|Autumn 2006 Tour
Fellow Hairy-Arsed Hawkwind Fans' gig reviews and photos - contributions gladly accepted! Please
email me here to add to the page.
Many thanks to all whose reviews and / or photos appear here
Northampton Deco 24/10/2006
Just got back from the show...unusual...several surprises one of which (an encore song) I'm not going to
give away yet at least until a few more people have seen the tour. The band consisted of Dave Brock, Alan
Davey, Richard Chadwick & Jason Stuart: no guests. The set lasted approximately 90 mins.
Random thoughts: for a first night it was pretty tight and all seemed to be enjoying playing, especially DB â
€“ I don't think I've ever seen him sans instrument before! I suspect the running order will be changed as
it went a bit flat after Down Through The Night - the 1st 3 songs went down very well. It picked up again
with Greenback Massacre, but then for me the contrast with DB's recitation was too great and the flow
was lost. It'll be interesting to see if they agree and adjust it. Overall, a really good show which by
December should be a great show. The older songs went down best and I'm not revealing the 2nd encore
so as to not spoil it for forthcoming shows, but it's a song that hasn't been played live very often -if at all!-
and is pre-1980 :-)
The sound was poor during the support set (they didn't do much for me) but was great during the Hawks'
set, including some nice stereo effects bouncing from side to side. Lights OK, projections good, nice to
see some old style film clips used during one song, nice and clear although for me not quite as intense as I
like - I have fond memories of the pulsing skull and the Robert Crumb style cartoons. And there were two
costumed dancers, male & female: nice costumes, not sure about the routines.
Looking forward to Derby in a week's time to see them again. Apologies for any errors or omissions.
I know you wanted to keep the suspense, Paul, but someone is going to mention that encore sooner or
later and I want people to know why they should go to Cambridge tonight and Norwich tomorrow night,
etc: THE ENCORE IS A UNIVERSALLY ACCLAIMED CLASSIC THAT (I'm pretty sure) HAWKWIND
HAVE NEVER PLAYED LIVE BEFORE.
It was most definitely not an empty hall, although it wasn't full either which means there should have been
more of us there - come on, people, let's get to these gigs.
The sound was pretty much crystal clear from start to finish, but Jason was a bit low in the mix so I had
to make an effort to listen to what he was playing quite a lot of the time. The overall mix sounded less
bassy than Eastern Haze which suited me well (but that may have been about my position as much as
anything else), although there were some great subsonic vibrations at one or two points...¦and when
Richard literally kicked in after the quiet "It's gone now" bit in the middle of Images, it felt like someone
had opened a big barn door and there was a gale blowing in.
The deco is a shiny new venue (in an old building) that still smelled of new carpets, so it was all
non-smoking (unless you happened to be on stage). The standing area downstairs is a reasonable size and
the stage is high enough to get a good view of the band - the seating area upstairs is closer to the stage
than you'd expect and looked like a good option sometime. There's a car park next door with plenty of
spaces and there's a tie-in with the Deco so they stay open long enough for gig-goers to get out again.
Basically, an excellent venue.
If you don't want to spoil the surprise, look away now as they say. The setlist (is this use number 1002
for text messaging?) was this:
1. The Right Stuff - the transition into and back out of the middle bit was really smooth
2. Psychedelic Warlords - probably the best version of this I've heard them play
3. Orgone Accumulator - punky sound with melodic vocals - the break in the middle sounded like the
middle bit of Seeing It As You Really Are. It was great but I can see it really taking off as it matures over
the course of the tour.
4. Paradox. Bliss!
5. Robot - with Dave singing from a sheet standing up front with no guitar, Ron Tree stylee (as Paul said),
then Richard doing the R.O.B.O.T bit. This was a very different version and a very welcome return to the
set. It will be interesting to see how this one evolves over the next few gigs/tours as well.
6. Out Here We Are - Dave takes a seat mid-set.
7. Greenback Massacre - still sounding good.
8. A poem by Dave (referencing Lear? - I was still reeling from the Greenback Onslaught). Not much
applause at the end of this, possibly because we were wondering if it had finished or if it was the intro to a
9. Lord of Light (no Dibs on vocals, shame)
10. Images with Rich singing (this worked really well) and Dave doing a Simon House impression on
guitar - absolutely fantastic
11. Infinity. Blimey I didn't expect that, and it was good too.
13. Spirit of the Age - much merriment caused by what sounded like a sampled goose honking, although
Alan alluded to cockerels while we all wondered what the hell was going to come next.
14. Motorhead. Bloody hell! Bloody fantastic! Much more like the original than like Motorhead's version,
with nice clear vocals from Alan. Absolutely gobsmackingly stunning - I hope this song stays in the set
for a very long time indeed. Alan: "Motorhead played Silver Machine so we thought we'd play Motorhead
instead of Silver Machine" (or words to that effect).
The end and stagger out to buy some merchandise: new TMTYF t-shirts and Doremi t-shirts £15 each.
Available in sizes up to XXL. And Richard's old drumskins, signed by the band, £5 each. Morecambe
next for me, then Wolverhampton.
- Rob Dreamworker
Morecambe Dome 28/10/2006
Travelled down with Alan Taylor for the show and we arrived in plenty time of time for the soundcheck.
Obviously being a dome it was a limited layout to the venue which was going to prove difficult for the
sound. The stage was not the biggest and there was little backroom area which would also limit the
lightshow. I'm trying hard not to be too negative at this point because this was a very positive night.
I had seen the setlist before I travelled and I do not know if that is a good thing or not. You are aware of
what is in the show so there are no real surprises but then you know what your favourite bits are going to
be and look forward to them.
Anyway the setlist is as shown earlier starting with The Right Stuff and then into Psychedelic Warlords.
This warmed things up nicely and the playing of the band was spot on despite the sound not being the
greatest due to the layout of the venue. Orgone Accumulator was given a very good airing with part of
You Know You're Only Dreaming in the middle section. Paradox was up next and this song still sends a
shiver down my spine. It has always been one of my favourites and I really love the new version.
Speaking of all time favourites, Robot followed on and was first class: different to the original, but
We then went into Out Here we Are. I still cannot get into this song for some reason, I will listen to it but
for me it brings thing too far down and I would drop it and replace it with something else. Then again it is
all down to personal choice and I have no doubt that some fans will love it. Each to their own. From this
we go into Greenback Massacre and a poem then a blistering Lord of Light. It is great to see this back in
the set as it really is one of the band's all time classics.
The evening progresses with Images and Infinity. These are absolutely jaw-dropping. Richard handles the
vocals on Images and it is really good to hear this version, the only time I have previously heard it was
when Bridgett sung it many years ago. Infinity may just be the highlight of the evening. I have never heard
it live before and it is incredible. The band played it during the soundcheck and to have heard it twice in
the same night is amazing. Why this has never been considered for inclusion before I do not know but
whoever decided to bring it out the cupboard and give it an airing has made an inspired decision. I can see
this being included in the set for a while. Assassins then ended the main set. Some people have said that
they think that this should be dropped but I still think it is a great song to end the main part of the
Encore time and we got a spirited Spirit of the Age and then bang straight into Motorhead. Again I have
never heard this played live and it was a good version, with Alan giving it his all and rounded off a great
The dancers played their part but were restricted due to the size of the stage.
Finally a word of praise to Neil, Marie and Tom for an incredible lightshow. It was the best I have seen in
a number of years and fitted right in with the music and atmosphere and indeed helped to make some of
the songs. The only drawback was the size of the screen which was limited by the theatre. If you get the
chance to see this in a large theatre then it will look incredible - I can just imagine what it will look like at
If you are hesitating about going to any of the shows - don't! Get out and get there, everyone on this tour
is cooking. Can't wait until Rotherham.
With Hawkwind playing various gigs in the north I decided to travel the 70 miles or so to Morecambe to
see the boys in action. The Dome is an excellent venue with good facilities. A fairly ageing crowd saw
Bruise open proceedings with a set that included Silver Machine. It was then the turn of the Hawks...
Having seen the set lists of previous gigs, I knew what to expect. Albeit the classics Paradox, Lord Of
Light, Orgone Accumulator, Psychedelic Warlords et al, I felt the show was not as good as the last tour.
Don't get me wrong, musically and visually the gig was excellent, but there were too many average
Hawkwind tracks played. Would have gone to my local venue at Leeds on Monday but will wait for the
Rotherham gig in anticipation of a better set list.
-John (Halifax) Below: photo by Bernhard Pospiech
Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 29/10/2006
absolutely top notch. And the crowd was big, happy and well up for it. As Tom says, the light show
was stunning - excellent and very varied images with really cool effects which were well matched to the
mood of the songs. One that really struck me was the letters R, O, B, O and T flashing up large and in
synch with Richard's haunting, manic chant of the same, really ramming home the message.
