Hawkestra / Motörhead:
Brixton Academy, October 21-22, 2000

by Scott Heller

From Aural Innovations #13 (October 2000)

HAWKESTRA - Brixton Academy, London 10/21/00 20pds
Included Hawkwind, Tim Blake, Bedouin, and Simon House.

What an amazing event. I flew into London on the morning of the show and Magnus was at Heathrow to greet me. It was his birthday this day (27!). We then traveled to the International Student House where I had arranged a room for four. This would include myself, Magnus, Carl Andersen, and Ketil Svendsen (a Norwegian I had traded with). After everyone arrived we had agreed to meet at the Tower at Piccadilly Circus in the Hawkwind section. After everyone laid their stuff to rest in the room we headed over to Brixton. We got some food and then hit the Beehive for the Hawkfan meeting. This included Hawkwind fans from all over the world who had flown in for the gig. Michael Blackman from Australia had made special name badges for the event and this was fantastic, as you could easily identify the people whom you had only corresponded with via email and never met. I saw Bernhard, Andreas and his wife, all from Germany, both Andy G's, Jill Strobridge, Mike Holmes, Keith Henderson, Kevin Sommers, Steven Lindsey, Filip and his friend from Belgium, Jon Jarret and his girlfriend, Dave Tyler, Adam Strider, and several more. The person I really missed is my good friend Santtu Laakso from Dark Sun. He needed to be here for it to be complete! It was great fun but hard on the voice as it was loud and crowded in the pub. It was after 10 by the time we got our tickets exchanged and got inside for our seats. We were given balcony tickets. We chose to sit dead center in the middle over the stairwell. On reflection it was not the best choice for view, but probably for sound. Hawkwind began a few minutes after 11 and ended around 2:45. What a set of music it was.

The band opened with some spectacular lights and Hassan I Sabha. On the stage were Dave Brock, Simon House, Richard Chadwick, Alan Davey and Tim Blake. This would be the core band for most of the show. Assault and Battery-Golden Void followed with some beautiful violin by Simon House. I had hoped for a very nice guitar solo during Golden Void like Dave plays on Palace Springs but we never heard it. Ron Tree appeared next and did the vocals on Arrival In Utopia. I also believe that Harvey Bainbridge now came out on stage as well. Harvey did a long and totally spaced out number before moving into Freefall. He had the whole stage to himself for this number. Ron Tree appeared again and delivered the Calvert poem, Wage War. Now the line up would change and Danny Thompson would take over on drums, Steve Swindells and Tim Blake on keyboards, and Huw Lloyd Langton on guitar. Shot Down In The Night could be attempted. The vocals of Steve were awful and Huw was totally pissed drunk that he could hardly play. It was very tragic. He sounded so dreadful. Huw attempted to deliver Rocky Paths next but was so confused he could not really get it right. Moonglum was much better but most certainly the worst version ever played. These three songs were painful to listen to. Thank god this part was over.

Nik turner came out now and delivered Warriors On The Edge Of Time and then Dave Brock reappeared and the band, which still included Huw played Angels Of Death. Now everyone left the stage and Dave played some background tapes and did the spoken word piece First Landing On Medusa. Now the band would be Dave, Ron, Steve, Tim, Richard and Nik as they launched into an incredible version of Spirit Of The Age. It has a long spacey intro but was delivered very nicely. The crowd was singing along and really shook the place when the chorus came around. Fantastic! The band then played Psi Power and Motorway City and this was the first time we heard Jerry Richards, or I should say saw, as he was practically inaudible. You could see him playing a great long solo in Motorway City but could hardly hear a thing. I should mention that Martin Griffin and Alan Powell used a percussion set up in the left corner and came on and off throughout this first part of the show. The next part was another major highlight for me as the original 1970 line up of Thomas Crimble, the first bass player, Terry Olis (drums), Dave Brock, Nik Turner, Huw, Dik Mik and Del Detmar took the stage for Hurry On Sundown and Only Dreaming. It was a bit messy but I loved it. After this the guys who had not played in years (Thomas and Terry) were beat and everyone left and Tim Blake reappeared and played the best version of Lighthouse I have ever heard. He had Richard playing some percussion and Alan on bass and Dave even joined in at the very end. This was awesome. Right To Decide and Sputnick Stan were delivered next by Tim, Dave, Alan, Richard, Jerry and Ron on the last. This would close the first 2 hours and 20 minutes of the show.

A lot of things were happening on the stage now and people were everywhere. Ron Tree came up to the edge of the stage and delivered Earth Calling and you could hear the audio generators going and Lemmy appeared and the crowd went nuts. I was hoping for Born to Go but the band went into a very messy blanga version of You Shouldn't Do That. On stage were Lemmy, Dave, Nik, Richard, Tim, Del Dettmar and Dik Mik (these two were hidden in the left corner). I have to say that Tim's sounds just did not fit in but this song was messy. Next was Psychedelic Warlords with Simon House coming back. Just as the band were building up to the first lyrics, the power went out. Lemmy, for fear of losing his place in the song was just playing on. It only lasted 30 seconds and they tried again. Quite cool. Lemmy sounded great with the band and you could tell that Dave was really having a fun time. Nik delivered 10 Seconds Of Forever next and this sounded so strange with Tim's sweet synth sounds, just so different from the electronics. Next was totally amazing as Lemmy belted out Space Is Deep with Dave at the same time. Their voices sounded so great together. Lemmy played great bass and you could really hear him.

