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29 October 2014

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You are in: Suffolk > Entertainment > Music > Features > Hawkwind: The Leader Speaks

Hawkwind at Cambridge Corn Exchange

Hawkwind. Pic by Rik

Hawkwind: The Leader Speaks

Space-rock legends Hawkwind have released a new album Take Me To Your Leader. Founder member Dave Brock is still at the helm. Bassist and keyboard player Alan Davey, who comes from Ipswich, has been in the band a mere 20 years.

Since forming in London in the late 1960's, Hawkwind have released dozens of albums  including the classics In Search Of Space,  Doremi Fasol Latido, Space Ritual, Quark Strangeness & Charm and Levitation.  Dave Brock is the only man to have been in the band all that time.   Ipswich-bred bassist Alan Davey wrote to him in the early 1980's applying for a job - he passed the interview and joined in 1984.   The current line-up features Brock, Davey and drummer Richard Chadwick.

Hawkwind with Matthew Wright

Hawkwind with TV's Matthew Wright

The band has just released its first studio album of the new millennium.  Take Me To Your Leader includes vocal contributions from Arthur "I Am The God of Hellfire" Brown (on Sunray),  Lene Lovich (Andrea Android) and TV presenter and fan Matthew Wright (Spirit Of The Age).  Given that his show is called The Wright Stuff it should have been a giveaway - The Right Stuff is a song from the late Hawkwind singer/poet Robert Calvert's solo album Captain Lockheed And the Starfighters.

Brock and Davey dropped into BBC Radio Suffolk to talk to Stephen Foster on his weekday drivetime show.  You can listen to it here....

Hawkwind has had dozens of members in it over the years including Lemmy, author Michael Moorcock and Cream's Ginger Baker.  Former Page Three pin-up Samantha Fox even joined them on stage in 2000 for the Hawkestra concert at Brixton Academy where she sang their 1973 hit single Silver Machine. 

Dave Brock of Hawkwind and Sam Fox

Samantha Fox at Hawkestra gig by Rik.

If you read Carol Clerk's Saga Of Hawkwind biography you're left with conflicting impressions that Dave Brock is either to be praised for keeping the band going for over 35 years or condemned for losing the original spirit of the group and sacking people to maintain his own control. 

Whatever the truth is (if it exists at all ), Take Me To Your Leader is another great Hawkwind album combining their classic space-rock sound with ambient and dance influences and a variety of singers.   The main criticism would be why they needed to re-hash Spirit Of The Age using Matthew Wright on vocals?  The perfect version had already been recorded in 1977 with Robert Calvert singing, but I guess the prospects for publicity were too great.

The band head out on a short tour in December 2005.

last updated: 02/04/2008 at 17:00
created: 25/10/2005

Have Your Say

Is the new album up to the mark? Did you see Stacia in the 1970s in Ipswich?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

hawklord rob
this band first got to me in 1975,been a fanatic ever since i first heard space ritual,i thought wow this is amazing,that was it i was hooked.

Randy, Im stalking you across the Internet!Oh and Hawkwinds obscure and almost bizzare music has rocked and awed generations, how new bands can even think to compare themselves to greats such as them constantly astounds me...

seems to be too clinical sound-wise.can't beat the late 70's sound ( or am I gettin old !! ). Enjoyed the album never the less

James Bruce
i saw stacia at the town hall clacton in the 70s.i thought she was tasty!!!..but i had consumed a large amount of snakebite that night!!! those were the days.

Tom Van Roc
Bit too young to see Stacia in the 70's....Space Ritual was released the same year I was born!!! Love the album is ok - last great album was Electric Tepee - re-hashing old material is a bit lame especially when you can't beat the originals - looking forward to seeing them live again on the Winter Solstice...keep spacing!!! x

Tim Stedham
Just keep doing it.

First heard the band in 1972 and most of my friends here in the U.S.A. were not too fond. I love every line up and I feel that Dave Brock is the mastermind behind the bands concepts and hiring members throughout the last three decades with diverse talents as well! This is why "Take Me To Your Leader" is such a brillant Hawkwind effort...John Fiocchi

dik robinson
I first saw Hawkwind in 1970 at I.O.W. festival appearing with Pink Fairies inside Canves City.Happy Daze

the albums top sprit of the age ok but you carnt beat the qsc version ive seen hawkwind 30 od times go see them live you will not be disapointed. comming soon hawkfest 07 passport holders only

stuart hunt
dave, do you remember from your early hawkwind days a roadie by the name of phil hunt. phil also roadied for curved air and genesis.

Paul Synthwind
The worst album they've done bar It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous, 2/10. They are still a fantastic band and live truly awesome. I just wish they'd tour more extensively. Yes, I did see Stacia in the '70's - Wolverhampton, Leeds, Reading etc.

'Take me to your Leader'? Could have been better! Too 'bitty' with inconsistent rhythms, and waffle for lyrics. Great book by Carol Clerk though. Like it or not, Hawkwind is now a business and you cannot run such a venture today as a free for all!

Paul Hawklord
Yeah blinding album but quite right spirit of the age was not required! Bobs version is more than enough! Staia in the 70s? I WISH!!

kit, london
It's a bit bizarre but i always feel with new Hawkwind albums that they need to be listened to retrospectively. I never like them much when they come out but a year or two on and they fall into context a bit better. Currently 5/10, in two years 7 or 8! Go and see them live though, they have been awesome for the last 3-4 years.

I saw Stacia in Bradford in 1973. She was absolutely wonderful and she made a big impression on a 16 year old guy listening to The Hawks for the first time. And I've never senn a better pair in my life

Lost Johnny
The new album is th best they have made for many years. There is a good bit if variety and nice computer-generated nice sounds. They have added some intersting characters like Arthur Brown and Matthew Wright.

hippy Mark
off the tracks festival was the first time id seen them live since blacksword tour in the 80s and TMTYL is getting to be a big favorite of mine.Alan Daveys "Captive Rotation" solo album is also a favorite of mine :)

Randy Slicker
What’s every ones problem with "spirit of the age", the original only suited sect-maniacs who liked obscure bands and strange music (like my self) but with there growing popularity they need to bring out some more widely appealing songs and this is one of them and I think it’s catchy and more mainstream while keeping the spirit of the band intact.

good stuff, shakes my tree

Gordon Campbell
I saw them last night at the Astoria for the first time since '72 (or maybe '73) in Derby and it was great. And yes I did see Stacia back then.

Tomm Buzzetta
Disappointing.Slagging off a bit.But hey,they're up in age now. Give'm a break. Stacia? No,was too young at the time. It would've stunted my growth. Cheers Brian and Dave!

it gets better .digital nation is comforting.

To wishy washy , the mix could have been harder

ok but they can do better

hawkwind is like no other in the usa we wish u well....peace.from minneapolis,mn usa

tony kelly
definetly up 2 the mark, just missed stacia, and best since electric tepee!

Sean In Oz
Best album since Levitation

The new album is brilliantly produced, their most modern-sounding album ever. The content (songs) is a matter of persopnal taste - not totally to mine as I'm a 70's vintage fan (never saw Stacia, unfortunately!)

Fantastic Album but my only criticism is that its NOT LONG ENOUGH!!!!

The best yet by FAR !!!

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