I had really enjoyed the May 2005 gig at the Wulfrun Hall, which was well up there in the top 5 shows I'd
been to, so I had high expectations for last night. And I was most emphatically NOT disappointed. The
band are not only getting into their stride now that the tour is well underway, but they have found a whole
new gear since last year. The whole set seemed to flow much better than it did in Northampton, with the
new additions fitting in there snugly - that's either because it was the third time I'd seen this show, or
because it's the fifth time they've played it (or both).
All the songs were well played, but special mention must go to the best version of Psychedelic Warlords
I've ever heard. And all the way through Infinity I couldn't help thinking what an excellent single it would
make. Space is Their... (in the middle of Assassins) seemed to be longer than I remembered it being at
the earlier shows and was like a heavy dance remix - excellent stuff. Despite complaining at one point
about being kept awake on the bus (by the crew) then woken early (7.30am, looks aimed at Alan), the
band knew they were in the zone last night and really went for it, with even Alan doing a Ramones style
"1, 2, 3, 4" to bring in the last verse of Greenback Massacre.
I spoke to Paul Hayles before the show who was very sociable and happy to talk to people outside the
venue and in the pub. Nice guy. I was looking forward to his support set, but it didn't really do it for me
which was a shame. I did buy one of his CDs from the merchandise stall before the show and played it in
the car on the way home - it's actually rather good and well worth £5.
As usual, it was good to see a load of old friends again and also make some new ones.
|Left & Right:
those dancers are
|Above: L-R Alan, Richard, Dave, Jason: pic by Jonathon Norman
Above: what is that thing supposed to be?! Pic by Jon Norman
|This is a bit more like it! Photo by Jon Norman
across the stage,
Brock & Jason
Stuart. Pic by
Northampton Deco is a smallish, new-look, inside theatre, with standing space downstairs and a circle with
plenty of seating, which had the front half occupied. The bar sold bottled beers, including Sam Smiths pale
ale. Which was nice.
I got there at 8:25 and managed to see 15 mins of Lastwind, which was good. It was Paul Hayles on 2
keyboards, and backing tapes I guess, with a very fine guitarist doing blanga crossed with the odd wailing
bit: Brock meets Hillage. Very tasty and I would like to buy some of their stuff. I guess their website is
not representative of this gig, as it is more soundtrack stuff, but if they were to record what they are doing
live I would happily pay for it.
Hawkwind came on at 9.00, Dave Alan, Richard and keyboard player, Jason Stuart according to the
band's official Myspace page. There was a microphone centre stage, which was never used, maybe it
was for Mr. Dibs, but they didn't get to do Silver Machine (they ran out of time) so maybe that is why it
The backdrop was the archway with the two female statues either side, with a big screen in the middle,
which was used very well, excellently psychedelic effects. I didn't notice the lighting problems discussed
on the band's tour blog, but what do I know?
The band all had laptops, so they could see what was happening, but only Jason had keyboards. I think
both Dave and Alan had boxes to press for sounds, but no actual keyboards. This was good as we got
Dave doing guitar all night, and the world was a better place for that. His effects were on a table, so he
could see what was going on, although I think all his effects were in one box rather than lots of different
pedals. There were two dancers, who came on at different stages in different outfits, including the winged
demon, the tailed monster, and some bug-like things. I am not particularly a fan of dancers, (for any
event) but their costumes are great to look at.
The track listing is a bit vague, certainly towards the end of the set, but highlights: Orgone Accumulator
was different to the last time I heard it, with a slow bit in the middle. I preferred the new tempo bit to the
slow bit in the middle. Robot had Richard reading out the "three laws" and doing the Are Oh Bee Oh Tee
bit. Lord of Light was very fast and most excellent, and Infinity was lovely to hear. As for the encore, I'm
buggered if I can remember the first one, but they finished with Motorhead, the sound of Alan's bass in the
intro was awe inspiring.
They finished at 10:30 and looked as if they enjoyed it, certainly Dave was smiling in the second half.
- Mike Wright
Great night last night and really loved the selection of songs played (except for Assassins Of Allah, which
as I've said before I still like as a song but feel a rest for a year or 2 would do it good). With the huge
wealth of songs in the back catalogue it nice to hear some real oldies that haven't been played for a while.
Really surprised to hear Infinity and M*******d as it should be played. Perhaps M*******d should stay
for a while to act as substitute for Assassins?
Would love to hear Reefer Madness as some stage now they are really exploring Calvert era material again.
Robot was good with Richard sharing vocals with Dave, and nice to hear Images: Richard's no Bridgett,
but did an excellent job.
Nice cosy atmosphere and it was just the band - no stage show (dancers) and apart from one hooded
"dancer" who kept forcing people to move due to his erratic movements and elbows hitting people, a good
crowd as well. Just wish I was going to Norwich on business today instead of being there on Tuesday!!!
Re: Right Stuff / Psychedelic Warlords / Orgone Accumulator: these were played at Cambridge, too. I still
quite like the current rendition of The Right Stuff; a great way to get things going from the beginning. I'm
still not quite warming to Psychedelic Warlords, though it's nothing particularly about this version (which at
least has the little "descarga with bass" towards the end); despite this being one of my absolute favourite
Cambridge Junction 25/10/2006
|Above: Dave Brock; Left: Alan Davey.
Pics by Jane Dye
Hawkwind songs on record, I've none of the later
interpretations ever really levitated my spaceship. Not
Surely the middle slow bit in Orgone Accumulator is
a few bars of "You Know You're Only Dreaming"?
Anyway, the whole of OA was played with superb
aplomb by Alan; I definitely get the feeling he can
play every bass figure from Doremi and Space Ritual
inside out and upside down in his sleep with one hand
tied behind his back. I felt he was a bit let down by
the mix, though, throughout much of the night.
I still quite like the new Paradox, too, with the tinkly
piano bits. And the poem (read by Dave) was the end
of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream":
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Can add it to the lyrics archives, I suppose ;-) It sat a bit strangely in the *middle* of the set, but hey...
Lord of Light - my only complaint from Cambridge is that it was too short! I've heard somewhat
lacklustre modern versions of Lord of Light since it was revived in the 90s, and this wasn't one of them!
Though it's good to see something looking in from the new album, I'm not sure Greenback Massacre is my
favorite Alan song from the last 10 years (stuff from his Captured Rotation album -along with Sputnik
Stan!- remain my favorite recent output of his). From the new album, I might have picked Angela
Android, actually, and paired it up with Robot :-)
Infinity was definitely lovely to hear! And I couldn't place it at first, either - I needed to be reminded that it
was originally on PXR5. And Assassins is one I always enjoy, though after all these years while I'm still
really been into the "Space is Their Palestine" bit in the middle, I miss that little climbing riff that carries
over to the "It is written!" part on the original, and which I think is nicely dramatic. Still, you can't go too
far wrong with Hassan-i-Sahba...¦
Encore: Spirit of the Age was good fun (though it would have fit nicely with either Robot or Angela
Android, too. And Motorhead was *way* cool to hear. After all, it's not like Lemmy & Co. are likely to
perform it! Though my surprise of the night in many ways was "Images". Sung by Richard, whose voice
cracked a bit here and there, but less as he started getting more into it, I think. Otherwise, a bloody good
version played with great energy. Overall...great show! I don't know if it was the *best* I've seen the
band, but they were very solid and on good form. I really can't level much in the way of complaints about
Dave's guitar that I usually have in the past. Dave was very much out in front, playing guitar throughout,
and entirely audible - the way it should be :-) Richard was holding it all together as always, Alan was
playing immaculately as if he was born for it (presumably so), though a bit low in the mix sometimes
IMHO (presumably not his fault). Jason seems to be acquitting himself well; it's nice that there's a
dedicated keyboard / synth player doing things - there were some bits that one might have thought were
pre-programmed, except I could see Jason over to one side bouncing his handing around with great
concentration (whilst Dave lounged in his chair and Alan chugged bottled water). There were, to be sure,
pre-programmed bits that I must rail against as a matter of principle, but to be fair they seemed, at least,
less prominent than they have at some points in the past.
I would buy a recording of the show, or a "best of" tour album, in a heartbeat! :-)
- Carl Anderson
Above Left: Dave's box of tricks - pic by Jane Dye
Left: hideously attired dancer - pic by Jon Norman
As I was standing a couple of feet from Carl I can
wholly concur with his views of the evening! The band
seemed to be really relaxed and enjoying themselves,
they were laughing and joking between and during
tracks and it was a pleasure to be part of it.
