11 December 2009

Hawkwind at The Brook

As they did last year, Hawkwind included The Brook in Southampton in their short Winter tour and also as last year I was there to savour the experience of seeing them up close in a smaller venue than those they play in in London.

Opening the evening was ex-Hawk Huw Lloyd-Langton who played solo acoustic guitar. The songs were long, slow, dramatic and held your attention. Then came a lively blues number for which Huw was joined by Dave Brock on harmonica, Tim Blake on keytar and Richard Chadwick on drums.

And finally we had Hurry on Sundown where Mr Dibs and Niall Hone added their guitars so we had Hawkwind playing a Hawkwind song with Huw joining in. A great transition into the Hawkwind set.

What follower was a rumbustious show that, as usual, dipped in and out of the huge Hawkwind back catalogue, added a few new songs, left out some expected classics but included some others.

Overall the set seemed slightly less rocky and ever so slightly more melodic than last year's, probably thanks to an increased influence from Tim Blake.

Tim contributed at least two songs to the show, the opener was the familiar Lighthouse and this was joined by a new song with an Indian feel. Tim was also the most energetic and involved of the band but that is no surprise given the almost complete lack of movement from the three guitarists.

Richard Chadwick bounced around behind the drums (only a couple of metres in front of me) but was so skilfully hidden by the kit that his undoubted energy was spent largely unnoticed.

I did not try to compile a set list (I might do next time) but some of the other songs that I can remember are Levitation, Silver Machine (unexpectedly played mid-set), Magnu and Angels of Death. There were some very early songs too but I forget which ones!

The set ended with a personal favourite of mine, Hassan-i Sabbah, which started and ended familiarly enough but which was treated to an extended jam in the middle. Wonderful stuff!

The bad news was that took us to 11pm and The Brook's strict curfew and so we were denied an encore but, to be honest, what we had heard was so good that that little disappointment did nothing to hurt the mood.

I mentioned earlier that I might try and get a set list next time; well, that's on Sunday when Hawkwind come to London to weave their magic, this time with Arthur Brown in support.

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