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




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.39 | 17 ratings

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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 .... !

Joolz | 3/5 |


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