I thought the set was brilliant and I love the back
catalogue but my only concern would be that there
doesn't appear to be any 'new' compositions getting an
airing - is the band now just relaxed into playing a mixed
set of their vast and wonderful historical archives or are
the creative juices still flowing and we will still get some
new tunes at some point?
Another quick Q - Alan was drinking bottled water and
also a small tumbler of a darker liquid - any idea what it
was ? My mate Yeti and I had a discussion as to
whether it was rum or some form of throat medication
to keep the vocal chords sweet !!!!
Above: the Captain. Photo by Jane Dye
It was a pretty dreadful day in Cambridge, wet and miserable. The journey had been hard work, so I
needed cheering up. The venue was small but had the advantage of a bar next to the stage. The stage was
small and the ceiling low so it looked like Hawkwind had trouble spreading their wings. You could pretty
much pick your spot to take in The Hawks.
As soon as Right Stuff started I knew the journey had been worth it. Good Hawkwind sound, just what the
doctor ordered. The first of many pleasant surprises was Orgone Accumulator. Robot was the second
surprise along with Images. I was kind of hoping Images would be in the set. Infinity was just magical,
well done Dave...still the captain of the ship! The encore of Spirit of the Age and the final surprise of
Motorhead was a little brief. But Motorhead was totally unexpected and just the perfect finale.
I guess you always hope the evening will go on longer than it does, this one seemed a little shorter than
normal. I was also hoping for Angela, Uncle Sam and maybe The Reality of Poverty, but you can't have
everything and the surprises were great.
The screen at the back of the stage was low, but the shadows of the group on the screen made the look. I
couldn't really hear the poem that Dave read, but he and Alan interacted with the crowd well. Making the
whole evening an "up close and personal" event for me, and I would say everybody else in the audience.
Well done The Hawks. You have my respect. See you next time. PS when are you coming to Kent again,
|Two more from
& Dave (left)
and dancers on
A competent and exciting performance - we're getting
used to these now from the Hawks over the last few
years. Nice to hear some different oldies - a snippet of
'You Know You're Only Dreaming', Robot, Orgone
Accumulator, Infinity and the Encore That Dares Not
Speak Its Name (after a gig like that, I should be tired,
but all I am is WIRED!)
The light show was more than spectacular and the
synchronisation was extraordinarily tight. The Chaos
Team are members of the band, playing visuals, in
The sound and the band's performance last night were
It seems eons ago that I first set out on my October
Hawkwind expeditions (well, 24 years to be precise)
and they never fail to get the blood going. This one
was a special one as it was the first time that my
wife Mal and sister Sian had ventured onto the
spaceship Hawkwind. They were not to be
disappointed (nor was I, naturally)... The venue was
an ideal size with a well located bar and was a sell
out. Not overly blown away by the support band
(sorry) but the Hawks were certainly on
form...dynamic and really enjoying themselves. The
set list benefited from some new inclusions
(especially Robot and Orgone Accumulator) and the
sound was crisp and almost loud enough!!
I do like the Right Stuff played a little more chaotic
and raw but v.good nevertheless, Psychedelic
Warlords, as many have said, was absolutely top
drawer as was one of my all time favourites, Orgone
The whole set was balanced and flowed well (perhaps "Out There We Are" could now be replaced with
another synthy track of yore...) and the encores of Spirit Of The Age and Motorhead were simply
magical... To hear numbers such as Infinity and Paradox was a real treat and got me all emotional (it's an
age thing, I think!!)... Will we ever see the return of Magnu?.. I hope so, but with so much to choose
from it is impossible to play all of my "special" tracks...as there are so many.
Alan Davey was the man of the match for me, just, as the Captain was on fine guitaring form, but really
tight and a special night. Looking forward to the Manchester academy gig in December when I shall meet
up with my old Hawkfan clan... Good tour shirts as well, a must of course. Thanks, yet another mystical
keyboards and drums created a wonderful background and had a very fast beat right from the start.
Sometimes Hawkwind gigs begin slowly and build up later but this time it was instant energy and Orgone
Acumulator was intensely fast.
There were far more breaks between the songs this show but it seemed to work perhaps because there
were far fewer drifting fillers. Introductory themes got into gear immediately and even tracks in a
different key or a different rhythm that sat awkwardly in the past seemed to come across more powerfully
because of the short break between them. It really seemed to keep the mood of the audience high.
Paradox is gorgeous and the swirling circles of colour from the lightshow draw you into the music brilliant
stuff. Robot builds steadily to a climax that is all the more intense because the whole track gets slower
and more deliberate as it approaches the end it's an extraordinary effect that really worked watching a
freak-out dancer during this I found myself desperately hoping the track would finish 'cos I feared he
would explode if it didn't! I enjoyed the Midsummer Night's Dream bit (I'm informed that the title is
"Marine Snow" and that the introductory track to Orgone Accumulator is "Dogstar"). I'm not sure why
that particular passage was chosen but the background of music and lights sweeps you up into it. It
reminded me of the Al Stewart song that starts "It seems to me that we have stood upon this stage before"
actually I think that song involves Infinity as well! Infinity the track was wonderful but, I have to agree
with Arin, it's a song that should be filled with longing and intense sadness and somehow seemed a bit too
upbeat for that. But maybe that was just me. Images was also nicely done the middle bit had a stunning
combination of sound and colour and intensity to produce the feeling of loss and menace (I hate to think of
the amount of rehearsing it must take to create exactly the right effects!).
Leeds was a fantastic venue 'cos it had tables you could sit at and two bars so you didn't have to queue for
hours. Sadly however the acoustics were stuffed with high pitched fuzzy white noise which was quite
unpleasant at first but I found that after a couple of beers it didn't matter quite so much. Really enjoyed
the trip and missing it now...
The Dome resembles an oversized Mongolian yurt
but is surprisingly spacious inside and when the
lightshow was chasing circles round the roof it was
awesome! I enjoyed it. A good size audience
considering the weather and from where I was
(towards the back) the sound quality was absolutely
perfect. It's possible the band reduced the level a
bit because of the acoustics but it meant there was
no fuzzy white-noise you could listen to the layering
of sound and hear the different themes come and
go. Dave's guitar was really clear while bass and
Haarlem Patronaat 03/11/2006
|Photo by Bernhard Pospiech
Yesterday (03/11/2006) Hawkwind played the Patronaat, Haarlem (in the Netherlands). No doubt that I
had to be there - I drove from Germany with Chris, Andreas and his wife to Haarlem. We arrived at
5.00pm and had plenty of time for a little sightseeing in this wonderful town.
The doors opened at 8.00pm. We entered the venue and went straight to the merchandise stall. One new
T-shirt design and some other familiar stuff was available. Hawkwind started at 9.35pm and played for 1
hour and 35 minutes...¦the set list was the same as on the UK tour dates.
Right Stuff - a good version, if not all that special, but this had an interesting middle section. Psychedelic
Warlords was played the same way as they were doing it in 2004. Then we had Dogstar, an instrumental
intro to Orgone Accumulator which was a very fast and powerful version. Dave sung it in a new style.
Very good! This song also had in the middle part an instrumental version of "Only Dreaming".
Paradox came next and was perfect, performed with 2 guitar solos. Robot was one of the highlights of
the evening. Dave started out just singing with no guitar in his hands. In the 2nd part the song became
very heavy with a great guitar solo and later some superb guitar riffs. Unfortunately Dave did not use his
violin-bow on the guitar like he did during the UK tour. Richard performed the 2nd part on lead vocals.
Next was Out Here We Are, which is becoming a very well known instrumental. Nothing new here - I
hope they will drop this song very soon. The it was Greenback Massacre: I do not like this song,
therefore I have no comment here. It was performed in typical Bedouin style. After that was Marine
Snow, which is a poem performed by Dave with a nice instrumental in background. A good song to cool
Lord Of Light is one of my all time favorites and this was performed as in 2005. Very good!! And
Images...¦wow! What a powerful song. Richard was singing: it's a perfect replacement for Brainstorm and
really worked well. Very heavy guitar.
Infinity came next and was the absolute highlight of the evening!! Wonderful vocals by Dave and
wonderful guitar. Superb electronic effects in the background. A perfectly performed song.
Hassan-i-Sahba / (Space Is Their) Palestine / Hassan-i-Sahba: Started and ended with the familiar riffs.
Nothing special here. But "Space Is Their" was very long and very interesting with lots of stereo effects.
I wish Hawkwind would drop "Hassan" and play only "Space Is Their"...
That was the end of the main set. They came back to do an encore of Spirit Of The Age (what can I say?
Perfect as ever!) and Motorhead, which was very heavy and very fast, with Alan on vocals. A good song
to finish with, and a great gig was over. The light show was superb and the dancers, in exceptionally
colourful costumes, were great. But most important of all, the band were on top form, very relaxed and
in a friendly mood. Thank you Hawkwind! And then it was time to drive home...
