Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hawkwind - Live!

Hawkwind - Live @ Derby Assembly Rooms

I first discovered Hawkind in the early 80's when I bought a copy of Quarks Strangeness and Charm on vinyl. What appealed to me was the subject matter of their songs, cloning, space travel and drugs. Oh and loved the cover of the album with the scientists in the big power station. Earlier this year I caught with Hawkwind by buying their 3 CD set Epoch Eclipse and was pleasantly surprised by their back catalogue which now spans about 30 years.

So I was very excited when my sister inlaw said she was going to see Hawkwind live in Derby and invited me along. I was also a bit shocked to be honest that they were still alive and playing music.

The venue was half full by the time they made their appearance at 9 pm, they did a 90 minutes and it was brilliant. They could so easily have turned up, done a few hits and gone home but they put on a proper show. The stage set was made up of two giant paintings of semi naked robo-women in silver: either side of these, were to grey panels that transformed into massive ultraviolet space scapes and when the lights when down. The light show was very well put together, spotlights, lights ligting the top of the stage, lights on the stage and even some really funky green lasers during some of the tracks. Not content with this they has two dancers, man and woman dressed in some rather bizarre dayglow UV outfits, sometimes wearing giant green wings and other times battling it out with LED swords.

Not content with all this they also delivered a top notch video display through the whole performance, a mixture of swirling psychedilc footage, with film clips, with not a repeat during the entire 90 minutes set

Musically they can certainly still deliver the goods. I was thrilled that they did "Hassan I Shaba", a classic middle eastern style track about hashish, with a thunderous repetitive bass line. Along the way we got a somewhat fast but still rockin version of "Spirit of The Age". I was also delighted to hear "Orgone Accumulator" very heavy, quite long with lots of grooovy sound affects. The sound effects were smattered throughout the set, elevators noise, beeps and squeels, at one point they turn the bass up so that they audience could just feel the low frequncy noise, I haven't felt bass like that since a Leftfield gig a few years back at Rock City in Nottingham.

And the best bit about the whole gig was they ended on "Motorhead", a very Lemmy like track, from the days when Lemmy was in Hawkwind, and not a Silver Machine in sight.


For more tour info checkout the official site