|Hawkwind - London, Kentish Town, HMV Forum - 17th December 2010|
|Written by Mark Taylor|
|Friday, 07 January 2011 05:00|
It's been forty years now since Hawkwind first introduced the world to space rock with their eponymous debut, and they are still light years ahead of any pretenders. Today only Dave Brock remains from the original line up but he has his hands firmly on the controls of his starship enterprise, but with plenty of newer younger members willing to keep the ship afloat into the sonic atmosphere for many years to come, who cares that past members have long since been ejected into a space ritual all of their own?
A Hawkwind gig is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime, if not for the music, then at least for the chance of mixing with the audience, who are a mixture of punks, rockers, accountants, hippies, TV presenters and new age travellers. The music meanwhile is a journey into the centre of your brain and you may not be the same person again once it has been tampered with by the electronic frequency spasms of Hawkwind.
A sprinkling of musical stardust gets things underway via the title track from the new album 'Blood Of The Earth', these fill up the bulk of the set with the 'Sentinel' taking you off on a journey into astral plains with the accompanying keyboard work from Tim Blake. Tonight's show is also very much a visual one with psychedelic kaleidoscopic patterns encircling the mind with an added 3-D effect to the two young female dancers dressed up as robots, creatures on stilts and Indian goddess dancers who add a vision of a sci-fi fantasy to proceedings. I must admit the smoking ban does take the edge off the Hawkwind live experience a little bit for me and it may also explain why I enjoyed them so much at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg Holland a few years back, if you get my drift of smoke?
New boy bassist Mr Dibs handles most of the vocals and looks a commanding figure in his combat gear, army helmet and semi knee high boots. He looks the kind of person you could bump into in a gay sadomasochistic brothel in the back streets of Amsterdam (but DO NOT PANIC...Do not panic....), tonight Dave Brock is actually pretty anonymous behind his keys and song board and rarely strays more than a few feet away from his position even when playing the guitar.
Of the rest of the night's set list the menacing 'Angels Of Death' gets drawn out into a ten minute frenzied sonic attack. 'Brainstorm' does exactly what it says on the tin, whilst Captain Rizz joins the band for a stomping 'Psi Power' and a new version of 'You Better Believe It' originally from '74's 'Hall Of The Mountain Grill', but re-recorded for the new album, ends the night.
Trip out! Trip right out man.....Beam me up Scotty...I need some more of the right stuff.
Set list: Blood Of The Earth / You Shouldn't Do That / Lord Of Light / Sonic Attack / Star Cannibal / Northern Sands / Prometheus / Spirit Of The Age / Robot / Sentinel / Warriors / Angel Of Death / Tide Of The Century / Wraith / Song For A New Age / Brainstorm ... Encores ... Psi Power / You Better Believe It