Archive for the ‘Hawkwind’ Category

Monsters of Rock Donington Status Quo 21st August 1982

Monsters of Rock Donington Status Quo 21st August 1982
Line-up: Status Quo, Gillan, Saxon, Hawkwind, Uriah Heep and Anvil
quoknebworthThis was the third Monsters of Rock festival, and the second time I went to the event. I drove down with my mate Dave, and we had a great time. It was a strong line-up of hard rock bands with Status Quo topping the bill, and a clutch of great support acts in Gillan, Saxon, Hawkwind, Uriah Heep and Anvil. Tommy Vance was DJ and compere for the day. Highlights for me were Hawkwind, Uriah Heep and Quo. Saxon were quite successful at the time and represented the NWOBHM, and Gillan seemed to gig constantly during that period, and was always good fun, playing a few Purple classics alongside his own material.quodoningtonUriah Heep were fronted by new(ish) singer Pete Goalby, alongside long time Heepsters Mick Box, and Lee Kerslake. Their set included classic tracks like Stealin’, The Wizard, July Morning, Gypsy and Easy Livin’. It seemed strange to me to see them so low down on the bill. Both Heep and Hawkwind would have had headline status a few years earlier. Hawkwind’s set feautured Brainstorm, Angels of Death, Urban Guerilla, Psychedelic Warlords, and of course Silver Machine and Master Of the Universe. Their ever-changing line-up at this time included Dave Brock, Huw Lloyd Langton, Harvey Bainbridge and Nik Turner. Both great bands. But the day rightly belonged to Quo, who were worthy headliners. We pushed our way right down the front for their set. This show is often rated as not one of Quo’s best, but I enjoyed seeing them headlining a festival again, and thought they were pretty good. There were some problems with the sounds, with some parts of the crowd reporting that they couldn’t hear Quo very well, but I think this depended on where you were placed in the field. This was the first time I saw the band with Pete Kircher who replaced John Coughlan on drums. Quo were celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band.
Status Quo setlist: Caroline; Roll Over Lay Down; Backwater; Little Lady; Don´t Drive My Car; Whatever You Want; Hold You Back; Rockin All Over The World; Over The Edge; What You´re Proposing; Dirty Water; 4500 Times; Big Fat Mama; Don´t Waste My Time; Roadhouse Blues; Rain; Down Down; Bye Bye Johnny.

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Reading Festival 26th – 28th August 1977

