This year marks the 50th anniversary of a great album. One of my personal favourites and one my son has recently taken an interest in.
We were driving back from a trip and Dani was scrolling through the list of artists on the iPod. Then as the names of the bands and singers moved up the car’s display screen, one caught his attention. A group I had convinced him to listen to some weeks back.
Oh Hawkwind. (Pauses) They are off their trolley.
(Laughing) And then some mate. Good album though. Put it on.
Then, after a few of songs
Why are they always going on about space?
Well it’s what they do. And the album name gives you a clue too.
Have they ever been in space?
No. Well, maybe in their imagination after using hard drugs.
Dani laughed. Meanwhile I am now a little concerned as to how he even understood that little joke. Did he really get it? Anyway, the conversation continued.
Are Hawkwind still going?
I don’t know but I wouldn’t be surprised. The line-up would have changed many times and Lemmy (Bass guitar) died recently. Maybe others have died. They will probably be all in their late 70s and 80s but I would not be surprised if they are still doing concerts. They never really stopped touring.
Ok. We can find out later.
Do you like this album?
Yeah. It’s OK. Quite good.
So there you have it. Approval from my 8 year old son. And then it hit me. This album was recorded in 1972 so this year is the 50th anniversary. Technically the anniversary date is still a long way off as it was recorded in December 1972 (at two different concerts) and it wasn’t actually released until May 1973. But still. Half a century old!
The full title of the album is The Space Ritual Alive in Liverpool and London but everyone knows it simply as Space Ritual. This was the fourth album by the band, Hawkwind. It seems that there is only one member from that famous line-up still alive. As with all long established bands they have had many different line-ups.
Their genre has been described as space rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock and hard rock. But I think it is none of those. Hawkwind would certainly not be classed as ‘normal’ – whatever that actually means in this context. But their songs are not too heavy nor overly ‘progressive’ as many were at that time. Surprisingly easy to get into actually. If you give it a chance. Even Lemmy’s bass riffs are somewhat melodic…
And yes. They are still touring. They had plans for concerts last year. Although… you guessed it. That bloody virus…. At least they have rescheduled most of those dates for 2022. Including the Hawkfest (usually held in Devon). Having seen them perform several times I would advise anyone to keep an eye out for their next gigs… They have even been releasing new albums at a rate of 1 per year over the past 6 years.