Above: some of the dancers in their "expectionally colourful costumes" (v.diplomatic!) Pics by Bernhard...
I caught the first night of the tour (Northampton) and thoroughly enjoyed the show, but felt that some
songs would bed in better as they played them more. I missed Cambridge and Norwich, but by
Morecambe things had really started coming together. It was an absolutely rocking gig... although most
of the detail has been overwritten by Wolverhampton last night, so I can't tell you much more.
The Dome apparently used to be a swimming pool. The roof of the venue is like a parabolic reflector,
making the acoustics a bit of nightmare. The upshot was that the sound did not do the band justice, nor
was it helped at all when the skin broke on Richard's snare. Having said that, it was still a damn good gig
and people I spoke to said they really enjoyed it.
Bruise were the support and were quite decent. I enjoyed their cover of Silver Machine.
I too was at Morecambe...Great gig. I liked the 'new' set list - it worked well. Motorhead was never a
favourite track of mine but they played a blinder with it as encore. I have seen Nik Turner & Space
Ritual quite a lot over the last 3 or 4 years and was starting to form the opinion that when it comes to live
performances, they had the edge on Hawkwind. That opinion was blown out of the water at Morecambe.
My mate who has witnessed quite a few Hawkwind gigs (the last one for him was Sheffield last year)
was also impressed. 'Back to basics' he described it as. This is a really good line up at the moment, lean
& tight...¦ Hope to get in some of the December gigs.
LIC is a pretty small place, 'intimate' I think you'd call it, and it does the light show no favours, but on the
other hand it is a relaxed and mellow place. Well, 'The Right Stuff' is exactly that at present, just a great
way to open the set, but for me all that good work was immediately let down by 'Psychedelic Warlords'.
Now I love that tune, but not as on 'Choose Your Masques' and so not as heard here. Still, silly me to get
all pissed off, 'cause there were many treats ahead!
To cut to the chase, I'm guessing I'm not the only one of us who isn't disappointed at the disappearance
of 'Love In Space' from the set, and equally, from what I've read here, I'm not the only one who is
enjoying 'Paradox' and 'Lord of Light' in their current manifestations. Fantastic rich sounds. I can also
manage without 'Robot', which I've just never got on with, but on the subject of songs from 'PXR5' I
nearly wet myself when the band started to play 'Infinity'. We've waited an awful long time for this to get
an airing, and we are not disappointed. Thanks guys, a lot. As for the rest of it; Brockie seems
increasingly uncomfortable with the 'difficult lyric' in 'Spirit Of The Age', we got a super rendition of
'Assassins/Space', and then, as commented on elsewhere, to universal delight, 'Motorhead'. Heh, heh,
heh, great fun.
So a pretty good night, not as good as Eastern Haze for my money, but I'm not getting rid of my ticket
for the Astoria just yet! We stood next to a guy with a lovely lab coat, much respect mate. Does anyone
know where one can get a bottle of choccie milk at midnight in Leeds city centre?
-Krusty The Baker
Leeds Irish Centre 30/10/2006
Norwich UEA, 26/10/2006
Hi, been reading the reviews of the current Hawkwind tour and thought I'd send one of the Norwich gig.
Actually, it's more of a lament than a review and I'm wondering if others feel the same.
Hawkwind were space rock; psychedelic, inventive, their music transcending all boundaries; their lyrics
making you stop and think or simply send shivers down your spine. Well, at the Norwich gig there was
plenty of rock but very little space and even less psychedelia, apart from the lightshow of course. I
personally cannot see the point in teasing the audience with a version of a classic i.e. 'Orgone
Accumulator' or 'Lord of Light' that after the first tantalizing lyrics (just as the shivers are starting!)
descends into a third-rate thrash indistinguishable from myriad third-rate bands. Where are the
ever-increasing washes of sonic ecstasy? Where is the crescendo that never seems to end, but carries
you ever onwards towards distant enchanted lyrics , profound, full of mystery and magic? Where indeed
I was only six in 1972, a tad too young to brave a Hawkwind gig so all I have is old recordings, one paltry
video clip and my imagination to go on, but if Hawkwind believe they are level with the times, I for one
wish they had got time-warped in the early seventies, and if space is endless, space rock is earthbound and
Hawkwind too. I suppose it's all a figment of my mind 'cos if you call this music, I must be blind...
-Sandro Below: photos by Paul Eaton-Jones
Above: band & lightshow - pic by Alan Taylor
Having just read Sandro's 'lament' for the UEA gig, I thought I'd better add my two cents.
This was the thirty-first Hawkwind gig I'd been to but the first since 1985. I stopped going because they
did seem to be turning into a basic rock band around the time of 'Black Sword' but do not feel that you
could accuse them of that now: lots of electronics being used to much better effect than they were in the
80's, very nice lights, and hilarious dancers who didn't seem to be taking themselves too seriously (always
a good thing, in my view, if you are dressed as a giant space insect). It was actually one of the better
Hawkwind gigs that I've seen.
Sure, it wasn't the Space Ritual, but if they were still banging everything out the same as they were
thirty-four years ago, we'd all be rather bored with it by now.
They were obviously having problems with the monitors, but the sound in the audience was very good and
the band were tight with the occasional lapse. Generally a nice set; highlights for me were 'Infinity',
'Images', and 'Greenback Massacre' on the basis that I had never heard them live before. Watching Alan
do his Lemmy impression was great fun as well.
Whilst the audience was generally enthusiastic with plenty of dancing at the front, it must be said that the
place wasn't exactly heaving. A shame because they had obviously put a lot of effort into the show. I was
fully prepared to come out boring people rigid with how much better they had performed various tracks
before or how they were still banging out the same old stuff. Happily, most of the material was given a
fresh enough spin to to stop the whole thing seeming like a nostalgia trip (although they really should drop
Hi John, I'm sure I'm right in assuming you saw Hawkwind in their glory years in the 70s, I unfortunately
only got to see them in 1985, the same year you took a 'sabbatical' and remember it as an amazing
audio-visual feast that led me to see them many more times over the years, more often than not in an
'organically' enhanced state and was rarely disappointed. These days 'organic' means for me fewer
chemicals, not more, and is no doubt part of my lament. Perhaps I should be grateful for any chance to
hear Hawkwind's classic sounds as the good Captain wants them to be heard because at some point the
opportunity will be gone; and of course, if they chance upon Norwich again, I shall be there. Cheers,
Manchester Academy 15/12/2006
"Like a good wine" is the most apt description of the Hawks I can think of right now, they simply just get
better. The Academy has always had an "animated" audience which I always feel brings the best out of the
band, but this night was something special. From the off there was an atmosphere of anticipation and the
mighty 'Wind did not disappoint.
My group had travelled the length of the country that day (Swansea, Cambridge, Glasgow) and the merry
troop of 7 (Moses, Mark, Gareth, Fred, Grim, myself and Dave) all met in a rather nice boozer in
Stockport for pre-gig reviews and ale sampling. Upon arriving at the venue at 8.30pm-ish (a bit hazy I am
afraid) it became clear it was a sell-out as the place was already packed and buzzing. With tour shirts in
the bag (and another quick snifter) we made our way into the pulsing cavern that is the Academy.
The opening "The Right Stuff" began a little slowly and the band looked very "relaxed" but they were soon
into their stride and pumping out a rather good rendition. What was to follow was a real treat; Paradox,
Warlords, Orgone, Infinity, Robot, Hassan-i-Sabha, Spirit and of course the wonderful Motorhead were all
a veritable feast to any self-respecting hawkfan...but tonight had an edge which placed it up there with one
of the best performances I have seen from them in the last 24 years since attending such cosmic nights.
For me, Orgone, Paradox, Infinity were all simply magic but the show-stoppers were Hassan-i-Sabha,
Spirit and Motorhead, a number of us even attempted something resembling dancing (Moses!!!) and most
of us had lost our voices by the end.
Nights like this will last forever and we all agreed it was a privilege to be present. Only one down side
really, and that was "Out There We Are" which I feel should be renamed "Out There In The Bar" as that
was exactly where I was throughout it - the guys need a break and we needed more beer, but surely there
is a better instrumental in the back catalogue than this. But enough with the negativity as a momentous
evening was had by all.
After the gig we all piled into a pub across the road for an hour and carried on the party back at Fred's
gaff till the wee small hours (or at least until the stereo packed up...Fred!!).
Signing off and here's wishing the band, and my band of merry Hawksters, seasonal greetings and more
of the same in 2007. Cheers!
-Rhodri Below & Below Left: photos (c) Paul Garbutt 2006
|These photos are
2006 - ta!