Reading Festival 26th – 28th August 1977
reading1977prog1Reading 1977 was notable for a couple of reasons. First, the line-up finally (and sadly in my view) lost all traces of the festival’s jazz and blues roots. Instead we had lots of classic rock, with a (small) smattering of punk and new wave. Although 1977 was the year of punk, it was another year before the new music finally started to make its mark at Reading. And second, the main feature of the 1977 festival was MUD. Lots of it. Possibly the worst I have ever seen at a festival. It had been raining heavily for weeks before, which resulted in most of the site becoming a quagmire with rivers of mud, and a large mud lake right in front of the stage. Wellies were at a premium and were being sold for incredible prices in the town.
Friday’s line-up: Staa Marx; S.A.L.T; Woody Woodmansey’s U Boat; Kingfish; 5 Hand Reel; Lone Star; Uriah Heep; Eddie and the Hot Rods; Golden Earring.
A strange mix of bands on the first day. Woody Woodmansey’s U Boat (ex Bowie’s Spiders from Mars) closed their set with Suffragette City. A highlight for me was Uriah Heep; now with John Lawton on vocals. Heep were always one of my favourite bands, and still are; I was a little sad to see them third on the line-up; they would have headlined a few years earlier. Lone Star were also good; showing lots of promise at the time, and Eddie and the Hot Rods went down well with the crowd. Golden Earring closed the day with a strong performance (Radar Love!).
Saturday’s line-up: Gloria Mundi; Krazy Kat; No Dice; George Hatcher Band; Ultravox!; Little River Band; John Miles; Aerosmith; Graham Parker and the Rumour; Thin Lizzy.
I remember being impressed by Ultravox!; this was the early version with John Foxx on vocals. Aerosmith seemed a big band to feature third on the bill, drew a large crowd, and were excellent. “Dream On” from those days remains a favourite song of mine. But the stars of the day were Graham Parker (the whole crowd sang along to (Hey Lord) Don’t Ask Me Questions) and of course, headliners Thin Lizzy. Lizzy were massive at the time and played a classic set including: Jailbreak; Dancing in the Moonlight; Still in Love With You; Cowboy Song; The Boys Are Back in Town; Don’t Believe a Word; Emerald and closing with The Rocker as encore. A good way to spend a Saturday night.
reading1977Sunday’s line-up: Widowmaker; The Motors; Tiger: The Enid; Blue; Racing Cars; Wayne County and the Electric Chairs; Hawkwind; Doobie Brothers; Frankie Miller; Alex Harvey.
The Enid were a big Reading favourite and Robert Godfrey got the tired crowd going with versions of classics like The Dambusters March. The Motors and Widowmaker got the day off to a good start. Steve Ellis had left Widowmaker by this point and had been replaced by John Butler, and they still featured that crazy showman Ariel Bender. Tiger featured the excellent guitarist Big Jim Sullivan (I used to love watching him play on the Tom Jones show in the ’60s), and Blue had some neat songs (try listening to “Little Jody”) and deserved bigger success. They were fronted my ex-Marmalade Hughie Nicholson. Racing Cars went down well with the crowd; this was the year that they had a massive hit with “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” Wayne County was greeted by a hail of cans from a tired and twitchy crowd who didn’t take well to his punk songs, including the classic “If you don’t want to F**k me, F**k Off! Hawkwind were OK, as were the Doobies and Frankie Miller, but we were all there to see Alex Harvey. SAHB played the usual set and Alex told his quirky stories: Faith Healer; Midnight Moses; Gang Bang; Last of the Teenage Idols; Giddy-Up-A-Ding-Dong; St. Anthony; Framed; Dance to the Music. Alex hadn’t been well and this was their first gig for a few months. It was good to see them, but it wasn’t one of their best performances, and sadly it was the last time the band would play together. The end of an era.
By Sunday many people had given up and left because of the atrocious conditions. Poor John Peel tried to keep the crowd amused, partly be starting the famous “John Peel’s a C***” chant which continued into the next few years.
One final note. I had been to see The Sex Pistols play at Scarborough Penthouse club the night before the festival, and I was still buzzing with the memories of that gig. It had opened my eyes to the raw energy of punk, and that, coupled with the mud and awful conditions at Reading, meant I didn’t enjoy the weekend as much as usual. And just to make the experience complete, the alternator on my car packed in on the way back up the M1, and the car finally ground to a halt somewhere near Nottingham. After a wait of an hour or so, a kind AA man towed us back to Barnard Castle, where we waited (a few hours) for another AA relay van to pick us up and take us home. We arrived back after midnight on Monday, tired, hungry and very muddy, soggy and scruffy….the joys of festival going. Happy Days 🙂

The Reading Festival 22nd – 24th August 1975

The Reading Festival 22nd – 24th August 1975
reading75flyerThe Reading Festival hit its peak of success in the mid ’70s, and the 1975 festival sold out in advance. Although the previous years’ festivals that I had attended all seemed pretty full, you were still able to roll up and pay at the entrance. In 1975 the success of the festival and the draw of bands like Yes and Wishbone Ash ensured the site was completely packed, with hardly any room to be found in the campsites and car parks.
Friday line-up: Stella, Judas Priest, Wally, Kokomo, UFO, Dr Feelgood, Hawkwind. Judas Priest were an up and coming heavy rock band and were gigging constantly, as were UFO. Kokomo were a jazz/rock/funk outfit who were very successful during the ’70s. But the big success of Friday (and arguably the entire weekend) was Dr Feelgood, who were a massive hit with the festival crowd; Wilko and Lee being on red hot form. I was with a couple of guys who had recently become big Feelgood fans; “Back In The Night” had just been released and they were constantly singing it in my ear. “All around visible signs of the Doctor’s now-massive popularity – such as the many home-made banners (“Feelgood”, “Wilko” et al), the rapturous reception, the sea-of-weaving arms” (NME, 1975). “When Dr Feelgood stamped off they had within an hour, transformed this alfresco association into a tiny, sweaty, steaming R&B club. Charisma is too weak a word to describe what the Feelgoods had going for them that night.” (Brian Harrigan, Melody Maker, August 30, 1975). Hawkwind were ok, but it was cold, and they found it difficult to follow the Feelgood’s storming set.
readingprog75Saturday line-up: Zzebra, SNAFU, Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias, Kursaal Flyers, Thin Lizzy, Alan Stivell, Heavy Metal Kids (billed simply as “Kids” in the programme), Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Yes.
My memories are of Thin Lizzy delivering an excellent set as always; they were gradually building up their own following and would soon break through to become massive; The Heavy Metal Kids being as OTT as ever; and Yes, who were amazing. I must also mention the Kursaal Flyers, who are sadly often forgotten in the history of pub rock; they would hit the charts in the following year with the great pop single: “Little Does She Know” (“I know that she knows that I know she’s two timing me”). Supertramp were on the verge of mega-success; they had hit the charts with “Dreamer” and had a considerable following. I was, and remain, a big Yes fan and their performance at Reading came at a point where the band were at the peak of their success. I recall it being very cold, with epic versions of “Close to the Edge” and “And You and I”, and a great version of “Roundabout” as an encore (very late and off to our tents). A bootleg exists of Yes’ set that night: Sound Chaser; Close To The Edge; And You And I; Awaken; The Gates Of Delirium; I’ve Seen All Good People; Ancient; Long Distance Run Around; Ritual; Roundabout.
reading75Sunday line-up: Joan Armatrading, Babe Ruth, String Driven Thing, Climax Blues Band, Caravan, Soft Machine, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Robin Trower, Wishbone Ash. My memory of Sunday is of Wishbone Ash. Like Yes they were enjoying massive success at the time, and also like Yes they played a set of pure class, with the twin guitars of Andy Powell and Laurie Wisefield soaring through the cool, late Sunday evening.
Our DJs for the weekend were once again John Peel and Jerry Floyd. The weather was cold, with some rain, and the beer can fights were constant throughout the weekend. The festival had always been an organised, carefully planned event, but was becoming even more commercial. The nature of the festival, and its line-up, would transform further in the years which followed; with the emergence of punk and the re-emergence of heavy metal through the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal). Any elements of the jazz festivals of the 60s had also disappeared.
Thanks to BaldBoris for allowing his image of the festival to be used through the WikiMedia Commons licence agreement.