A instrumental was played next that was mainly Tim and Nik playing some sax over the top. At the quiet beginning you could hear Del and Dik Mik though. Then came Brainstorm, which was a chaotic mess but fun to hear. Sonic Attack lead into Master Of The Universe with the strange special guest, Samantha Fox. Her and Nik did most of the vocals. She was pretty unintrusive and provided some entertainment as she did pelvic thrusts at Lemmy and made Dave smile. I really thought that Simon House's violin jamming at the beginning and Tim blake playing similar style keys at the beginning really changed the feel of the song, made it into a kind of new age heavy version. Born to Go was very cool and Terry Olis would start on drums and Huw would also reappear on guitar. Simon stayed as well. I was really surprised when they played Orgone Accumulator. Wow... Then Silver Machine at which point almost everyone played. I counted 15 people on stage for this song, which was amazing with Lemmy belting out the vocals as if he had been doing it every night. It was quite a chaotic version but you could tell they were all really enjoying themselves! I thought that this would be it but Nik tried to introduce everyone and then they ended the night with Ejection! Fantastic. I could not believe that it really happened. Thanks Dave Brock.

The night was not over yet. After about 30 minutes Tim Blake came out and played a 45 minute solo set which included Crystal Island, Tide of the Century, New Jerusalem and two other songs. He sounded great although the guy can't sing. In his introduction he mentioned that he once worked at the Notting Hill club in London in 1969 and this is where he first was introduced to Hawkwind. He said that if it was not for Del and Dik Mik he never may have played synthesizers at all. Nice set.

Bedouin was up next and so was the volume.. They came out hard and fast with several new songs. They really are becoming a space rock version of Motörhead. Themy opened with Vision Quest and Alan warned the crowd that if you wear a hat, to hold on to it! I had not seen Bedoiun with the new guitar player (Glenn) and he was excellent. Next one was for the anti-capitalist called Say Goodbye To Analog. This was a very Motörhead inspired song. Fast. Dagger Dance followed with some excellent mideastern guitar. The band could benefit from having a full time synth player who you could actually hear in the mix. Alan triggers most of the synth stuff with foot peddles and this does not give the band much room but they still jam a lot. There were some really long guitar solos. Next was another new song that Alan did not say the title of. Elric The Enchanter was performed at breakneck speed. Demons In Denial was and this had an extra long guitar jam. Wings followed and I really like the way the band does this song. Great set.

They played for about 65 minutes. We missed the last song Chasing The Dragon because they were kicking everyone out of the balcony. We sort of figured it must be over as it was 5:30 so we left. We were later told that Simon House did come out and play a set with his kids from 6:15-6:45. Hard to believe there were any people left. Motörhead was yet to come.

MOTÖRHEAD and Speedealer - Brixton Academy, London 10/22/00 17.5 pds

Motörhead had a great stage set up and lots of amplifiers and a very professional filming crew. They were for sure planning to record and release this. Magnus, Carl, Ketil, Keith Henderson and myself went after a nice Indian meal. We met up in line with Carl's friend Dave Tyler. Once inside it turned out we got standing tickets all of us except for Keith. We found a place just at the left corner of the soundboard. Since the Brixton has this sloping floor you can get a good view from anywhere. Speedealer were nothing special at all. Sort of punky metal. The crowd was not paying much attention, just waiting for Lemmy. The band came out around 9:30 and Lemmy announced that we are Motörhead for those of you who don't know us and we are going to clean your clock! Wow... was it loud!! I was expecting it and it was actually not as loud as I thought it would be but pretty damn deafening! Loudest thing I had heard since Slayer.

They opened with We Are Motörhead and went directly into No Class and right into I'm So Bad Baby I don't care all in the first 8 minutes! The sound was quite good, you could actually hear all of Pete's solos nice and clear. He had a beer cup holder on his mike stand, which was cool. The band sounded great and really tight and Lemmy said quite a few humorous things as the band ripped through Over Your Shoulder, Civil War, Metropolis, Overnight Sensation and God Save The Queen. Lemmy asked if there were any punks here and he apparently saw a guy with long hair yell out and he said you're not a punk, you've got long hair! You're a hippie. Should have been at Hawkwind last night. Next was Born To Raise Hell and Doro Pesch from Warlock fame and someone who I have no idea who it was also sang back up vocals. Pete made a pretty good jam of this not very good Motörhead song. Then Fast Eddie came out for The Chase Is Better Than The Catch. I was very psyched to see this. It was quite unfortunate that you could barely hear him and for most of the song you could not hear him. This would be the fate of all the guest guitar players, inaudibility.

The next song was Stay Out Of Jail from the new record and this had a great guitar riff. What an excellent song. The band then ran through Dead Men Tell No Tales, a great blues, You better Run, Sacrifice including drum solo, Orgasmatron, Going To Brazil and Broken. Then Lemmy announced this next song was a song they had not played in London since 1981. And... Damage Case... wow... this was so cool to hear this song. Iron Fist sounded great and was one of the crowd's favorite songs. Wurzel then came out for Killed By Death and although he was on the stage and playing you could not hear anything from him at all. Kind of sad. Then the sirens rang out and the band ripped into Bomber. The big surprise though was that the original bomber lighting rig came down from the ceiling. This was awesome with the spinning propeller lights and everything. The band ripped right into Ace Of Spades and called it a night. The encore was Overkill with special guests Brian May, Pete Campbell's son on guitar, Fast Eddie, Wurzel and the guitar player from Skunk Askansie. The only guitar you could hear besides Pete was Fast Eddie and just barely. Brian May was up at the front of the stage soloing away and you could not hear a thing. That was it. I could not believe 25 years of Motörhead and not a single song off the first record. Must be one of the rare gigs where they did not play Motörhead. Killer gig.

Photos of the Hawkestra gig are up at the Hawkwind Mission Control web site.

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