Alan Davey (left)
and Dave Brock
(right) are seen here
at the Bangor
University gig on
Bangor University 14/12/2006
The crowd was not huge, but the people who were there were enthusiastic with lots of whooping and
hollering ... and they *didn't* talk constantly over the music (yippee).
There was no support band planned, but Mr Dibs, Keef and a drummer by the name of Billy Flemming
(Fleming?) were given 5 mins notice to get out there and play something as The Technicians of Spaceship
Hawkwind . They did a couple of Spacehead numbers and one HW cover (MoTU iirc) and a fine job it
The Hawkwind set was the same as it had been at the October shows I attended with one small
difference - no poetry (that number was just an instrumental on Thursday night). The band played well.
Something I noticed for the first time was how animated Dave was during both Robot and Spirit of the
Age - he wasn't just delivering the lines, he was giving a real performance.
You can find some of my pics of the gig on the Hawkwind MySpace page.... Cheers,
I'd just like to second Steve's comments. I tend to
think that every Hawkwind gig I go to is the best
one, but last night's gig was really exceptional. The
Picturedrome is the smallest venue I've ever seen
the Hawks at, and somehow I ended up right at the
front. Being so close it was very obvious how
much the lads were enjoying the gig. In particular
Dave and Alan were swapping grins all evening.
Richard was a bit hidden away behind his kit, but
from what I could see he was having a great time
No great surprises in the set list, but then at a venue
like Holmfirth the crowd are unlikely to appreciate
their more esoteric stuff. What we got was all our
old favourites played absolutely perfectly and with a
huge amount of energy. It's always a good sign
Rotherham Magna 18/12/2006
We got there just after 2.30pm and
found we'd missed the fancy dress
filming session (which was going
on somewhere else in the venue).
But there were loads of people
walking about, most of whom
were in costume and a great
number of whom were looking
fantastic. I won't even try to
describe the variety, you'll see it all
on the photos and video.
Magna is in the middle of a
decaying industrial wasteland. The
building itself seems to be subject
to a lot of construction, too. The
hall for the gig was medium sized
in terms of floor area, but
incredibly high with metal stairways and walkways at the sides, and the biggest crane hooks I've ever seen
hanging way overhead. It was really, really cold in there, though. And stayed cold....
First of all we were treated to the soundcheck. Brainstorm, Angela Android (neither of which appeared in
the main set), Infinity and Greenback Massacre (iirc). Brainstorm was stupendous, with the sound
whooshing from side to side.
Then the Technicians of Spaceship Hawkwind (TOSH for short) played a few numbers and again were
excellent. On this occasion they were joined by Jason on keys.
A bit later there was the fancy dress costume parade with the crowd cheering for the ones they liked
most. Very entertaining too.
The main event was something else. Hawkwind were really "in the zone" last night - every song was a
blinder. Our party's favourites were Lord of Light and Infinity, although we all thought that Brainstorm
from the soundcheck was the real standout track. They played the same set as the rest of the tour, but
with no break before the encore - I suspect that's because they didn't want to stop and get cold. All the
band were wearing coats and hats (except Richard who's got his mane of hair to keep him warm), and
Dave could be seen rubbing his hands together between songs to warm up his cold fingers. The general
vibe combined with a superb performance made last night my fave Hawkwind gig of all time so far.
Above: the fancy dress costume parade - thanks to Steve Barlow for this pic and the following review...
Interesting to watch the band set up and sound check. As well as Infinity the band soundchecked with
rocking versions of Brainstorm and Angela Android. The entire band made themselves accessible
throughout the day and were happy to chat and sign autographs. The fancy dress competition was a hoot
compered by Dave and Kris.
As for the gig itself - an unusual but inspired setting for Hawkwind. The set was the same as the current
tour but seemed to have more bite than the opening night in Northampton . Dave especially was driving
things from out-front centre stage, and really playing some great guitar! Lord of Light was a stunning
version. The band seems to be going through a bit of a rock/metal spell and is better for it!
As usual great lights, lasers and projections and a great sound (depending where you stood) in very
Shame Voiceprint pulled out and all credit to the band for continuing with the gig and recording. Looking
forward to next year's tour!
-Steve Below: the band on stage during the main part of the set (pic by Steve B)
Hello Steve, me and my wife went to the Magna event yesterday and thought you may like a review. I
took some pics but they're too dark except for these. I'm in the black and the wife's in silver...¦
It had all started at the weekend really with lots of spraying of old clothes and various other items of
apparel in a frantic bid to look a little like something Hawkwind had asked for. A couple of masks from
e-bay and a house smelling like a car paint shop and there we were, a couple of very ugly aliens (and I
hadn't even got my mask on...¦) A picnic was packed, the costumes put in bags and the lab-coat was
donned. I was going to drive to Rotherham in costume, but not being able to see or breathe, I thought
better of it. Besides which I had worn a lab-coat to gigs since the 80's and was not stopping now.
On arrival at the venue it was clear that some
people had spent a hell of a lot more time and
money on costumes than we had, as the entrance
was thronged with various silver-clad entities
already being filmed by the camera crews. I
decided to keep the lab-coat on and am I glad, my
wife managed to get the whole band to sign it and
Mr. Brock even said kindly that it was one of the
best he had seen.
The venue is superb with the tallest ceiling of any
concert hall I had ever seen, lots of stone, steel
staircases and different pieces of foundry type
equipment, but the most noticeable thing was the
temperature: it was absolutely freezing, almost like
being outside, which in South Yorkshire in
December is cold, I can tell you. Lots of people
commented that they thought they would be hot in
their costumes but were in fact glad they had worn
one. The heaters were working overtime but had
to be turned off because of the noise they
generated. It was almost comical to watch the
band do the sound check wearing big coats and
woolly hats, especially the captain who looked
nearly festive in his red woolly hat. The sound
check soon warmed everyone as the band delivered
excellent versions of Angela Android, Infinity and
Brainstorm; we knew we were in for a good night
as the sound was first class already, and the band
were on top form.
Kris later got on the microphone and informed us
that Voiceprint had in fact cancelled the whole thing only a few days before, and that the band
themselves had decided not to let the fans down and go ahead with the event. They found new film
people and everything and put the whole thing on themselves, which in my opinion is a supreme effort
and cements what we already knew - that the Hawks truly are a people's band. If that is the last time I
hear the word 'Voiceprint' I, for one, will not be too sad, a sentiment echoed by almost all with derisory
comments being hurled from all directions.
A competition was held for the best costume with people being split into different categories, robots,
aliens, robot workers, etc.. The loudest cheer came for the young lady in the skintight affair (which was
accentuated by the cold?) a fact that I couldn't help thinking Mr. Turner would have appreciated, which
made me smile. After quite a long time and the giving out of many CD's as prizes it wasn't really clear if
anyone had actually won, but I suppose everyone was a winner really. We were then informed that there
would be a break where everyone could get some food. I spent most of it talking to the members of the
band who were very relaxed and accessible, seemingly enjoying themselves thoroughly. I asked Dave
about the Brock/Calvert project disc, he just shrugged and said "Voiceprint!" - enough said.
The gig itself started early, probably because of the cold, and was the same set as the recent tour
delivered, in my opinion, with a zest and power missing somewhat in recent years. I'm not going to
review each song but I will say that Infinity and Motorhead were stunning, with the former reminding me
of how I felt seeing the Hawks 20 odd years ago when I first started going.
So what was "Magna, the event" all about? It was about a small group of people with same passion
getting together to celebrate that passion. It was about the band who fuel that passion, giving those
people exactly what they want with no ifs or buts, no airs or graces, no "look at me, the superstar". It
was about meeting new friends and putting faces to old ones (hello Bernhard!). It wasn't very
professional or well ordered, in fact organised chaos is probably the fairest description, but that maybe
added to the laidback informal atmosphere - it was almost like being invited round to your friend's for a
I'd like to thank Paul, and Jim (I hope your foot is better) and his mates for making it an even better day,
new friends for the future, I hope...
We assembled at Dreamworker's place at 9.30am. In the car were Rob, Bernhard & Kerstin and me..
We set the controls for the heart of Rotherham, hit fast warp speed and made it there in great time.
Nicky crossed the Pennines to meet us at the SpaceLodge, where we signed in and stowed our bags.
Then onto the venue, and what a weird venue it was! Right in the middle of large industrial development
containing huge old warehouses and factories etc, with weird metallic noises sounding off here and there.
The Magna venue itself was an old steelworks, - a huge building that has been given a very modern feel
but still maintains a lot of the old "features" - like two colossal metal hooks hanging high up, worryingly,
over the stage.
The afternoon was made up of a soundcheck, an excellent performance by TOSH and a parade to judge
the best costume which was presided over by a rather uncomfortable looking Captain, prompted by Kris
(a kind of X Factor Hawkwind). Most people had a made a fantastic effort with their silver suits, whacky
helmets, appendages and flashing lights. These combined with the venue made it quite weird experience
to say the least.