HRH Prog Fest Magna Centre Rotherham 6 April 2013

HRH Prog Fest Magna Centre Rotherham 6 April 2013
magna1 I won free tickets for the Prog fest at the Magna Centre yesterday, and drove down to Rotherham for this event with my mate Norm. The line-up was headed by Hawkwind, and featured a host of other prog-related acts including the Strawbs, It Bites, and Arthur Brown. We arrive at around 5pm just is time to catch Arthur Brown. Arthur is doing a great job of recreating the psych-tinged R&B which featured on his first album. His set is drawn largely from that album, and he fronts a new band of excellent musicians, including a great keyboard player and guitarist. He is also accompanied by a dancer, with whom Arthur engages in some crazy, comical moves. His voice is as strong as ever; the Crazy World lives on. After seeing Arthur and his Crazy World we nipped out to Ben and Jerrys in Meadowhall for a bite to eat, and returned in time to catch the end of It Bites’ set, including Calling All The Heroes.
The Magna centre is an intriguing venue for a rock festival. It is housed in a massive old steelworks, which in its day will have been at the heart of the Sheffield steel industry, and by day it is a visitor attraction showing the history of steelmaking. The festival took up much of Magna over this weekend with some festivals in one taking place: the Prog fest which was the reason for our visit and its companion AOR fest, both organised by HRH. Each festival had two stages: the Prog fest main stage was in the “Face of Steel” and stage 2 was in “Earth”. For the AOR fest the main stage was in the Big Hall, and the second stage was in “Fire”. Signing sessions took place in the “Fuel” restaurant: we headed their after It Bites, lined up and got a flyer signed by some of the members of Hawkwind (sadly Dave Brock did not come along 😦 ).
magna We then found our way to the strange little room, which was “Earth” at the other end of the venue, and watched a little of the acoustic Strawbs, before heading back to the “Face of Steel” for Hawkwind, who opened their set with my favourite “Master of the Universe”. It was really getting cold by now; the size of Magna, with massive high ceilings, means that it is probably impossible to keep warm now, although it will have been red hot in its day when it housed a furnace. Norm and I have experienced how cold it is before, when we went to see Hawkwind ay a fan club event a few years ago on a cold December night. We watched a little more of Hawkwind’s set and then decided to keep warm by moving around and visiting the AOR fest. The Main Hall was packed for Tesla who seemed an intriguing rock band. We then went up to “Fire” where we watched a couple of songs of Estrella. Then it was back round to Hawkwind again, passing “Earth” where Karnataka were playing. Hawkwind finished their set around 11pm with Damnation Alley from the Quark, Strangeness and Charm album. Hawkwind have been playing the entire Warrior at the Edge of Time album on their current tour, with dancers and light show. Apparently the stage at the Prog fest wasn’t big enough for the show, so Hawkwind decided to revert to a standard set. As it was getting late by the time Hawkwind finished and we had a two hour drive home we decided to pass on seeing Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash and heading for the M1 north. Got home 1am. The festival was fun, but the venue was FREEZING…..

