28 February 2009

Space Ritual at 100 Club

Space Ritual are one of the few bands that I go to see perform whenever I can and last night they reminded me why this is. They were playing what was billed as an "extended set" at the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street.

I've seen Space Ritual at the 100 Club several times and the venue seems to suit them and me. It suits them by being a wide stage that can accommodate a 7-man band and a woman dancer and it suits me as, if you get there early enough, you can stand right next to the stage and be within easy touching distance of the band, ideal for taking photographs!

The formation was almost the same as last time except that, on the far left of the stage, Chris Mekon (electronics) and Sam Ollis (decks) swapped places with Chris moving inside of Sam, or rather Sam stayed in more or less the same place and Chris returned from his banishment on the edge of the stage to squeeze into a small space between Sam and Mick Slattery (guitar).

Nik Turner (the man) was centre stage with "caveman" Terry Ollis on drums behind him. To the right was Jerry Richards (bass) and, finally, Thomas Crimble (keyboards). Jerry was hidden behind Nik for most of the gig but I did manage to a few photos of him but Thomas, being seated, remained obscured so is missing from these photos.

The line up was completed by the Fabulous Ms Angel who confined her exotic dancing to the space in front of Chris Mekon, i.e. right next to me.

The set was familiar but unpredictable. We had a lot of their last album and a little less Hawkwind than usual, but no problems with that. Indeed, Sonic Savages was my favourite song of the night.

I was stood in almost exactly the same place as I had been for their previous gig back in September but the sound was a lot clearer and sharper than before and that helped to make the familiar songs fizz and sparkle. The band's humour and interplay were good too.

The end result of all of these factors was the most enjoyable Space Ritual concert that I have ever been to. It is because of their continuing ability to please and delight that I see them regularly.

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