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Hawkwind - The Friday Rock Show Sessions Live at Reading '86 CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.23 | 25 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Hawkwind's eye-catching Chronicle of the Black Sword tour had, if not springing them to the levels of success they'd had back in the 1970s, at least got them enough momentum to snag a spot on 1986's Reading Festival. Playing up to the rock-oriented crowd and the high-energy feel of the festival, they essentially do an even more hard-rocking take on a mix of 1980s and 1970s material, and welcome Lemmy back onboard for a guest spot on Silver Machine. The end result is not the most subtle of Hawkwind releases, not least because (aside from the instrumental Pulsing Cavern) they give a hard rock spin to more or less all the material, including stuff like Utopia which was never originally cast in that mode, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for in energy.

That said, what is credited as merely Dream Worker is in fact a medley of Brainstorm, Dream Worker and Dust of Time, which offers a more progressive sonic exploration at just the right time in the running order. The final song - the aforementioned take on Silver Machine with Lemmy guesting - is by contrast gloriously slipshod and shambolic, the reunion clearly being a spur-of-the-moment gesture of friendship and goodwill that didn't admit much opportunity for careful rehearsal but, much like Lemmy's then-current work with Motorhead, hooks you more on its gusto than its technical brilliance.

As you might have guessed from the title. the Reading appearance was recorded by the BBC for Radio 1's Friday Rock Show, this release being part of a series by Raw Fruit Records licensed from the BBC of Friday Rock Show sessions by various bands (hence the hilariously inappropriate cover art - all the Raw Fruit Friday Rock Sessions releases got a similar treatment). The upshot of this is that the sound quality on this is pretty decent - on a part with Live Chronicles and perhaps a notch above it. I'd say Live Chronicles remains the definitive live concert experience of mid-1980s Hawkwind, but for those moments when the full pretentious spectacle of it would be too much this Reading appearance fits nicely.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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