|The Music Never Stops - Spring '83 Tour
|This is from issue 3 (April 1983) of a fanzine called The Music Never Stops, which seems to be focussed as
much on the Grateful Dead as on Hawkwind, but with much else besides.
Dunstable 10th Feb 1983 - and yet another new line-up; Nik has apparantly re-joined (at last), and Martin
Griffin has handed over the drum stool to Andy Anderson (who played in Steve Hillage's studio band on
"Live Herald", and on "Open", and is presently a member of Brilliant -who have recorded one session for
John Peel). The set is not a lot different from last time, but the sound is very different, and therefore is
certainly worthy of a few words.
Starting, as before, with the outer limits introduction and then into a much heavier "Choose Your Masks",
The most obvious difference is that Dave is playing infinitely heavier - this is what we like to hear; But a
new drummer means a new sound, and in this case Andy's contribution is especially noticeable. He sounds
more like Ginger Baker than Martin Griffin, except not quite so clean as Ginger, but still flowing smoothly
around the drum kit. He's responsible for altering the aura of several songs, like "Magnu", but above that
Dave's contribution is to beef up those songs, even after the incredible bass work of Harvey Bainbridge. It
makes a very different HW to before - I hesitate to say 'better', but I guess it's more accessible. Nik comes
on stage during "Coded Languages", next comes "Magnu", and here Andy's drumming shifts totally the
rhythmic emphasis, making it far more bouncy: once again I wouldn't say it's 'better', but this is exactly the
sort of variation which makes live music so exciting -you're almost listening to a new song, and it's a pity
that many of you will miss the opportunity to experience this first hand. The clear mix aids one's
appreciation, as with "Dust Of Time", which has the same sort of feel.
On these gigs "Dream Worker" includes some 'proper' music, instead of just the tapes and booming tones
of the last tour. Andy powers the band through the middle of the set, to an early "Sonic Attack", but
towards the end of the show we get the "Utopia" poem without "Arrival In Utopia" (shame), and then what
seems like a shorter version of "Creatures Of The Night". Harvey still wears his oriental pyjama top, and
Dave is still out of this world in lab coat and sporty cap. He paints an unbelievable picture, bouncing
around on stage, grinning, even more confusing if you sec him afterwards in Hendrix style waistcoat.
That's HW for you. And naturally the audience is mostly dressed in denim etc. (?!)
The inclusion of "Motorway City" would seem to confirm what I was told on the last tour, that Martin had
previously veto'ed the song. But tonight's version was merely OK, and the usual climax, "Brainstorm",
seemed to lack the energy we have all come to know and love. But Andy added to the encore songs what
maybe he took out of "Brainstorm" - I particularly enjoyed "Shot Down...", although more than just two
verses of "Master Of The Universe" would have been welcome.
Set list: Choose Your Masks; Coded Languages; Magnu/Dust Of Time; Dream Worker; Waiting For
Tomorrow; Ghost Dance; Psychedelic Warlords; Sonic Attack; Solitary Mind Games; Utopia; Creatures Of
The Night; Motorway City; Brainstorm; Ejection; Shot Down In The Night; Master Of The Universe.
Nottingham Royal Centre, 16th Feb. 1985: the last gig of this mini-tour was similar; same set, but
overall I think a better performance: Andy was far better in "Brainstorm", and once again he drove the band
through the encore numbers, making it an exciting curtain call instead of the meaningless gesture that
encores are usually. Lots of different things made this gig more special, although I must admit that the
middle part of the set had me worried by its' ordinariness. The climactic disproof of this was a section in
"Brainstorm" straight out of some Grateful Dead 'space' segment, from pure noise to getting moving, to the
sad moment of having to slip back into the song.
I don't really like the way that I might seem to have overexposed HW in this fanzine, but the fact is that
even when they play an only average show, it would still rank as being worthy of attention. Particularly this
last series of gigs has proved that there are still a lot of ideas kicking around. So if you should get the
chance to see them, don't let that opportunity slip, after all, with HW you never see the same line-up twice.