The soundcheck was excellent - from recollection, a blistering Brainstorm, Angela Android and an out of
this world Infinity. Also Kris gave as an update on some developments with the band's relationship (or
ex-relationship) with Voiceprint and what will happen about the DVD etc (sorry can't remember the
The afternoon soon passed on. It got progressively colder and colder outside as we nipped out for the
odd smoke. The Captain wandered past a few times, obviously not one who likes the cold - he was
saying that he'd intended wearing his doctor's coat but instead would stick with the big coat he was
wearing and maybe thermals. Also we exchanged a few bemused words with Alan who caught us in
deep discussion and admiring the psychedelic effect of a badly worn wall which looked like a vertical
planetscape the way it was lit. Richard stopped by for a quick chat at one point and later I bumped into
the lovely Marie of Chaos Illumination.
Hawkwind's set was as per the rest of this current tour, except there was no break before the encores.
The band were very loud and tight, sound was good and the lights were fantastic. I particularly like the
tunnel effect used on the Hawks logo right near the beginning. Following an excellent rendition of
Motorhead, the gig had finished. So, we all gathered up our belongings and split into the very cold night.
It was a very enjoyable day and well done Kris and Hawkwind and all the team for keeping it together
under what sounded difficult and last minute hassles.
I have had the pleasure of going to Hawkwind gigs since 1970, having seen some memorable
performances over the years. But I must say that last night's show was one of the best, being up there
with Liverpool Stadium on the "In Search Of Space" Tour in 1972, the Levitation Tour in 1980 (Liverpool
Empire again) with Ginger Baker & Tim Blake, 2001 Liverpool Royal Court with Huw Lloyd Langton &
Simon House, and at Liverpool Lomax 2002 with Tim Blake Arthur Brown & Huw Lloyd Langton. I
suppose there are many other shows that have been not far behind those mentioned, but for me these ones
stick in the memory.
Anyway, back to last night's show. Having travelled from Liverpool and navigated our way around the
gridlocked Manchester traffic jams, we got to The Academy. There was a big crowd who produced a
good atmosphere, and the band fed off that - right from the start you could see they were up for it
tonight. They started with a brilliant barrage of synths before going into The Right Stuff, the vocals being
very loud and clear. Next up was Psychedelic Warlords, for me the best version I have heard them do of
this. Next, a complete surprise after a spacey intro with a brilliant backdrop, it was straight into Orgone
Accumulator, with great vocals from Dave going into a middle section of You Know You're Only
Then it was Paradox performed to a very high level with brilliant vocals from Dave and Richard, and some
good lead from Dave, after which he said "My poor heart!" Then "The next song's about Robots" and
after some banter with Richard about their uses for doing everyday chores, it was into Robot, sung by
Dave, with some great slides and great backdrop, and Richard doing the middle bit ("I Am Only A Robot,
I Can Not Harm You...¦ The Three Laws" etc..)
Next, Dave was telling us that they are having problems with some of the equipment tonight. Mr Dibs
attempted to remedy Alan's computer problems as he had been trying to do from early in the set. Dave
took the opportunity to introduce Jason Stuart over the other side of the stage, telling us of his jazz
background and that he was a Qualified Chef and does a great sausage...¦there was some further banter
between Dave & Stuart before Dave introduced Out Here We Are, and after setting his presets, etc. on his
box of tricks (which he is now using to great effect) he sat down to take a well-earned break while the
song progressed, featuring Alan, Jason & Richard. Dave then introduced the next song as one that Alan
had written. It was Greenback Massacre, with good bass & vocals from Alan. This was followed by a
poem by Dave, set to music, succeeded in turn by a great version of Lord Of Light (sung by Dave).
Next was Images - Richard reminded us that this one had been sung by Bridgett (ex-Hippy Slags
member, Bridgett Wishart) but was now sung by Richard with him also doing the middle section, before
some good guitar from Dave. Then it was another surprise: a great version of Infinity sang by Dave. I
really enjoyed this & it was the first time I have heard them play it. They finished with Assassins Of
Allah, Dave telling us to make sure we get American Air Bases closed. The "Space is Their Palestine"
middle section suffered a bit of a problem with the computer, as had been happening all night, but it was
great to see them quickly improvise, with Dave & Alan taking over on guitar and bass to produce a
different middle section, and for me a better one as they jammed it out.
The band left the stage, returning to do a storming version of Spirit Of The Age - great vocals and some
great guitar from Dave. They went straight into the final song of the night, a barnstorming version of
Motorhead, expertly sung by Alan who treated us to some great bass riffs in this song, along with Dave's
guitar & use of his box of tricks, Richard's drums & Jason's keyboards...¦and having heard this for the
first time, I feel that the power of this song makes it a must for future inclusion in the set list. Alas that
was it the end!
We said our farewells to other Hawk friends we had met and off we went into the night. I wish I was
going to the Magna gig in Rotherham for the making of the DVD, and I wish I could get time off work to
get down to London for the Astoria gig on Wednesday. What a treat - Huw Lloyd Langton joining them
on stage for a few numbers, that will be special. It's good to see him recovering from the effects of the
Legionnaires Disease he so sadly caught towards the end of the 2001 Tour, forcing him to sit for periods
of the gigs he did in 2002 with Hawkwind, and to miss the final gig at the Astoria that year when they
recorded Spaced Out In London...¦ But his quality was still there for all to see on the Out Of The
Shadows DVD, shot on the first gig of that tour at Newcastle - his guitar on Hurry On Sundown on this
DVD is brilliant. It also features Tim Blake and I'd like to wish him well after the bad news regarding the
accident he was in earlier this year. Happy Christmas & all the best for New Year...¦
-Dave The Hawklord Baker
Left & above: photos (c) Paul Garbutt 2006 (ta Paul!)
P.S. My man of the match this time was "The
I was lucky enough to go to both nights 15th & 16th. Living on the east side of Manchester, getting to
Holmfirth isn't a problem.
First things first, isn't it great to see Hawkwind play to packed out venues? I know I'm really echoing
what others have said previously, both venues are on the small side and it can't be hugely lucrative for
Hawkwind to play these size of venues. For Manchester I was stood about half way back and it really
was wall to wall bodies. There were lots of people arriving late and trying to force their way to the front,
or at least further forward - most gave up; Manchester was that full.
On to the gig. It became obvious very early on that there were some major technical problems. It
appeared the laptop at Alan's side of the stage was the root source of the issues. Mr Dibs and Alan were
checking it all night and there was a lot of shaking of heads. Having said all that, the band played a full set
which didn't deviate from that which was played in the Autumn. Hawkwind seemed in a far more serious
frame of mind at Manchester than the gigs I saw on the Autumn tour with not so much of the laughing
and joking on stage. I suspect that this might have been more about the onstage problems though than
anything else - requiring more concentration than when things run smoothly. The biggest problem came
during Assassins of Allah in the Space Is Their Palestine section where the technology gave out
completely and left the guys to jam out this section and bring it back to where they were supposed to be.
For the "naysayers" who lament the use of so much computer technology in the set, this just showed (to
me anyway) how good a group of musicians they are. Even when things do go pear shaped in a major
way, they can still continue to play, not just stopping and bringing things to a premature end. On stage
communication at this point particularly between Dave, Alan and Richard to put things back on course
was excellent. The highlight for me, not withstanding all the great old classics, is still Infinity, though
closely followed by Psychedelic Warlords. Infinity is absolutely magical and just seems to get better and
better. I got the impression Dave enjoys doing this track too, just opinion though. Contrary to the gig that
Rob saw the night before at Bangor, Dave did give his spoken word rendition of "Pucks Speech" from a
Midsummer Nights Dream at Manchester. The crowd at Manchester were really receptive to the group,
with a great sing-a-long (as requested by Dave) to Spirit of the Age.
Just a couple of other comments to make really. The first being that Richard's voice seems to get
stronger and stronger with his vocal duties. The second is that I really like what Jason has brought to the
band too. I really enjoy what his keyboard work adds to the gigs. At both Manchester and Holmfirth,
perhaps because of stage size at both venues, he was very much upfront and seems to be involved in all
the laughing and joking that went on.
Holmfirth Picturedome, 16/12/2006
On to Holmfirth. This was another packed out venue completely sold out. I really can't over emphasise
enough how good a gig this was; it was a stellar performance (forgive the pun). Steve and John have
both given their thoughts and I can only echo those. This group just keep getting better and better. They
were on top form last night from start to finish. The setlist was the same as the previous night, but with
all the technology working for after the previous nights problems Hawkwind looked like they were a
group having a ball on stage. Lots of laughing and joking, often it seems at Richard and Jason's expense.
