's gig was not the best I have seen (Guildford in
June was much better) but certainly one of the best outdoors gigs that I can remember, sounding and
looking great.  On the downside - it was an extremely long way to travel for anyone north of the M5 and
was during the peak holiday weeks making any journey down south long and full of traffic jams.  There
were quite a few familiar faces down there but also -sadly- a lot of absent ones too.

-Marie Jenkinson
the 1996 Langtree Festival on this
page.  They were originally taken
by Gavin Watson, I believe.
Dad!  Dad!  Let me stay!  Go on!