Although I’d seen various Hawkwind offshoots composed of various combinations of ex-members, tonight is the first time I’d seen the band, formed in 1969, that continues to carry the Hawkwind name to this day. The Old Market is a small to medium sized venue and is absolutely jam-packed this evening. The audience are suitably attired, looking pretty much exactly as you would expect at a Hawkwind gig, even if some of them have walking sticks. However, there is a healthy smattering of 20- and 30-somethings throughout the crowd, too. Proof that the band are still reaching new audiences, even today.
I’d not caught Hawkwind themselves before and I’ve never taken LSD before either. However, the light show, a constant backdrop of swirling fluorescent computerised graphics (on top of numerous pints of the venue’s guest real ale) started to give me a reasonable approximation of what it might be like. Talk about putting you in the right mood. The band themselves are great. All the classic ingredients of the trademark Hawkwind space-rock sound are present: the pounding, rumbling bass; the whoops and bleeps; Dave Brock’s ever present guitar as well as strong and convincing vocals from current lead singer, Mr Dibs. Of the songs, there is a good selection of classic Hawkwind material: Assault and Battery Uncle Sam’s on Mars, Orgone Accumulator, Motorway City all made an appearance. Sadly though, there was no Silver Machine this evening, the band encoring with Reefer Madness instead. My one main quibble.
Wikipedia painstakingly lists thirty-nine different line-up of this band throughout its history, guitarist Brock being the only constant member. However, the current line-up put on an entertaining show that is faithful to the spirit of Hawkwind for anyone who’s had more than a passing interest in the band and well worth seeing.