Paul Hardcastle discusses his prog heroes Hawkwind

A photograph of Paul Hardcastle
(Image: © Kevin Nixon)

“In about 1972/’73 I used to go to Macari’s in Charing Cross Road every Saturday and muck about on the Korg 700S. I’d drive the guy in the shop mad, he’d kick me out after half an hour, but I did find that if I held this one key down I could make the sound at the start of Silver Machine. I thought I was great, so I took my mate in there one day saying, ‘Look, I can do Silver Machine’ then I couldn’t get the sounds. But I found a wind noise, so told him quite confidently, ‘This is the start of One Of These Days by Pink Floyd!’

I saw Hawkwind play a lot, and as soon as an album came out I’d be down Kingsland Road, Dalston, to get it. I became a massive fan, and learned all about Bob Calvert. I could recite everything from Space Ritual to Sonic Attack.

“I had a white MkIII Cortina by this point with the poster to Warrior On The Edge Of Time pasted to the back like a mural. Anyone who got in that car, Hawkwind was all I’d ever play and I’d recruit pals to come to the gigs – seeing Atomhenge was like, ‘woah!’

Hawkwind were the first people to make me think about synthesisers – one of my earliest was a monophonic synth that Simon House used. I even thought about sampling Bob. I had a band in 1987 under the pseudonym LFO, and the first track we put out was Lord Of Light – I even called others Brainstorm and Sonic Attack. A bit cheeky, eh?

After 1990, Hawkwind weren’t the same for me. I missed Del Dettmar and Dik Mik. Our paths never crossed apart from meeting Lemmy in a club in Piccadilly in the 90s, where I talked to him about the bass line on Orgone Accumulator. I think he was a bit shocked, but impressed!

You can hear bits of Floyd and Hawkwind in my music. I can still listen to their albums – a little while ago I re-bought Space Ritual on vinyl, and an old Ferguson stereogram to play it on. It’s just great to have that cover again, it’s one of the greatest albums ever made.”

Find Paul at www.paulhardcastle.com.

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