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Jeremy Pearce - 16 Nov 2018
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"It wasn't my favourite Hawkwind gig by far, but it wasnt my worst by along shot .It was just different and it didnt leave me mentally disturbed like the Sam Fox Singing Silver Machine guest duet with Lemmy at the Astoria over 25 years ago !"

I have been on a bit of a Psychedelic music bender Hawkwind sandwiched in between the Acid Mothers Temple and Kikagaku Moyo .I had had a terrible feeling that this tour supporting the Road To Utopia LP would have failed to reach take off speed and the ship would crash even before it reached take off speed .I took the precaution of the Acid Mothers Temple the day before. They  dont sonically mess about .They play brutal space rock and have been doing so for a quarter of a century  .The 1st report of the tour I read on the Hawkwind Bootleg Emporium and Nicky Carrol had penned a blinding review  and photos of the opening show of the tour  .These people know their Hawkwind and the 1st thing he said,was  it was nothing like the vinyl release  and certain bits worked better than others but all in all it worked well .I was thinking of heading up and seeing them before the gig they were holding court in the Weatherspoons pub on Shaftbury avenue ,but I got up to Oxford Circus a bit before 6 and decided to stay put and watch the family congregate .It always fascinates me watching the congregation assemble .The age groups pretty old now to be expected The air was scented with Marijuana .wafting down from the roll ups from the  middle aged pot menaces dressed in uniform black tour shirts  and I smiled to my self. The doors opened and a man addressed the crowd in the manner of Brian Blessed and everyone entered the theater in an orderly manner .I had picked my ticket from the venue not a ticket site and had picked a good central position but in the stalls .so I didnt get the spectral split from the lasers what I would have got from the balcony but I knew this,being a hardened Hawkwind watcher .I was chatting with the man next to me with his wife and I guess grand children and he was saying that the 1st time he had watched them was even before they had had a record deal before the 1st album and he said it was poly rhythmic drum patterns similar to Azimuth and then it evolved into the space rock  .

This album came with people leaving who had been part of what I reckon one of the best configurations of the machine ever .Haz had gone to form his own band and had basically brought his own classic Bass sound and Dibs had left too just before the tour .I had watched Arthur Brown up at Herzburg in Germany earlier in the year so basically knew that for narrative and vocals he was going to pull it off and the fact that he was reading Calverts lyrics and poetry off of sheets of paper made it even more like he was reciting from the sacred scrolls .The Tory Graph journalist didnt get this when he penned his review of this gig in fact he didnt get anything about it at all .

It started with Mathew Wright a man who got into them about the same time as me  (He 1st saw them up at Stone henge ) Introducing  the show like a circus ring master then they started the ships motor on Assault and Battery Golden void To a Warner Bros Loony tunes cartoon like back projection This worked pretty well with the orchestra building it up .Dave Brock used auto tune for We took the wrong step and Arrival into Utopia  was good  and the rest of the set took in bits from right through .Zarozinia worked well too but bits did judder a bit but this is Hawkwind and non of us panicked .The Tory graph took this as being unprofessional and kept on mentioning Pink Floyd He must have been on drugs or something as far as I am concerned bad Tory drugs .Dave Brock had a Badger Glove puppet that seriously upset the man  and not surprising considering that his papers political alignment s been waging war on them together with most of the human population that cant generate tax revenue for the evil sheriffs of Westminster  and he didnt like it either  when Richard Chadwick carried on with the puppet after Dave Brock had finished with it .The encores didn t have the orchestra and was more like the normal band and they played out on Silver machine No Masters of the universe and no Brainstorm, but a fair selection of output from every period .Tonight didnt have the kind or arc that s like a rocket trajectory designed especially to strap in take off and re enter earths  atmosphere and splash down  in  but I had no complaints .It wasnt my favourite Hawkwind gig by far but it didnt leave me mentally disturbed like the Sam Fox Silver machine guest appearance at the Astoria maybe a quarter of a century ago did .I waited a bit before leaving and watched the smiling faces .We had all been Hawkwinded .and it felt good .It felt in a way to me that this might have been the swan song .It was defiantly the marking of the end of a period  cycle within the band and what happens next I dont know all I know is that Nik Turners Playing with the Hawklords at the end of the month and Im going to have some of that and I know Im going to get The right Stuff watch my tail 

Campfire x 

 

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