Welcome to the Future

There was some concern that Hawkwind might not make it here following the premature death of keyboard player Jason Stuart a few weeks ago. They do make it however and there is a good sized crowd in front of the main stage for an unusually early slot for Hawkwind.

With only an hour to fill I’m expecting a set tailored to the old crowd but there is a surprisingly good mix of songs aired tonight. Beginning with ‘Masters of the Universe’ and going into ‘Time We Left’ the sound is loud and big but not that great, sounding terribly muffled early on. Tim Blake is still with them and seems to be having the time of his life on theramin and his strange guitar style keyboard. Jason’s place has been taken by an unknown guitar player, who’s presence seems largely pointless as he does little other than play random solos over the top of what has turned into an impressive wall of sound.

It’s good to hear that they’ve retained the faster version of ‘Orgone Accumulator’, with it’s middle section of ‘You Know You’re Only Dreaming’ as it’s been too long since that was a mainstay of the set. Mr Dibs and Dave Brock’s vocals sound like they’ve been worked on with the harmonies sounding tight. The sound is still way too trebly for ‘Angels of Death’ but is forgotten as we get treated to a new song, with Dibs singing. It’s upbeat and melodic and sounds very encouraging for forthcoming releases with this line up. ‘Right to Decide’ gives way to a quite brilliant version of ‘Brainstorm’, which is only marred by drummer Richard Chadwick’s horrendous squawking, something which he does sporadically throughout the set and becomes just a touch annoying. He redeems himself slightly by taking main vocal duties for set closer ‘Silver Machine’ and they get a suitably rousing reaction from the crowd as they finish. I’m surprised that there was no mention of Stuart but that aside it’s been an all too short but impressive showing from the original kings of space rock.