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(42:03; Purple Pyramid)
The Psychedelic Warlords were formed by ex-Hawkind bassist Alan Davey and named after the lead off track from Hawkwind’s fifth album, 1974’s ‘Hall Of The Mountain Grill’. The band comprised singer Craig High, keyboard player Zoie Green, guitarist Simon Wilkins and drummer Billy Fleming (who worked as Motorhead’s drum tech for 12 years). Apparently Lemmy told Davey that ‘Hall of the Mountain Grill’ was his favourite Hawkwind album, and as 2014 was seeing the fortieth anniversary Davey thought it would be a great idea to perform the album in its entirety as a tribute. Given that Robert Calvert’s seminal ‘Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters’ was also released in 1974, and was a Hawkwind album in all but name, he decided to hold a concert where both albums would be performed in their entirety. The concert was recorded, and some five years later, was finally made available, and this section of the gig has now been released as ‘Captain Lockheed & The Starfighters Live!’. Although Davey didn’t play on the original album, he spent many years in the mighty Hawkwind (and Hawklords) having to mimic Lemmy’s bass playing (as well as also forming a Motorhead tribute band himself at one point), so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that he knows exactly how to capture Lemmy’s sound and approach. There are times when it seems like the man himself is there on the stage, and with that bass underpinning the songs this seems as if Hawkwind are back in their heyday. For any fan of the band this is essential listening, especially as so few of these songs have ever really bene played in concert, and I doubt if the album was ever played live in its entirety. It sounds like the original comic interludes have been retained, and it is a very English performance of a very English album (yes, I do know Davey is Welsh). This album was originally way ahead of its time, combining the space rock of Hawkwind with garage and early punk, along with Python-esque humour which could only come from the brain of a warped genius. Here Davey has done his best to capture all of that, and for any Hawkwind fan this is absolutely essential. It is heavy, it is surreal, and the people who were there last night had a blast as can be heard during their reaction to “I Resign”. An essential album for anyone who loves the classic Hawkwind sound, whether they know the original album or not (what do you mean you haven’t heard it? Rectify that now!). Robert Calvert may be a name only known to a few these days, while the name Hawkwind will go on forever, but Davey has done a great job of restoring him to centre stage. This is an album which made me smile from beginning to end and isn’t that what music is all about?
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