Hawkwind did seem to really appreciate the warm welcome that they got at Holmfirth. Richard said as
much before the start of the encore; a sincere thank you given to the fans for following them through all
the years.As for the gig, well I found out what we had missed at Manchester the night before. The middle
section of Assassins of Allah seems to have been reworked with Richard's "drum machine" very
prominent in the mix. Also, mention has to be made of the lights at both Manchester but particularly
Holmfirth. Like the group the projected graphics just get better and were augmented by a green laser too.
Great stuff by the folks on the lights. Another great version of Infinity was played and a very strong
Images too. Assassins was one of the best versions I've heard in a long time and everyone again sang
along to Spirit. The set finished, as you all know now, with Motorhead. Great playing and vocals from
Alan backed up by the guys on the lighting, what a way to end a brilliant night.
If, as someone has said, this venue is to become a Wetherspoon's then that's a crying shame. It's a really
nice little venue, warm and friendly. The sound was excellent too. What more can I say other than I really
enjoyed both nights, even though they were very varied in the nature of the gigs. PS A great effort by the
Technicans of Spaceship Hawkwind. A very enjoyable set both nights at very little notice and little practice
Holmfirth on Saturday was pretty decent, but not the best. Like the old football cliché it was IMO a game
of two halves. Slow starting, going through the
motions, but great when they got into the groove.
I got the impression that Alan was unwell. He had
the face on a bit, and certainly was not his usual
cheerful self. Really liked the Picturedrome as a
venue for bands. It had real character and loads of
free parking close by. On the short walk back to
the car park I saw a pair of owls and also a heron
sitting on the river bank, which was nice. Can't
imagine that happening at the Astoria! Only one
complaint, being that the Technicians didn't play for
longer! They were great. Mr Dibs on the bass spot
Above & Right: photos (c) Paul Garbutt 2006
Last night's Holmfirth gig was awesome. A great
venue, small and welcoming, it was like having the
band playing in your front room. The sound and
lights setup was brilliantly done and the performance
was sensational with Dave Brock leading from
centre stage for almost the entire gig. The band
clearly enjoyed themselves and the enthusiastic
crowd (a full house, by the way) responded
accordingly. One of the greatest Hawkwind shows
I've had the pleasure of watching is no
understatement. Hope they can play there again
-Steve Below: photo (c) Paul Garbutt 2006
when the gig passes quickly, and I couldn't believe it when they finished Motorhead and left the stage; it
had seemed like only a few minutes since they started.
It seems to me that these days Alan and Richard are the real powerhouse in their live gigs. Richard was
giving it his all, and while bass players tend by the nature of their instrument to be a bit more laid back,
Alan was going for it at full speed as well. Dave seems to be taking more of an elder statesman role these
days, at several points sitting down to let the others take the lead.
I hope the Hawks continue to play the smaller venues. It can't be very lucrative, but it makes for an
absolutely fantastic show. Sadly they won't be playing the Picturedrome again as it's about to be bought
Incidentally, I was the one right at the front who shouted the answer when Dave asked the crowd if
anyone knew the three laws of robotics. He had the good grace to look only mildly annoyed :-)
Above & right: photos (c) Steve Barlow 2006 .
These are actually from the opening date of the
tour, at Northampton Deco on 24/10/2006, despite
the fact I'm locating them with the finale:
London Astoria, 20/12/2006
In the context of attending the last concert of a tour, the internet is both a blessing and a curse. There's no
way, for example, that the set list is going to offer very much in the way of surprises and, furthermore,
the niggles and doubts expressed in other reviews are firmly lodged in the mind at the start of proceedings.
The support, a male/female duo, are as weak as any I've seen at a Hawkwind concert (and I've seen both
Patrik Fitzgerald and the Utah Saints, among others). After two whole songs (which barely register) and
two false starts they give up and wander off stage. Things brighten up with the welcome appearance of
HLL's short acoustic set. Admittedly seen at some distance, from the balcony, I'd say he looks markedly
less frail than last time around. He plays "Wars Are The Hobby There" before getting into his stride with
his own "Wind Of Change", topped and tailed by the acoustic intro and outro from "The 5th Second Of
Forever". He then offers a rather perfunctory "Rocky Paths" and a fairly authentic "Hurry On Sundown".
We even get an instrumental encore. All very well but we need to see him with the band and playing lead
guitar - of which, I'm pleased to say, more later.
Given that the arrangement of the stage set has hardly been troubled by the two opening acts, Hawkwind
are a bit tardy arriving on stage. Anyway, when the lights go down it is evident that the android backdrop
is now history and the new backdrop is simply a blank canvas on which various images are projected. The
four piece kick off with "The Right Stuff", including a new slowed down section. The sound from the
balcony is bottom heavy with Brock's guitar little more than a distant buzz. A competent opener but
somehow not getting the blood flowing. "Psychedelic Warlords" follows and, although played pretty
straight, with Alan doing a bass solo, doesn't succeed in kicking the set into life.
With "Orgone Accumulator" though, Huw joins the band on stage, adding some welcome variation to the
sound. The brief instrumental diversion into "You Know You're Only Dreaming" is simply that - please can
we get a proper version instead of a medley? Huw then leaves the stage and "Paradox" follows. Even the
new slowed-down arrangement can't spoil one of the very best songs in the catalogue and Jason's
important role in filling out the sound (and leaving the captain and Alan to focus more on their guitar
duties) is clear.
Dave lays some sheets of paper out on his keyboard rig, presumably with the lyrics of "Robot" written on
them. Much as I love this song, even when sung by Bridgett or Ron rather than by its peerless original
vocalist, this new version leaves me cold. The delivery is harsh and metallic, and too reliant on taped
backing. Dave's voice just isn't right for this one.
Rather emphasising the stilted dynamics of the set, "Out Here Are We" follows. Mostly live with just the
jazzy brass colourings on tape, it still does no more than mark a lull in the set. "Greenback Massacre" is
another low point from my perspective, just not a great song. The dancers also seem to be a bit
superfluous this time round: the new insect costumes sported during several songs are twee, silly, and
grotesque. Next up is Dave's Shakespearian recitation over a synth backing. This bit of the set is
presumably "Marine Snow" (which, for anyone who isn't a marine biologist or hasn't googled it, is a term
referring to all the bits of dead fish, dead whales, waste products and other detritus that fall continuously
onto the seabed and feed the scavengers living there).
The set kind of gets back on track with "Lord Of Light", with Huw back on stage. They seem to be letting
him on only for songs where a bit of jamming actually works. When he's there the filled-out sound and the
onstage interplay between Alan, Huw and Dave is a joy to behold. "Lord Of Light" ends all too quickly
though. "Images" follows, another welcome revival, with Richard doing a fair job of imitating Bridget
Wishart's vocal style. The four-piece could have benefited from Simon House's violin work but otherwise
this version will do very nicely thank you.
It may have been a surprise at the start of the tour but everyone is now expecting "Infinity" and hence it's
inescapable that, although pleasant, it's a slight and inessential confection. Predictably,"Assassins" rounds
off the main set and I take the opportunity to go down to the main floor area - and wish I'd done so much
earlier as (a) I'm stuck right at the back (the concert is a sell-out) with little chance of moving closer to the
stage and (b) the sound is much better down here.
The encore kicks off with a very, er, spirited version of "Spirit Of The Age". Much as I've criticised
Dave's vandalism of Bob Calvert's words, the new version is assuming classic status and gets the crowd
singing along. "Motorhead", with Huw back on stage again, is simply awesome. But, what's this, it's still
only 10.40 pm, which means that it's not all over yet. Sure enough, we get treated to a second encore of
"Brainstorm", with Huw onstage again, a nice energetic version to round things off.
The consensus of comments overheard while leaving was very much that, despite last year's triumphant
form, the band are still getting better - and it's a very encouraging sign that they sold out the Astoria.
Personally, I'd have to say that the format is getting a bit stale and formulaic even though the musicianship
is peerless and they are still pulling out neglected back-catalogue gems. On the positive side, Huw's
reintroduction as lead guitarist (even if it doesn't last) was a MAJOR bonus. Was it worth the trip down
from Aberdeen - of course it was!
-Graham P (who is a marine biologist :-) Below: cosmic bathtubs pic by Phill Jones
Left: pic by Phill Jones
Read the two reviews with interest as I was present
at the gig. The Huw Lloyd Langton â
€œInstrumental" to which he closed his short set
was Jimmy Page's Black Mountain Side (Led
Zeppelin I) - hence Huw's reference to Jimmy Page
at the end. This was by far the best piece of his
short set - in fact was one of the highlights of a
very mixed evening.
