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Hawkwind - The Text of Festival - Hawkwind Live 1970-1972 CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.36 | 24 ratings

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4 stars There are always two offenders. This album and Bring me the head of Uri Gagarin. Sometime in the 1980s, Dave Anderson was given a whole lot of random tapes from Nik Turner, and sold albums without the proper Hawkwind's concent. Now gagarin was sourced from a stereo audience recording (stereo mic, not stereo twin mics) and is pretty appalling. Usually audience recordings suffer from bad equipment picking up a good live mix, but this album suffers from the other extreme. There is no flutter or anything, just a poor mix.

But text of a festival is some other crazy shizzle. Sourced from BBC recordings (very careful how to word this, as some other guy recorded them off the radio) they capture hawkwind at an unprecedentedly early age, and because hawkwind never played the same twice, we get a low-fi treat. Now I can tollerate dodgy sound (although I do pat myself on the back for making a better recording of my band in rehearsal) so this album lies (for me) on the music. Luckily the music is really nice. Its not in anyway tight, but it is rewarding. The electrified version of Hurry on Sundown strips the album version down, with the intro wandering off the path, and Dik Mik's electronics (captured here at their most refreshingly homemade) sound more like good old AM radio 'atmospherics' than anything coming out a synthesiser. Luckily I have a Theremin, so I can join in on this one! A searing guitar solo cuts into this track (attributable to Huw Lloyd Langdon, who would quit, grow a mullet, and return in time for Levitation). Other gems are Paranoia, We Do/Do It, and The Reason Is recorded live infront of an appreciative audience, who cheer extatically after each of Hawkwind's 10 minute long, 2 chord jam alongs. I Wish I was there at that gig, as even by Space Ritual, with Stacia and the light show, Hawkwind seems to have lost a certain vitality, which existed in 1969/1970 where they would play outside major venuses etc trying to pull crowds away from 'sellout' acts.

So basically the vibe of the album, and the time-and-place ethos makes it something special, and something to tresure. It is also dirt cheap, so you won't loose too much sleep if you wanted something in perfect 24 bit sound.

Disk 2 contains some of a gig recorded at Colchester Technical college (and not Cambridge Corn exchange. people who say it was recorded at the corn exchange are cashing in something evil, as that was a gig known to have been recorded, wherebye Syd Barret played, along with the Pink Faries and Hawkwind).

Recorded in stereo, some sort of strange soundboard/suspended microphone mix. guitar and bass heavy, drums cut it, sax doesn't. Really an indurance test, so get into the music, don't think about it too much! Also worth noting the live outing of "Be Yourself" given the once over complete with pause (crowd starts clapping nervously) before Terry Ollis brings the shebang back together.

hawkbrock | 4/5 |


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