Friday, January 5, 2018

Hawkwind- At the Roundhouse (Cherry Red Records)

Hawkwind are back with another live release. This was recorded live at the Roundhouse in London on there In The Woods tour in 2017. It was the first time the band had played at the Roundhouse since 1977 (Motorhead was the support act!).  The special edition comes in a cool box with two CDs, a DVD and a nice booklet and poster.  The set is a real mix of the new and the old, showing a band that is continuing to move forward and not just playing their old 70s material, which makes 11 of the 20 tracks.  The band is quite new with Niall no longer with them, Jez and Tim gone. In with some new fresh blood with a young Haz on bass, Magnus Martin on synths and some guitar, and Michal on sax (from Poland). Dave, Dibs and Richard are the core of the band.  It is a strong set and I enjoyed it quite a lot but I really miss some old school analog space sounds on the older tracks. Dibs has a computer and something that he kicks out some occasionally pre-recorded sounds and Magnus plays some organ and more modern synth sounds but not much old school electronics. A few tracks have prerecorded vocals and guitar that the band play over the top like Vegan Lunch. A bit strange. Dave is great on the guitar but sadly mixed way too low. No balls to the guitar at all, sounds like he is in the other room sometimes.. Pity. The DVD is just one camera straight on with not a very high resolution. It is good enough to capture the amazing visuals but the band is very low res and fuzzy.  The rhythm section of Dave, Richard and Haz is excellent throughout. I should also mention that Phil Campbell (Motorhead) joins the band for the two encore songs. Overall, a solid release. 

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