Following their dalliance with Bronze Records at the end of the 1970s, label founder Gerry Bron moaned that “[Hawkwind] constantly wanted to do live albums”, 30 years on and Bron’s notion rings ever more true. In the last decade, they’ve released one ‘proper’ studio album (Take Me To Your Leader, 2006) and a slew of concert recordings. It’s understandable though - they’ve been on a rich seam of form live, ironically ever since the fiasco that was the Hawkestra mass-reunion in 2000.
Each Hawkwind tour these days seems a special event, often with former members (leader Dave Brock describes them as the “odd good old boys”) putting in appearances. This album, recorded at Newcastle in 2002 sees Brock and long-time drummer Richard Chadwick joined by original studio guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton, synthesiser wizard Tim Blake (also ex of Gong) and bassist Alan Davey (disappointingly omitted from the credits). Additionally, there’s Arthur Brown, he of ‘Fire’, joining proceedings, performing his own songs, ‘Time Captives’ and ‘Time & Confusion’, and meandering through various Hawk-standards. Title track aside, everything is of 70s vintage but these are numbers that have matured gracefully and this incarnation’s interpretations are reverential and inventive in the same breath.
This review originally appeared in Rock N Reel magazine