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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Hawkwind review - O2 Academy Bournemouth, Boscombe

By my reckoning, last night was the 10th time Hawkwind have played at this particular venue.

It's had a few name-changes, though - from the regal Victoriana of "Boscombe Grand Theatre," through the Silly Sixties phase of "Starkers Royal Arcade Ballrooms" and now the corporate sponsor statement that the building now is "O2 Academy Bournemouth," which reflects the new ownership chain's deal with the O2 phone network.

And, incidently, the renamings show how Boscombe has been gobbled up by its big neighbour and is now a suburb of Bournemouth.

Anyhow, my hotel was in Bournemouth and I didn't notice any Boscombe independence posters as I crossed the line (wherever it was).

The interior of the hall is a nice mixture of old and new, but I didn't have much time to check it out before support act Hipiersonik kicked off.


This is a view from behind the mixing area. The audience is in the central rectangle area with two bars mostly occupying the right-hand area and merch over on the left.  Hipiersonik are on stage.









There are all sorts of fancy niche labels for categorising music but I reckon arty jazz rock will fit, for describing Hipiersonik. They're not exactly well-known but their main claim to fame is that their sax player is moonlighting with a second job: he plays sax with Hawkwind. Beats driving a taxi, eh.


...Do not panic - the Hawkwind fans are back in Boscombe!

The last few years, Hawkwind have taken to playing some of their own material during the interval.  Twitters, chirps and a few scattered short drones announced their arrival - as usual, there's no verbal accouncement. Brock strokes guitar strings with a glass rod, and Mr Dibs commences "The Awakening" narrative before the familiar guitar sequence of "Master of the Universe."

The first half of the show included old and new - "Steppenwolf" rubbing shoulders with "The Hills Have Ears" before the "Warrior" section of the show. As with earlier shows this year, Hawkwind performed the "Warrior on the Edge of Time" album, all the way from "Assault & Battery" through to "Kings of Speed," including an acoustic guitar spell from Dave Brock on "The Demented Man."



Tim Blake (theramin), Dave Brock (acoustic gtr) and Richard Chadwick (drums)

















The finale of the performance was some 1970s oldies - "Hassan i Sahba" including its 1990s ambient trance middle section, "Reefer Madness" and then a get well soon card for Lemmy in the shape of "Motorhead" - the 1975 song, that is.

Hawkwind will soon be off to North America, to give them a long-overdue dose of space rock!

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