I was upstairs in the centre and the sound was poor
with Richard's drums and Jason's keyboards
sounding very low and muffled throughout the
whole evening. The clarity of Dave's vocals did alter and improve throughout the set so it was not just
the acoustics to be blamed. Personally I do not believe all is down to the variable acoustics at the Astoria
- I saw Porcupine Tree there a few months ago and sound although not perfect (as is normal with Steve
Wilson's approach to things) it was a magnitude better.
Loved Motorhead and Images and also enjoyed, Psychedelic Warlords, Orgone, Spirit and Brainstorm.
Enjoyed Huw's contribution especially once they sorted his sound out.
Have always enjoyed the dancers /fire eaters/mime artists that have appeared with Hawkwind and don't
have problems with day glo fairies but one costume in particular was appalling and ruined the whole
spectacle as was lifted straight out of an under fives kids TV program - if the Teletubbies had appeared I
would not have been surprised. Stage set was very basic - thought could have done better for such a
prestigious gig. Draping a few Christmas lights over Jason and Dave's keyboard rigs didn't show a lot of
Overall enjoyed the gig and great to see Dave freed up to play more guitar - although still too much taped
stuff being used.
However, iffy sound wasn't the only issue: the band's talent for pacing a set, for delivering a sonic journey
throughout the course of a gig, wasn't in evidence tonight. It all felt very stop-start...¦the few minutes of
synth wash while Brock read out (completely inaudible) poetry (Shakespeare, I later discovered) just
served to let the atmosphere out - although maybe if I'd actually been able to hear what he was reciting, it
would have worked better. Aside from this, there was the problem of the bland, tedious instrumental "Out
Here We Are" breaking up the set...¦now, I like the fact that they include new material in the live sets, it
means they haven't *quite* become no more than their own tribute band - but this track is, to put it
bluntly, shite. They played it last year too, but at least Jez Huggett was on hand then to add some live sax.
Tonight there's no Jez and it just sounds as though the CD is being played over the PA while the group
take a breather and play a few simple motifs over the top. If Hawkwind want to include more of a jazz
feel, they can surely do better than this awful, syrupy, cocktail-bar muzak. And if they want to play
recent tracks live, then "Angela Android" or "Sun Ray" would be far better choices. The latter in particular
has a seriously meaty, riffing fade-out that could be expanded into something special live.
Which brings us to the third "issue" affecting tonight's gig: the re-invention of old songs. For me, one of
the best things about seeing Hawkwind live is the way they keep tinkering with the golden oldies - no
matter how many times you hear a particular track played live, it never sounds the same (unless it's
"Motorway City", which for some reason always sounds the same, but thankfully isn't played tonight).
It's probably inevitable, then, that not all the revamps will work, but even so, I've never seen them make
such an unholy mess of an old classic as they did with "Robot" tonight. It was radically reworked, with
the riff played on the bass alone, i.e. *no guitar*. This actually sounded quite good -sleek and menacing-
until Brock lost his place with the vocals and had to be rescued by Richard, and from that point on they all
appeared to be playing in different tempos. Then when Richard did the "three laws" spoken word bit, he
hammed it up so absurdly that the original's sense of danger was completely lost. This, incidentally, is
possibly my favourite Hawkwind track, and I have never heard them play it live before, but now I'm not
sure I'm in any great hurry to hear it again. Oddly enough, earlier in the set they'd played another of my
favourite tracks, "Orgone Accumulator", and made a bit of a hash (no pun intended) of that too; it
bounced along with plenty of energy, but for some reason Brock changed the vocal melody on the verses
to something that sounded dangerously Chas'n'Dave, and then in the middle section they just seemed to
thrash away on the main rhythm for ages without anything else happening - problems with Huw's guitar
may have been an issue here.
And another thing: the "performance art" aspect of Hawkwind gigs is often toe-curlingly naff, but this gig
was particularly bad in this respect. The dancers looked crap and were more of an embarrassment than an
enhancement. I can't understand why the band feel this is a necessary part of the show.
Right, the positives. Well, once the sound improved, matters picked up with "Infinity" - a real surprise to
hear this live, but it works well and I hope they keep it in the set. "Greenback Massacre" was played at
some stage and sounded excellent; definitely the best live track of the newer material. There was also a
song I didn't recognise, which I later discovered was "Images" - sounded pretty good, and during this
song the back-projections switch to footage of trade union marches and picket line violence; a novel sight
at a Hawkwind gig...¦not honestly sure what the relevance was, but, still, it made a change from the usual
space-scapes and fractals.
Huw, incidentally, guested on around half of what was played. Initially he was inaudible but once his
guitar was sorted out it was possible to hear him playing in a choppy, almost punky style - completely
different to the over-fiddly soloing that used to characterise his playing with Hawkwind. Whether his
latest return to the mothership is going to be a more long-term arrangement, only time will tell, but tonight
I thought they generally sounded best when he was onstage and adding to the sound.
The main set concluded with a trancey, wigged-out version of "Hassan-i-Sahba", which, despite being in
the set continuously for many years now, continues to mutate - a terrific rendition tonight, the middle
section is precisely the kind of irresistible psychedelic techno you kept hoping they'd produce on their 90s
forays into (mostly unremarkable) dance music.
And so to the encores. "Spirit of the Age" gets the crowd going, and then, suddenly, everything goes up,
up, and away into a completely different cosmos. They play an astonishing, barnstorming version of
"Motorhead" that may just be the finest five minutes of live rock'n'roll I've ever witnessed. Alan gives it
*everything*. It's fantastic. Not only that, but they return for what may well have been an unscheduled
extra encore of "Brainstorm", and this is also very good. And then it ends.
Difficult to rate this gig, then. Parts of it were fabulous, and other parts were mediocre at best. I can't
remember ever seeing this band -or *any* band- and coming away with such a mixed impression. It's
probably worth mentioning that they got a tumultuous reception, the most animated crowd I've seen at a
Hawkwind gig since the 80s and from the band's point of view I suspect tonight was a major triumph.
|Above: Huw Lloyd-Langton, and right, Dave Brock
at the London Astoria on 20th December 2006.
Both photos (c) John Chase 2006 - thanks!!
Hello Steve, attached are a few pics from the Astoria, it was nice to see Huw back and looking "well"
after his recent ups and downs...can't say I was 100% concentrating on the set as I was trying to get
some shots, from where I was in the pit the sound was pretty muddy throughout, which was a shame.
With Huw being part of the main set, best bits for me was Infinity and Motorhead. Orgone Accumulator
sounded slightly comical in this speeded up format and Robot, well it always was pretty tongue in cheek,
but with the dancers...welll! Bring back Ron Tree with his magnificent animated Robot....the drama's
gone! Apart from that the band are on top form although I agree with one comment on your site that the
set didn't flow very well.
My enthusiasm for Assassins is seriously fading, would love to hear a few more rarities...Fahrenheit 451,
Song of the swords etc.... What happened to the new stuff as well, To Love A Machine is a classic.
-John Chase Below pic (c) John Chase 2006
Arrived during Huw's acoustic set, in time to hear him do a rather muted rendition of "Rocky Paths",
followed by a similarly understated, melancholy instrumental (which I didn't recognise), after which he
bade us goodnight, only to re-appear a moment later, apparently because he hadn't used up his allotted
time. He filled the extra few minutes with a gentle, bluesy run-through of "Hurry On Sundown". Nothing
remarkable, but nice enough, though he seemed to be taking things fairly mellow and easy compared to
the last time I saw him do one of these acoustic sets, a couple of years ago, when (despite looking
considerably more frail than he does now) he was playing fast, complex improvised passages in a way
I've never seen him try before or since.
Huw's set concludes and the Hawks take the stage to great acclaim, and after the usual introductory few
minutes of strange noises (tonight it's a particularly effective series of whooshings, warblings and
twitterings) and atmosphere-building, launch into a terrific rendition of "The Right Stuff". The clarity of
sound is exceptional and the band sound on top form. Undoubtedly the best I've heard this song, and
when they followed up with a superb, hypnotic "Psychedelic Warlords", featuring some tasty lead guitar
from Brock, I was thinking that this was shaping up to the best performance I've ever seen from them.
Unfortunately, much of what followed didn't live up to this start. For one thing, the sound became rather
thud-and-blunder for a while - "Lord of Light" in particular was marred by a continual bass hum; although
this might have been partly my fault for standing right over to one side, near the front - possibly the
sound was better balanced elsewhere in the hall. I've often noticed at the Astoria that the sound can be
strikingly different depending on where you are - at last year's Xmas gig I stood dead centre, near the
back of the standing area, and was amazed at the crystal clarity. Below pic (c) John Chase 2006
|Right: pic by Neil Price & Julian Broome