|Spaced Out In London CD review
Many thanks to Rob Dreamworker for this review!
This is an unusual release in that so far it's only available direct from the band. It was recorded at the
Walthamstow Assembly Halls in December 2002 (the last show of the tour) and covers the main part of the
show in its entirety, missing only the encores (Sonic Attack/Spacebrock, and Silver Machine) The album first
revealed itself as a very pleasant surprise addition to the merchandise stall at the 2003 Christmas gig at the
Astoria last weekend. Interestingly, there are no credits for the lineup or remastering. For the record, here's
some of the detail:
Dave Brock - guitar, vocals, keyboards, humour
Richard Chadwick - drums, sequencers, vocals
Alan Davey - bass, vocals
Tim Blake - keyboards, vocals
Arthur Brown - vocals
Recording: Colin Allen
Production: Hawkwind (apparently, everyone had a hand in it)
Overall it's fair to say that this is an excellent recording of a superb gig. The remix means that the sound is
less dominated by Richard's bass drum than it was on the tour and has brought out the best of each
instrument - the only drawback of this is a slight decrease in the punch delivered by the rhythm section. Since
I've mentioned Alan and Richard, it's worth noting that they come over loud and clear on this recording - take
some time to follow what either of them is playing and you'll hear all the flourishes and embellishments that
are critically important to the overall sound of Hawkwind.
The show kicks off with Richard's earthy call of "Earth Calling" and launches into Aerospaceage Inferno
before Arthur Brown takes up the microphone. If you like Arthur's contribution to the Canterbury Fayre 2001
album, then this show is going to be a real treat. This is a storming opening number with crystal clear guitar
from Dave, spacey keyboards throughout and a familiar sounding mellow break in the middle (check out the
version of Levitation on the Yule Ritual release).
Next up is Angels of Death sung jointly by Dave and Alan. I've always liked this song and love the way this
version comes blistering back into the last verse from the almost jam-like break in the middle. The closing
section of the last verse has Richard's haunting vocal at the back of Dave/Alan's chanting.
There's some banter then the band crack on with Out of the Shadows. There is some excellent guitar work
from Dave who comes out loud and clear just before a very trippy break near the end.
A steady bass line highlighted with a mixture of twiddly and swooping synth sounds accompanies Arthur's
vocal on Time Captives which builds towards a wailing and (well delivered) screaming finale which is
reminiscent of Ian Gillan on Child In Time.
Master of the Universe is another stunner, again with Arthur doing the honours. Whilst the post-gig
production has been a lot fairer to the overall sound, the bass doesn't have quite the same retina-detaching,
bladder squeezing effect as I (vaguely) remember it having on the night. The keys come across really well,
though. MoTU segues into the Song of the Gremlin which calms the mood a little - seems a shame as things
have just got moving again. There's a brief interlude for a poem from Arthur:
There once was a young man from Wales
who lived on shit, snot and snails,
When he couldn't get these
he lived off the cheese
that he picked from his prick with his nails
As Dave had pointed out earlier in the gig, it *was* national poetry day.
...then the band launch into another of Arthur's numbers, Time And Confusion. It's a good song, featuring
some very enjoyable solo work from Dave, but for me this one fits least well into the Hawkwind set and what
we really need is some serious blanga at this point. The song slows down and cools the mood a little, but then
the power trio kick back in again and treat us to a blinding riff which segues into...
Hurry on Sundown - I have vivid memories of the audience going beserk at this point. Back to some classic
Hawkwind and a cracking version at that.
Lighthouse is a sea of synths and keyboards that builds into an expertly delivered (but more mellow) version
of the Live 79 performance - this is fantastic stuff.
Alan toys with the audience with a couple of false starts to The Watcher and Dave's "I'd just like to make love
to you, baby" brings across the party mood. There is some really choppy guitar work in the background of
this song from Dave alongside his normal grinding riffs and some excellent lead work - he really goes for it on
The "slow number" is the ubiquitous, well practised, superbly performed Assassins of Allah - the Space Is
Their section starts off in a very familiar way, but Tim's keys really add to it.
Following some discussion of Alan's potential use of Psychedelic and Green Tree Flogs (sic), the band treat
us to some real history with (Shouldn't) Do That. It's a real romp, with the band just getting down to what
they do best and doing it very well indeed. Richard's on vocals once more.
Finally there's a rousing return to Earth Calling with Dave taking lead on the vocal this time round, which is
actually rather disheartening since you know it's announcing the end of the set. But at least we can look
forward to the encores...literally, since this is the end of this particular slab of compact disk blanga. Let's hope
that there is a future release which includes the missing tracks and affords us all the opportunity to experience
a brilliant rendition of Spirit of the Age.
In summary, this is fantastic stuff - please let's have some more. If this is any indication of what's to come
with the much discussed future live releases then we've all got something to look forward to.
PS. In case you don't know what Blanga is, see Steve Pond's site. I couldn't find this from the front page, but
a Google search took me straight there: http://www.doremi.co.uk/hawks/
Here's another take on the CD, sent in by Lurch - cheers!
With a thick churning sound, Hawkwind's newest live CD is better than it might have been, it's from the
rump of the band that wrapped up the Winter 2002 tour at Walthamstow Assembly Hall. The last concert of
the tour was going to be their Christmas celebration, well I don't know if they felt much like celebrating after
losing Huw Lloyd-Langton and Simon House on the way there. Dave Brock's band was reduced to him and
Alan Davey & Richard Chadwick with old mates Tim Blake and Arthur Brown helping out. Tim Blake plays
the Hawkwind way but Arthur tries to evoke the spirit of Robert Calvert on one hand and then infiltrate his
own numbers into Hawkwind's set on the other hand. But it's a good thimg they are on this CD, don't want
the trio back again playing rave.
They do Earth Calling / Aerospaceage Inferno (Arthur doing Calvert) / Angels of Death (really heavy, this is
the best track) / Out of the Shadows (second best one) / Time Captives (a Crazy World of Arthur Brown
song) / Master of the Universe / The Gremlin Song / Time and Confusion (another one from Arthur Brown) /
Hurry on Sundown / Lighthouse (Tim Blake song) / The Watcher / Assassins of Allah / Do That and another
go round with Earth Calling. I wish there were more Hawkwind songs instead of the Arthur Brown and Tim
Blakes, but it's the good old Hawkwind sound and that's the important thing. They could have added the
encore from the night which would have made for more Hawkwind material and left out something else. Do
That is like on Roadhawks with the ending being called Earth Calling (the second one on the CD) for some
reason. The first one that starts off the CD doesn't sound like Earth Calling either and it sounds like Ron Tree
singing it but he's not here. Aerospaceage Inferno is like on the Captain Lockheed album with a widdly bit
stuck in the middle so Tim Blake can play with his toys. The songs that never originally had Huwey on them
still sound good like Out of the Shadows and.the ones that need Simon House didn't get played. But all the
Calvert songs have got to be there just so Arthur Brown can join in I reckon. Maybe they should have got
Harvey back to give it a bit more of a proper Hawkwind pedigree. Arthur Brown's voice has got a quaver in it
which you can't accuse Harvey of. Really good singer mind, but not Hawkwind, Master of the Universe is a
bit of a rock.opera.
Anyway I don't think Arthur Brown and Tim Blake are playing with the band any more. Alan Davey is the
next best thing to having Lemmy back but he messed up the Watcher a bit at the beginning, still, good to hear
this one again. This CD seems to play a bit quietly put another one on like Yule Ritual and it's a lot louder, oh
well just have to crank it up a bit that's all...