20.04.2016 The Assembly Room, Leamington Spa
If ever there was a band that can be described as visionary it must be Hawkwind.
Formed in 1969 the band survived every fashion trend there was be it the New Romantics, Synth Pop or Punk and that’s perhaps because Hawkwind embrace and always have embraced electronic elements in their music and although they are down to earth good old fashioned rockers their psychedelic anthems seem timeless.
Difficult to pigeon hole (thank the numerous gods for that) their music has often been labelled as: space rock and I think that is accurate.
Like many bands that have been rocking the universe for as long, or half as long, as Hawkwind, the band has experienced many lineup changes and founding member Dave Brock has been there from the start through all the successes and the not so successful times.
Hawkwind had over 20 albums charting in the British charts and their early 70s single ‘Silver Machine’ remains their biggest hit to date, peaking at number 3 in 1972.
Hawkwind’s most famous ex member Lemmy Kilmister (of Motoerhead fame) often stated that the reason why he was thrown out of the band was because the drugs he was taking weren’t compatible to the drugs the rest of the band were taking at the time, which gives you an idea what an interesting bunch Hawkwind are and why they were oblivious to the many influences that swept the UK over the decades – or maybe it is just the vision of Dave Brock that keeps on pushing boundaries.
Be this as it may, here they are again embarking on a major tour and one with an interesting twist at that.
The 2016 tour ‘The Machine Stops’ is based on the dystopian novel by EM Forster that prompted Hawkwind to bring this out as an album with newly written material based on said story and onto the stage.
The visuals during the show are all sublime, weird & wonderful and the band plays tight and at times heavy rock and acknowledges in a perhaps unintended way that the times of prog rock (which they influenced quite a bit) are over, judging by their synthesist playing stuff (brilliantly I might add) via a small controller keyboard and a laptop.
When you watch them on stage you can’t help but like them and their stage show would fit a one-man tent just as much as a stadium or arena plus the new album sounds absolutely stunning and vocalist Mr. Dibs sings and narrates it well. Although this year’s motto is: ‘The machine stops’ – I don’t think it will anytime soon
Go see them !!
We’ve had the pleasure of talking to the band roughly three years ago – listen here