(All Album Reviews by Burgess Penguin)
Dave Brock - Guitar, Vocals
Lemmy - Bass, voice
Del Dettmar - Synthesizers, Electronics
Dikmik - Electronics, Audio Generator
Simon King - Drums
Nik Turner - Flute, Saxophone, Vocals
Bob Calvert - Poetry, Swazzle, Vocals
Liquid Len and the Lensmen - Lights
Stacia - Exotic Dancing
There are live albums, and then there are live experiences captured on disc!
Hawkwind's Space Ritual (financed by a fluke hit single "Silver Machine") tour roared through Britain and the US (circa 1973) in all its psychedelic glory. It's an experience captured on disc to deliriously grand effect! With a sound finding itself in a netherworld between early Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, Hawkwind blew minds everywhere it went with a lavish extravaganza of lights, chattering electronics, sci-fi poetry, Stacia's exotic dancing, sci-fi and fantasy tales with charmingly goofy lyrics (see "Orgone Accumulator" for example, with such lines as "It's no social integrator, it's a one-man isolator" and "Turns eyeballs into craters") relentlessly rocking and crunchy riffing, disembodied woodwinds bleating and blatting happily away and certifiable sci-fi nutcase Robert Calvert lending his poetic talents to the proceedings.
The Highlights: A gloriously over-the-top "7 X 7" segueing into "Sonic Attack/Time We Left This World Today" where Calvert really pours on the campy sci-fi charm, then the band roars into a relentlessly hypnotic and heavy groove, with good 'ol Lemmy doing a bone-rattling bass solo just before the tune winds down. All throughout, the Lemster lays down ferociously melodic and cutting lead-bass as it were. He also gets off a few good ideas on the incurably goofy "Orgone Accumulator" (part of what made Hawkwind so fun). "Master of the Universe" gets the thrashing of its life here, easily putting the studio version to complete shame. This was darn near punk before it was callled such. For sheer rocking out, "Brainstorm" is a manic delight (with a rare searing Brock guitar solo) as is "Lord of Light" with Lemmy giving it all he's got while Nik Turner happily bleats and blats away on his sax!
The Black Holes: Only a couple, "Electronic #1" is a mercifully short noise freakout, and the plodding (until the end) "Space is Deep".
And for real rabid Hawk fans, there are now 3 bonus tracks which include different versions of "Master of the Universe" and "Born To Go", and a previously unheard live version of "You Shouldn't Do That".
Although a recording can never get the full extent of the experience, this is a trip worth taking with our space-farers! Hop aboard for some seriously crunchy, trippy, goofy spacey psychedelic fun!!