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Hawkwind: Out Of The Shadows (CD/DVD)
I must admit to having joined spaceship Hawkwind rather late in the game but since I have been acquainting myself with their music I have been dutifully impressed. I am still not familiar with all their classic albums (will get there eventually) but I have listened to their last two releases The Machine Stops (2016) and Into The Woods (2017) quite extensively as they are wonderful examples of the space rock genre.
My latest discovery is the band's live effort titled Out Of The Shadows originally released in 2004. This particular performance was the first of a short 2002 Christmas tour on December 4, 2002 at the Newcastle Opera House, Newcastle, England. Being the first show you might expect a few kinks in the armour and yes, this isn't perfect by any means but it is really a stellar performance by any measure and the band deserved huge credit for bringing a tremendous amount of energy and pizazz at that stage in their careers. Of course with their recent albums Hawkwind have proven they still have a lot to say. Also of note is the appearance of Arthur Brown (The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown), an historical figure in the underground progressive movement of the late '60s/early '70s. Speaking of which, Brown sings lead vocals on the opening track "Aero Space Age Inferno" beginning with a quiet spaciness of keys and effects before the heavy punk-like riffs engulf the music. Brown does a good job behind the mic while the lead guitar of Langton is as fiery as it is spacey. "Angels Of Death", taken from the Sonic Attack album (1981), features more of Huw's space-like ethereal guitar leads and the band's ferocious rhythms. The drum work of Chadwick also shines on this one. The title track is another burner where the fat bass lines of Davey lay down a heavy groove as the band pummels the listener with another heavy slice of space rock. "Master Of The Universe" is a great space rock jam with Brown and Davey's impassioned lead vocals as is the mostly slow and trippy "Time & Confusion" supplanted with more ethereal guitar work from Huw and Blake's organ drenched backdrop. One of the catchiest tunes is "Hurry On Sundown" whereas as the trippiest track is likely Blake's "Lighthouse", a cool outer space keyboard led jam. The intense "Assassins Of Allah" is another assault on the senses as is the concert ending classic "Silver Machine".
As far as the DVD is concerned the concert footage is quite good and the sound quality is excellent. The stage show is pretty basic with traditional lighting and a back screen that is suitably psychedelic with trippy images displayed throughout the concert. Also included is an interesting interview with Captain Dave as he provides insights into the history of the band, collaborating with Arthur Brown, touring, set designs and all other things Hawkwind.
Although the band had a lack of rehearsal time they performed admirably that night and I would recommend this performance to any fan of the band.
Dave Brock (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Richard Chadwick (drums)
Alan Davey (bass, vocals)
Tim Blake (keyboards, vocals)
Huw Lloyd-Langton (guitar)
Arthur Brown (vocals)
1. Aero Space Age Inferno
2. Angels Of Death
3. Out Of The Shadows
4. Time Captives
5. Master Of The Universe
6. The Song Of The Gremlins
7. Time & Confusion
8. Hurry On Sundown
10. The Watcher
11. Assassins Of Allah
12. Earth Calling
13. Sonic Space Attack
14. Silver Machine
Interview with Dave Brock
Added: November 1st 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
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