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 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.
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
Have Your Say
Is the new album up to the mark? Did you see Stacia in the 1970s in Ipswich?
Tom Van Roc
Sean In Oz