26 December 2010

Hawkwind at the HMV Forum

Seeing the Hawkwind Christmas Concert is one tradition I like to keep.

As traditions go it's a little modern and a little variable but I can live with that. The concerts started at the Astoria in central London but Cross Rail put paid to that and so it moved west to the Shepherds Bush Empire last year and north to the HMV Forum this.

Sadly the Southampton concerts were missing from the tour this year so I was only able to see Hawkwind once.

The other difference this year was the support act that I saw was in a different venue to the main act preferring Hoaxwind playing in the pub next door to the official support.

Then Hawkwind did what Hawkwind do. And do rather well.

The music is tremendous and is played with precision and love. Hawkwind's stage presence lacks somewhat, only Tim Blake moves at all, but they know that and compensate with stunning lights and some exotic dancers with a penchant for costumes and stilts.

With a new album on the way we were treated to several new songs but they sounded much like the old ones and they went down well with the fans. I made no attempt at compiling a set list but I fondly recall singing (or shouting) along to true classics like Spirit of the Age, Psi Power, Robot and, of course, Brainstorm.

Sadly the evening was a little upset, but not ruined, by some of the crowd behaviour. I had managed to get myself to the second row to the left of centre and I found myself on the route for a few idiots intent on finding space at the front. Nothing too serious but enough of it throughout the set to be distracting.

But you cannot blame Hawkwind for the behaviour of some of their fans and what they did on stage is what really matters and that was spot on. Nobody sounds quite like Hawkwind and nobody does songs quite like them either. And for that I am very grateful.

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