Hawkwind - At The Roundhouse live CD/DVD review

No rust on Hawkwind’s glistening machine

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“We know you like a bit of quiet acoustic music,” quips Dave Brock at the start of this live CD/DVD captured at London’s Roundhouse last May. True to his word, Brock and the band start with three unplugged numbers of which The Watcher works particularly well in the format. But once they turn electric for Born To Go, it’s a plunge through a wormhole straight to the outer limits. The set flits back and forth between their classic 70s output and their last two studio albums, Into The Woods and The Machine Stops, with no nods to their 80s albums or 90s electronica period at all. The band sound fired up and guest saxophonist Michal Sosna’s improvisations are superb throughout. The live DVD is a one-camera, one angle affair, presumably to focus your attention on the light show, which is suitably swirly, but a close-up here or there of the musicians surely couldn’t hurt. Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell joins them on a barnstorming Brainbox Pollution and the inevitable Silver Machine, while other highlights include a fantastic version of The Machine, with Sosna blasting out a killer solo, and the stomping You Better Believe It. They’ve still got it.