For purist AORsters, much of Hawkwind’s material is a hard ask, however there is something that captures me when I’m listening to their albums. What? I’m not quite sure. lol!
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Hall Of The Mountain Grill
LABEL: United Artists
SERIAL: UAG 29672
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Dave Brock – guitar, vocals, keyboards * Nik Turner – saxophone, flute, vocals * Del Dettmar – keyboards * Lemmy Kilmister – bass, vocals * Simon King – drums * Simon House – violin, keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke) * 02 Wind Of Change * 03 D-Rider * 04 Web Weaver * 05 You Better Believe It * 06 Hall Of The Mountain Grill * 07 Lost Johnny * 08 Goat Willow * 09 Paradox
WEBLINKS: Site Link
After reading Eric’s recent review of Hawkwind’s ‘In Search Of Space’, I decided to reacquaint myself with this band that hovered around my sound space during my high-school years. I used to have this book from around 1976 (well I still do actually.. ‘The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Rock’, there were two versions.. I have both) in which Hawkwind were well chronicled.. refer page 105.. lol).
It highlighted their days as Group X, and their penchant for turning up for free and playing gigs ‘any-time and anywhere’. They did turn up at the 1970 Isle Of Wight’ festival yet they weren’t on the bill! They played for free behind the festival fence much to everyone’s amusement.
Beyond their first five LP’s, Hawkwind had matured into a fully-fledged sci-fi oriented space rock band with a heavy leaning toward acid-soaked rock, which you either got, or you didn’t. In 1972, the band released the million selling single ‘Silver Machine’ and moved their stage-show into bigger venues around the UK. In between times, albums were still being released, including this 1974 set ‘Hall Of The Mountain Grill’, named after a London café apparently.
For purist AORsters, much of Hawkwind’s material is a hard ask. However there is something that captures me when I’m listening to their albums. What? I’m not quite sure. lol! The cover art is a sure-fire pull-in, but the music is kinda all over the place.
Opener ‘The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In Smoke)’ is a rambling set highlighted by a saxophone solo. It phases in and out of third dimensional reality with equally obtuse lyrics to match. Big sweeping synths introduce ‘Wind Of Change’, ultimately sounding like a prog rock version of Uriah Heep. It doesn’t reach any great heights ultimately, more like a big wish-wash of symphonic rock lost in the heavens.
‘D Rider’ has an air of the exotic contained within. The chorus is very dense and melodic, with a bunch of effects and weird noises going on. ‘Web Weaver’ has a neat vibe happening, though there’s that ever-present space rock thing going on in the background. Hawkwind get the metronome happening on ‘You’d Better Believe It’; again, some interesting parts going on, including some unusual violin work. The title track is a two minute instrumental which drops into the guitar-based ‘Lost Johnny’, which went in one ear and out the other.
We’ll forget the brief and rather pointless flute based instrumental ‘Goat Willow’ and head into the last track ‘Paradox’; which is a load of forgettable guitar riffs gliding alongside a cascade of keyboards to no avail.
As mentioned, I’m not sure what quite draws me into Hawkwind’s music. Probably nothing actually, because there’s not much on here that stands out for the melodic rocker in me. Perhaps I need to ditch this affiliation once and for all, unless Eric can persuade me otherwise? lol!