|A Love Affair With Cancer - Launch Party 11/03/06
|"A Love Affair With Cancer" is the title of a book published in February 2006, written by John Pattison and
previewed / reviewed here. It has a very strong Hawkwind connection, and as a result the first copy was
actually presented to the band by the author. That was not the only event connected with the launch of the
book that had a strong Hawkwind theme....photos supplied by kind generosity of Dave, the world's biggest
Hawkfan...John (aka Hawklord of Shields) takes up the narrative...
With respect to the 'launch party', yes, it was a fantastic night with two five star guys, namely Dibs and
Keef, with whom we played (my nephew on drums and I played keyboards and synth, or tried to). We did
two sets of 40 mins and 50 mins: it was an absolutely awesome night and although it got off to a sticky
start, things came together well.
Dibs and Keef came up on Saturday at 1pm, we set up with a 24 channel desk and soundchecked and
rehearsed for 30 mins before heading over to my house for food and refreshment. Numbers included: A
Love Affair with Cancer (a composition written and performed by me, though fluffed on the night, sadly);
Hurry on Sundown, Spirit of the Age, Out of the Shadows, Lord of Light, The Watcher, Master of the
Universe, Brainbox Pollution, The Right Stuff, Assault & Battery, The Golden Void, Ten Seconds of
Forever (re-written by me to fit the occasion!), You Shouldn't Do That and Silver Machine. There was
even an encore - Aerospaceage Inferno. Quite incredible and some experience: I'm sure you will understand
when I say, I'm still on the ceiling and now looking forward to Exeter in April.
|"Note the crowd going wild" says photographer Dave
Above & far right: Keef Barton
Above right: Mr.Dibs Right: John
The performance actually took
place in my home town of South
Shields, on Saturday 11th March
at the Sea Hotel. We were called
Spirit of the Age (like it says in the
photos) and consisted of: Mr Dibs
on Bass and vocals; Keef Barton
on Guitar, keyboards and vocals;
Marc Graham on drums and John
W.Pattison on keyboards and
synth: ably assisted by a 24-
channel mixing desk managed by Dave and Peter.
The set had something of a hiccup to start with; 'A Love Affair with Cancer' on keyboards and synth which
was supposed to represent the different emotions experienced during the cancer journey; Hurry on Sundown,
was admittedly a bit sticky and lacking in substance. Spirit of the Age was better and came to a premature
end, but then came to life again with a reasonable crescendo. Out of the Shadows certainly heard some
inappropriate keyboards from yours truly but the band were all enjoying the gig, the number was saved by
some excellent vocals from Dibs. Even though it was a different experience to have ear monitors instead of
wedges, Lord of Light was awesome and now the place was beginning to rock. That "well known Lemmy
number" The Watcher was exactly as it should be, delivered with passion and clout. One of everyone's all
time favourites, Master of the Universe was OK and showed that Marc (our drummer, who had not heard
this until just a few weeks ago) was remarkable. Night of the Hawks was in my opinion, brilliant and the band
proved to be very together on this one. Needle Gun kept the consistency alive and was a perfect finale to this
set, difficult to put into words! That concluded the first set and the band now retired for some liquid
refreshment and a review of our performance.
Personally, I could not wait to get back out there for the next set and eventually that time came. We opened
with an introduction by squeaky-voiced Keef, it turned out he'd been at the helium balloons. Brain box
Pollution started and erupted into a scintillating rendition with some fantastic guitar work and, if I do say so
myself, some good synth. Clearly the band were rocking and having a good time up there. I had chosen
Rocky Paths, but on the night we took this out and replaced it with The Right Stuff and what a great
decision that was, as this was the best song so far, but hey, we were not finished yet. Now for some
classics, Assault & Battery had me in almost tears, an emotional and proud moment, this was a great cover
and the fact that I was totally overawed being on stage with these great musicnauts. Into Golden Void,
followed by Ten Seconds of Forever which I had re-written to fit the occasion and the cancer experience.
As for You Shouldn't Do That, well, what an incredible number, clearly Keef enjoyed this and I happily
dipped in and out with some screeching synthesiser sounds (however, I do not think Jason Stuart has
anything to worry about). The final number was none other than Silver Machine. On completion of this the
appreciative audience immediately shouting for more (even the geriatrics) and therefore, we gave them
Aerospaceage Inferno with a touch of The Gremlin and Catch a Falling Starfighter improvised by the
fantastic Dibs and Keef. Marc just joined in to demonstrate what a great drummer he is and I added synth
here and there. An altogether incredible show and unbelievable experience which the sound desk captured
and recorded for us. Words cannot do justice to this show and neither can they justify or establish the
respect and praise I have to give Keef, Dibs and Marc, but also the sound engineers, Dave and Peter.
Above: Mr.Dibs Right: Keef...nice T-shirt....
Below: John puts his hand out...too late...the mic
clonks him right over the eye...
|Below L-R: Marc, Keef, John, Dibs
|Below: John with his Korg & Roland synths
All told, this was one of the proudest moments of my life without doubt. The problem is, I am now going
to want to repeat this again at some point; Hawkfest here we come!!
Below: Mr.Dibs gets a bit carried away with the Lemmy comparison