Back in 1969 guitarist / keyboardist / singer Dave Brock formed a psychedelic rock / space rock band under the name Hawkwind and, together with fellow musicians Nik Turner (saxophone / flute / vocals), Huw Lloyd-Langton (guitars / vocals), John A. Harrison (bass), Michael “Dik Mik” Davies (synthesizers) and Terry Ollis (drums), created the band’s self-titled debut album in early 1970.
In the years since the band have released numerous studio and live albums and seen dozens of musicians come and go from the line-up, including Lemmy Kilmister (who went on to form Motörhead) and Robert Calvert.
Other notable figures to be connected to the Hawkwind name include fantasy author Michael Moorcock, interpretive dancer Stacia Blake and lighting engineer Jonathan “Liquid Len” Smeeton.
Brock decided to disband Hawkwind during 1978 and formed a new group with Calvert and drummer Simon King (both also from Hawkwind at the time) along with bassist Harvey Bainbridge, keyboard player Steve Swindells and second drummer Martin Griffin.
The new venture was called Hawklords, likely as a result of disputes over use of the Hawkwind name, and they released one album, titled “25 Years On” in late 1978 and by the following year had folded with Brock, King and Bainbridge joining forces with Lloyd-Langton and keyboardist Tim Blake in a new version of Hawkwind.
Brock still leads Hawkwind to this day, and his band most recently released “Spacehawks” in 2013, a collection of new and re-recorded catalogue songs.
Meanwhile, Hawklords have risen from the ashes, initially in order to play benefit shows for the late Robert Calvert.
The band is now comprised of ex-Hawkwind (late 90s version) members Bainbridge on keyboards (the only one present in the original Hawklords line-up), guitarist Jerry Richards and vocalist Ron Tree now joined by drummer Dave Pearce and the newest recruit – bassist Tom Ashurst.
The reignited band have since released four new studio albums – “We Are One” (2012), “Dream” (2013), “Censored” (2014) and the new record “R:Evolution”.
This album is something of a cracker, to be honest. I reckon it’s easily the best of the aforementioned four records, and is equal to anything that Hawkwind themselves have released for a while too.
My favourite tracks are “Evolver”, “Space Monkey”, “The Last Change” and the brilliant near-ten-minute “Shadow Of The Machines”. Whilst “One Day” is reminiscent of “Hurry On Sundown” (from Hawkwind’s 1969 debut) and therefore arguably somewhat derivative, but overall this is an excellent album.
Basically, if you know and enjoy Hawkwind’s output you are likely to appreciate what the Hawklords have achieved here. Great stuff…
1. Re-animator / 2. Blink Of An Eye / 3. Evolver / 4. The Last Change / 5. Space Monkey / 6. One Day / 7. The Dreaming / 8. The Joker / 9. Shadow Of The Machines