Hawkwind at O2 ABC Glasgow, 4/3/15

Hawkwind, one of the first space rock outfits borne out of the late 60s is still on an interstellar mission to take their music beyond the stratosphere; with eyes firmly set on traversing through the ionospheric atmosphere and toward the intergalactic unknown.

This is of course; merely analogous to the band’s unrestrained musical journey that has seen them etch an indelible mark in the rock’n’roll hall of fame from their inception hitherto.

Managing to seamlessly mix David Brock’s sci-fi tinged vocal inspirations, the King Crimson prog-rock sensibilities of the mid-seventies, the psychedelic folk elements that intertwine throughout the hour set, and a quintessential paganistic punk-fuelled drive, Hawkwind certainly prove that limits have no bounds.

Older bands seem to be left off the hook when it comes to constant line-up changes (which can be seen from the likes of behemoths such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple’s extensive and inter-connecting family trees), and Hawkwind are no exception to this rule.

The overall performance tonight just didn’t quite cut it as a standout performance within the dad-rock realm, although the crowd seems happy enough to hear some of their favourite tracks live.

A stilted and jaded performance, which thankfully picks up towards the latter half of the set and specifically during the encore, doesn’t prevent the crowd and the Brock-a-thons from having an enjoyable time, fully aware that they are a tad rusty in spots.

One of the stand-out performances of the night is Tim Blake on keyboards, due to his rockin’ out the theremin, cutting some awesome 70s inspired Doctor Who sounds, that are no doubt taking a few members of the crowd back to the days of Tom Baker ruling the Saturday night television roster.

Highlights include a wickedly performed ‘Born To Go’, ‘Shot Down Through The Night’, the loosely improvisational ‘Orgone Accumulator’ and the last song of the night, ‘Spirit of The Age’, which manages to invoke a spiritual chant-a-thon.

The addition of the stage projections are a nice touch and add a sense of nostalgia, which runs parallel with the seemingly anachronistic, but still relevant political statements.

Add a mid-point shaman dance routine, and overall Brock and his cohorts more than fulfill their duties for the packed out crowd.

A rather stilted performance that gains traction towards the latter half of the set, and really picked up during the encore, no doubt instills a feeling of fulfillment in the Glasgow crowd tonight.

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Words/Photos: Derek Robertson

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