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Hawkwind - Out Of The Shadows (DVD) CD (album) cover

OUT OF THE SHADOWS (DVD)

Hawkwind

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I recently came across glowing reviews of this DVD but I am not quite so keen. Certainly, there is some superb music on here, and the introduction of the enigmatic Arthur Brown as guest vocalist adds an extra dimension, but there are also some serious flaws. Filmed on the opening night of a Christmas 2002 tour - a curious decision - the core band of Brock, Davey and Chadwick sound as tight as ever. Sadly, the others are less up to speed, especially Lloyd-Langton whose medical problems may have contributed to an under-par effort. His guitar runs are all over this DVD like a rash, but in most cases he is under-rehearsed, uninspired and seriously intrusive.

Thumbs down for Huw then, but Arthur is a definite bonus, though perhaps not everyone would agree. His voice is as strong and vibrant as ever, and he is a charismatic frontman in true Hawkwind mold, ie crazy! In deference to him, the band perform a couple of his songs ['Time Captives' and the excellent slow Floydian-blues of 'Time & Confusion'], as well as a couple of Captain Lockheed tracks with which he was familiar. His contribution should not be underestimated.

The remainder of the material is familiar to most Hawkheads with 'Out Of The Shadows' and 'Master Of The Universe' [despite Arthur forgetting the words initially] being notable high spots before the last four tracks rock out in a storm, though I could do without the 'synth & sequencers' interlude during 'Assassins Of Allah'. Generally, this band are at their best when thrashing the beats, though at the expense of overt spaciness. Oh, by the way, 'Earth Calling' is perhaps the best bit of all, but most of that track is actually the uncredited 'You Shouldn't Do That'.

Visually, there's not much to see except performers performing against a backdrop of psychedelic lighting effects and some back projections on a big screen behind the stage. It's good enough, and each musician gets a fair time in front of the camera. Overall, I would recommend it for lovers of Hawkwind's modern approach, but for me the poor lead guitar work interferes too much with my enjoyment for it to be anything other than an occasional distraction. Still very good though, and worth it for Brown's sinister rendition of Sonic Attack! But, if only they had recorded it at the end of the tour .... !

Report this review (#117630)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Hawkwind's "Out of The Shadows" was a pleasant little surprise as it features some innovative stage lighting and an overall quality sound. However there are many flaws and this review will not hold back from pointing them out in detail. What could have been great is really a mediocre attempt.

First of all if you are expecting semi-clad dancing girls and fire eaters - look elsewhere as Hawkwind go for the standard psychedelic lighting and effects on this concert. Where are those girls? In the Hall of the Mountain Grill? Ironically there is no fire and yet the 'God of hellfire' appears - The Crazy Arthur Brown. Maybe he left his blowtorch at home. Unfortunately the concert could use a bit of spark and ignition but sadly it is a very sub standard affair.

We start with the 'Aero Space Age Inferno' which kicks things off with a bang and sounds great. The next track is 'Angels of Death', one of my favourites and works very well as a live track. The band really grab hold of this and blast it out at full volume. 'Out of the Shadows' from the album 'Space Bandits' is next and one of the highlights with some innovative lighting and very heavy bass and that chug-a-chug trademark rhythm that is essential Hawkwind.

After this - enter the man of the moment, Arthur Brown who belts out his own song 'Time Bandits'. It is OK but I never really like Brown's crazy style and it is not welcome here in this concert. I mean why bother having the man at a Hawkwind concert. Sure he features on some HW albums but he wrecks this concert with his idiosyncratic vocal style and lunatic dancing - it just doesn't work at all and it is annoying more than an augmentation to the live experience of Hawkwind. At one point the man comes out holding an upside down anchor (yes, anchor! looking like the Egyptian anx in its own way) and he is peeping through the hole and sings almost a whole song holding this ridiculous thing up - who is going for this? It is stupidity personified.

We have to put up with 2 more of his own boring compositions but thankfully Hawkwind blitz with 'Masters of the Universe' and 'Assassins of Allah' (a track that is basically 'Hassan.' and comes from the album 'Out and Intake'. Other tracks of note are 'Earth Calling' from 'Space Brock' and 'Sonic Space Attack' which features a good vocal from Brown. Blake's keyboards are terrific throughout and the spacey effects as usual are incredible.

Awesome music and overall wonderful performance. The bassist, Davey, is terrific and he relentlessly gives it everything as does the drummer, Chadwick. Brock is as excellent as usual but not enough singing unfortunately and Lemmys vocals are sorely missing on 'Silver Machine' - a bad effort by Brown on this one. The guitarist is frustrating and just plays over everything and is not even a shadow of original HW guitarists. Welcome additions are 'The Watcher' from 'Doremi.' and 'Hurry on Sundown' from 'Hawkwind' so there is something to cheer about.

And another thing was there a crowd? I mean, you can't hardly hear them and you never see them - where are they? Its appalling that you do not even see one crowd member and for all you know the concert may have been played to an empty stadium. Contrast that with 'Rush Live in Rio' or 'Genesis When in Rome' where the crowd are part of the experience. You enjoy the concert more when you see others gettin into it. There's no comparison.

Overall, not a bad effort, but it could have been so much better without the annoying sections and non- Hawkwind material. The interview with Brock is OK but more features would have helped. More effort on the next Hawkwind DVD please. See if you can pick this one up cheap.

3 stars for the good songs and cos its Hawkwind, so strictly for the fans or you might find this one as an expensive coffee coaster.

Report this review (#189842)
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a decent Hawkwind live release from the same tour that yielded Spaced Out In London. The tour's notable for the band being fronted by fellow space rock pioneer Arthur Brown - far from just playing a quick Fire cover and getting on with it, the band go for some deep cuts from Brown's back catalogue (Time and Confusion from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Time Captives from Kingdom Come's Journey) which fit seamlessly into the Hawkwind sound.

Beyond that, it's a reasonably decent Hawkwind gig of this vintage, concentrating largely on late 1970s and early 1980s material. Hawkwind were going through a bit of a slump as far as their studio albums were concerned at the time, but Out of the Shadows proves that there was still at least some life in them.

Report this review (#2036290)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | Review Permalink

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