Hawkwind 4th June 2012


So having tucked into my Jubilee street party grub I made my way to Southampton (The Brook) to see the mighty Hawkwind for (maybe) the 26th time (I have lost track). Excellent support was provided by Huw Lloyd Langton (review here). I quite like the new album Onward (review here) and was looking forward to a decent evening in the midst of our four day weekend (thanks your majesty!). The picture is from my Flickr stream which should be accessible on the right somewhere!

So how was the gig?

The Venue

The Brook is a decent sized (holds 600) pub venue on the edge of Southampton (and good directions on the website) split over two floors with a balcony. I estimated at least 450 on the night, it certainly wasn’t jammed but was busy so there may have been more than 500 or so (what do I know).

The view from upstairs was limited so I went downstairs for most of the evening and stood. Sound was solid, lights and backdrop worked well but the size of the stage meant the six current crew-members of the starship could only just fit meaning no room for dancers.

The Band

This tour we are treated to a six-piece (in the 80s many gigs were down to three plus lots of backing tracks) as follows:

  • Phil ‘Dead Fred’ Reeves on keyboard / sequencer and tucked away at the back on the left. I discover he toured with Hawkwind in the early 80s though before I got into the band. Plenty of accompaniment throughout the night
  • Tim Blake was in front of Phil on both Theremin and keyboard/synth. For me Tim had a better night than others I have seen (I recall an Astoria gig where he was badly mixed and almost inaudible). He does though still look like Garth from Wayne’s World (sorry Tim!)
  • Mr Dibs is now clearly lead vocal though slightly left of centre (on stage at least) initially playing cello, though returned to bass for several tracks and also played some guitar. Another accomplished performance for the erstwhile roadie
  • At the back (but not forgotten) Richard Chadwick excellent as ever on drums (and the odd vocal)
  • Dave Brock (the Captain) is next on vocals and various lead / rhythm guitar. I noticed he played less on newer tracks but still put everything into the music whenever he needed to. I also think he (like I think all the crew) really enjoyed themselves
  • To the right was Niall Hone on both bass and guitar and did a good job on Assault/Golden Void.

The Set

I have to admit to grabbing the set list from starfarer.net as although I like some of the newer stuff not all the titles have sunk in yet. The set ran from classics through a bunch of new tracks, then back to a more classic line up. I have cribbed this from the listing for Bridport and will update as needed:

  • The Awakening
  • You’d Better Believe it
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • Seasons
  • Rites of Netherworld
  • Prophecy
  • Southern Cross
  • Hassan-i-Sahba
  • Love in Space
  • Sonic Attack
  • Hi-tech cities
  • Prometheus
  • Assault & Battery / Golden Void into Where are They Now?
  • Damnation Alley
  • Encore Silver Machine (thanks Graham for pointing out)
A decent mix, no numbers I could have done without though I am a bit bored of Hassan-i-Sahba. The new chunk (tracks 3-7 excepting Rites) were fine I particularly like Southern Cross. Love in Space I prefer now than when it was new, Sonic Attack delivered well as did Assault / Void. Ending on Damnation Alley works though I wouldn’t want it on every tour (I miss Spirit of the Age when it is out of season!)
Finally the encore pounded out and I would say every man, woman, alien and android in the audience left on a high. As has since been pointed out I missed out on Silver Machine due to travel (just got back by midnight!).

Final thoughts

I hope you can tell I enjoyed the gig and it was well worth the hour or so each way driving there. I also liked the venue and would go to The Brook again. I have lost track of how many Hawkwind gigs I have been to – high 20s I suspect. I look forward to many more if they continue to be this good.

*

Did you go? What were your highlights? What have I missed out / got wrong? Let me know!

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About Tony Jones
Big Finish writer, reviewer and blogger, I'm interested in science fiction and Doctor Who. I review for CultBox, The Doctor Who Companion and others. I am also Audio Drama editor for Starburst Magazine, and write the occasional piece for Vortex, the BSFA critical magazine.

9 Responses to Hawkwind 4th June 2012

  1. sonic_hawk on Dime says:

    Good review, I was at this gig and enjoyed it. They ended with “Silver Machine” and Richard said that’s the only reason he joined the band – so that he could sing that one!

    • HelmStone says:

      Cheers, I had to leave just before the encore and missed that. Will update

    • HelmStone says:

      And thanks also for the link on today’s http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.co.uk

  2. marsdaddy says:

    Good review – never been to the Brook.

    • HelmStone says:

      You should have come with me!

  3. Pingback: Keep it fresh and focussed | The Craft of Words

  4. PAUL YATES says:

    23rd time for me in Jan.Dont like Damnation Alley,love all
    else.Many thanks for review,Paul Y.

    • HelmStone says:

      Cheers Paul

  5. Pingback: Stuff 2012 « Reality Checkpoint

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