25 December 2010

Hoaxwind at The Bull and Gate

It was an audacious plan but it worked.

With Hawkwind playing their London concert at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town Hoaxwind had the brilliant idea of taking advantage of a gathering of fans of space rock to give a concert in the pub next door with two sets timed around Hawkwind's.

The only bad point in their plan, and this had nothing to do with Hoaxwind, was that the concert was on a working day that was also cold which meant some judicious juggling of clothes that were suitable for the office, walking outside and a rock concert. The usual suit was cast aside and some smart casual black trousers and shirt came to the rescue.

I got to The Bull and Gate nice and early, coming from Victoria, and was pleased to see some good beers on offer and the Camden Bitter proved to be a good choice. The bad news was the lack of food but the beer made up for that, as it often does!

I headed for the back room and had a few words with some of the band who were putting the final touches to their preparations, such as getting their costumers sorted. This was the usual eclectic mix of white coats, flying gear, skeleton outfit and long-haired wig.

The stage suited Hoaxwind and was several leagues better than some of the places I have seen them perform. The sound system was good, there was plenty of space for all seven of them and the lighting was effective.

The room was a reasonable size too and it soon filled with Hawkfans, a frightening number of whom I knew or recognised from gigs across London. Say hello to Pete, Nick, Adrian, Ralph and the others.

With an enthusiastic and receptive audience the stage was literally set for the show to begin and Hoaxwind launched in to their celebration of (mostly) Calvert-era Hawkwind songs, such as Urban Guerrilla, Death Trap, Kerb Crawler, Quark, Strangeness & Charm, Ejection and Shot Down in the Night.

These single-length songs are drawn out lovingly and the seven instruments and electronic devices dance above the familiar rhythms. This is music to sing and dance to.

The first set of around an hour ended with classic Master of the Universe and it was time for us to tramp next door to see Hawkwind.

Two hours later we were back and Hoaxwind picked up from where they had left off with the audience more warmed up and more willing to dance. Not me though, I know my limits!

It had been a little while since I last saw Hoaxwind and it was a warm reunion with the music even better than I remembered and expected. This could have been the sound system or they could have been rehearsing hard, or both, but whatever the cause the music was bouncy, funky, rocky, spacey and majestic.

This is what nights out should be like.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed it, my first Hoaxwind gig! I was given permission to video a bit for youtube, and I've posted the first four tracks up. The camera's jiggly because I wanted to dance around, so I stopped videoing during "Hassan i Sahba"!

    My coverage starts with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNoGA7SGmf4


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