Bearing no relation to the short-lived 1978 Hawkwind line-up, which changed its name owing to legal issues, the Hawklords are in fact an amalgamation of past ‘Wind members Harvey Bainbridge, Ron Tree, Jerry Richards and Adrian Shaw, with the addition of drummer Dave Pearce.
The band originally formed as a one-off for a Bob Calvert tribute concert in 2008, and four years later the line-up featured here came together and released the first album of their own material, and that was the beginning of the band in earnest.
This show, recorded at the end of the 2013 Reality Tour on the tiny stage at London’s Bush Hall, features mainly original Hawklords material, together with four old Hawkwind songs, accompanied by a truly eye-watering light/film show straight from the old Space Ritual days, with frontman Tree coming across like a bizarre mix of Bob Calvert and Catweazle.
If this were merely a tribute exercise to the Hawkwind mothership, it could be easily dismissed as an entertaining if ephemeral nostalgia trip, but thankfully the entire project is raised above this level by some very strong material, drawn from the band’s two studio albums: Time Split Vision, Flight and Dream A Dream are of particular note. Their music is clearly intended to be firmly in the Hawkwind tradition, ranging from heavy space-riffing through spoken word sound collages and the cyber-punk feel of late-70s Hawks, and overall the band curate the legacy well.
As for the DVD itself, the picture quality is somewhat grainy, but this may well be deliberate, as some video shot by audience members is included, and does not look out of place; if anything this adds to the slightly chaotic charm. There are no extras included, but the 5.1 surround sound option and the impressive range of the band’s own material should be enough to tempt curious Hawkwind devotees to investigate this. Their Reality Tour sees the Hawklords in search of their own space – their place in the space-rock canon is fully merited.