|Space Ritual Memories
This recollection was written by longtime Hawkfan Dave Dignum & is published here with his permission.
|For some strange reason, Dave got a copy of this poster with his purchase of Space Ritual. It's
actually the one that came free with the Japanese issue of the album!
These are my memories of the Space Ritual concert at the Liverpool Stadium...
I'd seen Hawkwind play at the Liverpol Stadium before the Space Ritual tour and eagerly awaited the day
of the show. We got to the Stadium early afternoon and joined the queue on the steps, the long black
trench coat really came into its own on such occasions, keeping the cold wind blowing up from the
Mersey at bay.
As soon as the Cross Keys (pub) opened its doors, we asked the people next to us to mind our specks
and got into the pub for a few beers and a warm. Around about 4pm (this still baffles me to this day)
everyone who had been sat on the steps stood up, no reason or signal heard or seen, this happened at
every concert and from your comfy sitting position in the queue you now had to stand for the next few
hours. Anyway once the doors opened and you rushed into the hall to get yourself the desired seat, all
the waiting seemed worth it.
For those not familiar with the Stadium, it was a single story building used for wrestling, long before
WWF. (I'm talking Mick McManus and Les Kellett here.) It was damp, really bad acoustically and
played havoc with instrument tuning, but the atmosphere was something else. The whole day was
magic, the countdown started hours before and the atmosphere really built up, now and again members
of the band could be seen on the balcony above the entrance doors and the crowd went wild. Over the
P.A."Hawkwind will lift off in one hour". Never really had the feeling, before or since, that that night
had, it was electric. About 15 minutes before they are due on stage the chant begins, quiet at first just
drifting around the hall, gathering in volume, not like encore shouts i.e. "Hawkwind, clap clap clap", but
more drawn out Haaaakwiiiind haunting type shouts. After what seemed an age the lights dim, the
crowd really erupts and members stroll onto the stage, sounds start to build, the odd chord is struck. A
deep voice is heard (Andy Dunkley, I think), it's the final countdown and the Hawks lift off. The
lightshow was amazing, Stacia and the two dancers/mime artists Rene and Tony floated around the
stage. The mixture of poetry, songs I knew and new songs provided the trip of trips. Eventually the
show came to an end and the house lights went up, this left me in that state of amazement at what I'd
just watched, disappointment that it had ended, slightly detached feeling for a couple of minutes, ears
ringing still from the aural bombardment and people wandering around wondering what to do next... I
strolled over to the side of the stage that the band had exited from and saw Nik just strolling off stage, I
walked over to him and all I could say was "That was brilliant"- he replied "thanks" and melted away
through the crowd...
So we made our way outside to see if we could catch the last bus home. Knowing the concert was
being recorded we had planned to really shout at the end, and when I listen to the show I can hear my
mate shout "more" just above and before most of the crowd start, I know it's him, nothing special I
know but I was there. Even to this day the opening sounds of this show make the hairs on the back of
my neck stand up.
The best concert of my life. All this for about £1. The rest is history.
Long may the Hawk fly.