|The Music Never Stops - Euro-Rock '83
|This is from issue 6 (October 1983) of The Music Never Stops fanzine.
Euro-rock exhibition at Milton Keynes, Woughton Campus 3rd Sept 1983, afternoon/evening £3-00
The main point of interest at this Euro - rock event was a 50 minute performance by Dave Brock, Nik
Turner and Harvey Bainbridge of Hawkwind. Besides this however, there were many other (better)
performances, and stalls selling 'Euro-rock' goodies. . If you're into HW, Throbbing Gristle, Neu or any of
those sort of aspects there were goodies for sale and many other interested folk to talk to. The organisers,
Lotus Records, brought a large selection of relevant LPs for sale, and they did very good business I should
think. It's great to be able to SEE the record covers to all these infamous albums; searching through the
Nektar, Eloy or Amon DÃ¼Ã¼l II catalogue. Upstairs were a number of smaller stalls, including one
dealing in TG records (one being a pic disc) and a 'new' TG cassette. Also some more conventional
Euro-rock (i.e. German) bands on cassette (Cluster etc), and Brian Tawn's Hawkwind Feedback stall,
selling badges, fanzines, records - with the three Hawkpersons often in attendance. Huw also arrived later,
although he didn't perform.
Two theatres downstairs provided the music: one for the afternoon and one for the evening (which I
skipped). Unfortunately I arrived shortly after Chris and Cosey (two ex-Throbbing Gristles) had finished -
they were the only other act besides the Hawkpersons that I particularly wanted to see. The only two
performances I saw prior to the Hawks were both solo synth players, both more or less Tangerine
Dreamish; one who I thought was not so good as TD, and the other I reckoned to be better than TD. And
who is it that the music papers spend their time writing about? - TD or occasionally Klaus Schuize seem to
be the only ones. Through events such as this your average unknowlegeable punter (i.e. me) can get to
learn more about this type of music. Anyway, look out for Ian Brody (?), at least that's what Brain Tawn
told me his name is.
The Hawkpersons followed on almost straight away, although it seemed to take an age for Nik to assemble
his percussion battery on stage ("I almost forgot my sax!"). Hanging from lengths of string were various
pieces of metal, including a Duckham's oil can (empty), and one particularly large sheet of metal (to be
used later, when its' string had broken, as a wobble board).
HW's idea of Euro-music is different from the conventional (i.e. TD) idea, and it's very difficult to describe
(because it's only subtly different), so unless you've actually seen them do this sort of stuff (i.e. at a
soundcheck), you'd probably best imagine them as a cross between the sort of sounds HW make in
between songs during live performance and the rhythmic parts of TD. The first piece of music lasted
around 12 minutes - and was good. Hypnotic rhythms, and Nik's phased voice reciting weird, inaudible
(incoherent probably) ramblings. The fact that the guys weren't trying to precisely copy TD seemed to
offend the 'Euro-rock' audience, and if they were surprised by Nik's chanting, they seemed to be shocked
into leaving by the further unconventional sounds (later).
"Dream Worker" was preceded by a couple of minutes of NOISE, Nik blowing randomly and unmusically,
but ATMOSPHERICALLY. It's because the Hawkpersons chose to just get up on stage and have fun
(ignoring the audience's expectation of what Euro music should be) that I enjoyed it: technically the show
was more than a little dodgy. "Dream Worker" continued much the same as the 1982 performances of the
song (i.e. fairly straightforward). It's hardly an all-time favourite Hawksong.
A shorter section of more musical noise followed, swiftly succeeded by another typical TD inspired tune; a
lot of inspired ideas crammed into its' brief lifespan, as Nik began to recite a poem that none of us will ever
forget: his inept rendition of "The Black Corridor". Much as I love those old HW poems, I reckon if they're
gonna be done at all, it should be Bob who performs them: he's really a LOT more intense. All the same, I
wouldn't have missed it for anything, despite the horrendous wind noise that lasted for what seemed like an
eternity at this point.
Next, Dave suggested to Nik (off mic) that what was really required was a JOINT. 'No-one who saw the
event will ever forget what followed, as Nik chanted a few times: "I Said 'It might get more exciting if we
had A great big joint on stage'" (which did actually fit in with the rhythm, and a good melody). After a
period the rhythm stopped and Nik played a superbly [off-]beat sax break - then straight back to the tune;
it certainly makes a very welcome change from "In The Mood". Utterly memorable - it'd be great to sec
this performed occasionally in the future. Eventually an audience member obliged, and the song came to a
After a brief consultation "Ghost Dance" was chosen for the final item: it was preceded by a lengthy noisy
introduction in the familiar mould: first a short jam, then an outbreak of real coughing on stage followed by
synthesized coughs, and when "Ghost Dance" did emerge it was marred by an imperfect rhythm pattern
and speed (too fast), and the fact that the phasing on the vocals spoilt the atmosphere of the song:
considering that this performance was trying to be a reasonably straight copy of the by now familiar
Hawksong, it was disappointing - although they did loosen up some way through this lengthy rendition
(being interrupted by an outburst of stamping feet on the stage floor).
I actually observed the show from a sort of gantry above the rest of the audience, so I couldn't swear to
the general reaction, but I'm told that the performance offended the Euro fans for not being as
conventionally Euro as they expected, and that it offended the HV fans simply because they didn't play
HW. And for myself: I was only aware of 3 guys having fun on stage, and I got caught up in the
enthusiasm too. The interest of this sort of show lies in the spontaneity: to go expecting any particular song
or type of music would doubtless leave you unsatisfied.
For historical purposes, I ought to document the fact that two video recordings were made of the show, I
wouldn't know if their qualities are good enough for any sort of release in the future, in any case Dave
Brock is the person you should make representations to.
Set list: TD type synth jam with incoherent rap by Nik; about 3 minutes of TOTAL NOISE / Dream
Worker; bit more noise; another very melodic synth jam; The Black Corridor; noise; I Said 'It might get
more exciting if we had a great big joint on stage'; brief continuation (with little variation) of tune; more
noise; Ghost Dance.
[This must be the worst Hawkwind set-list ever!]