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HAWKLORDS Live 78 Atomhenge (2009)


This label's exhaustive journey to the heart of Hawkwind takes us tangentially to related projects that have orbitted the space rockers over the years. Unsurprisingly given its mix of old hands and young(er) guns, the line-up functioning under this moniker deployed a sound that hybridised the epic space rock of yore with the clattering dischord of just post-punk.

While they didn't please the hardcore hippies still 'in search of space', this set recorded at Brunel University in the UK in November 1978 affords insight into their durability: that capacity (unlike most acts of their generation) to embrace new wave with credibility intact and without throwing out the core elements of an offer dating back to 1967's Ladbroke Grove.

The material here is drawn largely from their contemporary '25 Years On' release together with recent faves such as 'Spirit of the Age', and warhorses including 'Brainstorm, 'Sonic Attack' and dear old 'Urban Guerilla'.

While the gig was beset with technical issues, production here is solid, the performances crisp and urgent, and the exhaustively-researched booklet notes in this nifty reissue make a sound case for a project cut in its prime as crew jumped ship, ostensibly to avoid the increasing dominance and instability of front-of-house Bob Calvert (but then Hawkwind human resources was always a revolving door).

With its harder-edged and darker sound, this old bird has aged rather well.


Review by Peter Muir

Peter Muir presents "Progressive Rock Fusion" on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sunday 19:00, Monday 19:00

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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