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Space Ritual - Live At Glastonbury And Guildford Festival, 2002 CD (album) cover


Space Ritual


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.49 | 3 ratings

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2 stars The band refer to this as an 'official bootleg' which kind of focusses one's expectations somewhat closer to the lower end of the quality scale. And we are not disappointed: the sound is thin; some instruments are impossibly distant, especially bass and keyboards; most tracks place Turner far too prominently, to the detriment of everything else; most of the action happens in the centre, with the stereo wings rarely exploited; edits are coarse and sometimes in the wrong place; and presentation is CDR quality.

So - only for fans then, but is it any good? It starts with one long piece inexplicably divided into four tracks but there is no discernable difference between these, other than natural progression. The music centres around a series of monologues and rants, including some of Robert Calvert's lyrics, and Turner's Book Of The Dead translations, set to a generic, vaguely Spacerock, backing track well to the background. Some of the newer lyrics are risible, and the whole thing plods on for far too long. In a well-recorded setting this would probably work, but not here!

The remainder is much better, but the only song presented in full is a decent version of old favourite 'D. Rider', by far the best part of the CD. Both 'Space Grab' and 'Warp Out' are classic Spacerock jams curiously disembodied from their parent songs. 'Warp Out' is the more successful with a much more balanced mix. 'Blue Train' is a decent blues jam session based on a Coltrane tune, while 'Thunder Rider Rap' is mostly Nik introducing the band before reciting his lyrics that are normally an add-on to 'Silver Machine' but here the song is cut before anything further ensues.

Overall, a rather below par effort that doesn't do the band justice. It was recorded and released at the time of the infamous court case with Dave Brock, which could explain the clumsy removal of song sections from jams that clearly follow a classic Hawkwind song. There is enough here to interest a die-hard fan, but others should head straight for the new DVD 'Saitiricon'.

Joolz | 2/5 |


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