Hawkwind Magna Centre Rotherham December 2006

Hawkwind Magna Centre Rotherham December 200
hawktixmagna This was a private fanclub session for recording of a DVD. I had Hawkwind passport and this enabled me to gain entry. along with my mate Norm. We were told that we had to dress as aliens, but we bottled it, and turned up in our normal gear. Most of the audience were, however, decked out as instructed, which made it an interesting evening. The place was absolutely freezing; you could see your breath in the air! It was a good event, and Hawkwind played well, although I was disappointed that they didn’t play Master of the Universe or Silver Machine. For me, a Hawkwind gig should always feature at least one of those classic songs. We’ll be back at Magna again to see Hawkwind at the Prog festival in April; hope its warmer! I’ve seen Hawkwind a couple of times since then, once at Newcastle Academy and once at their 40th anniversary show in London, but I have already blogged about those gigs, so this is the last of my Hawkwind postings for now. I’ve enjoyed reflecting on Hawkwind, and it has made me realise how important they are as a band. Setlist: Right Stuff; Psychedelic Warlords; Dogstar; Orgone Accumulator; You Know You’re Only Dreaming; Orgone Accumulator; Paradox; Robot; Out Here We Are; Greenback Massacre; Marine Snow; Lord Of Light; Images; Infinity; Hassan-i-Sahba; Space Is Their; Hassan-i-Sahba; Spirit Of The Age; Motorhead

Hawkwind Newcastle Tyne Theatre 2004

Hawkwind Newcastle Tyne Theatre 2004
hawktix2004 It was 2004 before I saw Hawkwind again. I realised that it had been remiss of me to go so long without going to see the band, and decided I needed to put that right. So when they came to the Newcastle Tyne Theatre I persuaded David to come along with me to the gig. By now the line-up was a core three-piece of the captain of the spaceship and old-timer Dave Brock, with newer (but by this point in fact not so new) members Alan Davey on bass, and Richard Chadwick on drums. The band were augmented by various guests on record and at some gigs, including Arthur Brown, Simon House, Lene Lovich and Lemmy, all of whom featured on the album of the time Take Me To Your Leader. Incredibly Take Me To Your Leader was Hawkwind’s 23rd studio album. It featured a re-recording of classic track Spirit of the Age, and some new tracks around the traditional space age theme. The live show was pretty impressive with android dancers, the band in white coats, and the stage set a cross between an operating theatre and a space craft. David enjoyed the show, even though he was not at all familiar with any of Hawkwind’s material. hawksprog2004 Interestingly David saw lots of links to modern dance music in Hawkwind. They started with the new version of Spirit of the Age, which was a great opener, and the set also included a few old favourites such as Psychedelic Warlords, Angels of Death, Brainstorm, and for the encore Master of the Universe.And a new favourite in Angela Android. Great stuff. It was just like old times, and it brought home to me all of the reasons why Hawkwind were so important to me at one time. Why did I ever stop going to see them?! I guess I grew a little tired and life, work and other things got in the way and were more important at the time. Anyway, it was like being home again in many respects, and I have tried to see Hawkwind regularly since then (although I have missed once or twice  ). Setlist: Spirit of the Age; Sword of the East; Greenback Massacre; Psychedelic Warlords; Uncle Sam’s On Mars; The Iron Dream; Out Here We Are; Digital Nation; Assassins of Allah; Angels of Death; Ode To a Time Flower; To Love A Machine; Angela Android; Brainstorm. Encore: Brainbox Pollution; Master of the Universe; Welcome

Hawkwind Newcastle City Hall 1981

Hawkwind Newcastle City Hall 1981
Support from Mama’s Boys hawktix81 1981; another year and another line-up for Hawkwind. Ginger Baker left the band after his short spell in the drum stool, to be replaced by Martin Griffin who joined Dave Brock, Huw Lloyd-Langton and Harvey Bainbridge. The band released a new album Sonic Attack and embarked upon their traditional end of year tour of the UK, calling at Newcastle City Hall in October. The title track, was a re-recording of the Space Ritual spoken piece with a new electronic backing. The album also included Angels of Death, which is one of my all-time favourite Hawkwind tracks. hawksprog81 I was to see Hawkwind the following year when they appeared halfway up the bill at the Donington Monsters of Rock extravaganza. I lost faith in the band around this time. I remember going to see Hawkwind at Newcastle Mayfair in the late 80s or early 90s, and the line-up was I think a three-piece with Dave Brock taking on most of the lead vocals. It wasn’t one of the best times I have seen the band, and I didn’t go to see them again until 2004. I’ll blog on that gig tomorrow. Setlist for the 1981 tour (something like): Angel Voice; Motorway City; Angels Of Death; Psi Power; Coded Languages; Golden Void; Magnu; Dust Of Time; Virgin Of The World; Psychedelic Warlords; Shot Down In The Night; Sonic Attack; Brainstorm; Silver Machine; Master Of The Universe.