What a great way to start off the new year. Sue and I headed down to Herne Bay (Kent, on the east coast of England) on friday to hang out and see the area. We visited Canterbury (Cool old town) and Margate, where Nick and BoB Calvert used to hang out. IT was very cold but sunny during the day and fun to see. Saturday morning we popped by the Kings Hall to see if anything was happening. Chris Purdon (Space Ritual Synthesizer player) and Thomas Crimble (Ex-Hawkwind bassists, now plays Hammond) were setting up but no one else except the organiser was around yet. The PA and light folks were due any moment. Anyway, we hung out at a local pub called the Shiip and had dinner. There were quite a few people going to the show and they had come from all over the UK. Some had even seen Hawkwind in Manchester the night before and said it was a good show but the sound was a bit dodgy. The sound was good tonight but the sax and lead vocals were too loud.
We got into the venue after a very heavy search and grabbed a beer and just walked around. I did not meet anyone I knew except Alan Davey and Nik Turner, who I just happen to run into. He was in a good mood and looked better than the last time I saw him. He was setting up some CDs for sale. Alan had a huge stand of his solo stuff, Gunslinger and a few Hawkwind items. Sadly, they did not have any t-shirts for the event, just a poster for 5 quid but I never liked the design that much in the first place.
The band came out just after 8 and played the first half of the record in about 55 mins. Nik started off the show with a speech about barney Bubbles and how he had assigned everyone special colours and worked around the zodiac signs, etc.. They originally said they were going to use his designs and really try to recreate the light show but that was a complete failure so as it was a pretty ordinary and not very impressive light show and way too much bright lights were used and the occasional strobe light on Nik! Anyway, after Earth Calling, straight into Born to Go we went and it was good and loud and the bass pretty powerful, the way it was suppose to be. They had advertised that Terry Ollis would play drums but he was out because of a injury and no reason why Mick Slattery was out but his replacement, Vincent was quite good and did a long solo straight away in Born to Go to get things going. The Calvert character (JIllian from Hoaxwind) was very good. Ray, the one handling the Dave Brock vocals had no charisma at all but sang decently. They all seem to be having a great time and the time went by fast as cool versions of Down through the Night, Lord of Light, Space is Deep and the powerful Orogone Accumulator, which they jammed out a lot. Upside down was also much longer than on the record and I think they even snuck in some of You know your only dreaming (might have been around the Awakening??).. Jillian was great with the poems as well. Excellent first set and then they good a break.
|Space Ritual Revisited|
It was only about maybe 20 mins before they hit the stage again with the 10 seconds of Forever into what was probably a 15min version of Brainstorm and the crowd just loved it. Lots of people dancing. Nik mentioned that 7 by 7 was one of his favourite Hawkwind songs. I recall he messed up the flute part and sadly you could not really hear the space sounds on this song as Chris played the VCS3. Sonic Attack was really cool and spaced out. I had expected a long version of Time we left but it was pretty normal before they blasted out Master of the Universe in a pretty fast version. Welcome to the Future and that was it for the record. On the tour the band would often return with an encore of You shouldn't do that. The band squeezed in Urban Guerrilla first and then a long far out version of You shouldn't do that with a guest sax player and they and a bit of battle. It was like 15mins of spacing out. Silver Machine, which was the single in 1972 was played and Nik did the lead vocal although Jillian was out and looked ready to sing it as Calvert. That was another 90mins and we were done. What a great night. I think they musically really delivered the goods and did the jamming as well. Thomas Crimble played on all the songs but I was so glad you could not hear him at all as Space Ritual did not have any keyboards and should not.. I should mention that Lynda, the dancer was not a dancer at all and mostly just posed and stood around looking sexy but pretty bored. Amazing night.. so glad that I made the trip from Denmark! The whole event was recorded and filmed with five cameras and they did not allow photos so this was the best one of the few I tried to sneak.. I should also say that they will do some sort of Greasy Truckers Space Party in Herne Bay in September where they will perform all of Hall of the Mountain Grill and Robert Calvert's Capt Lockheed and the Starfighters. That will be interesting..