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(46:01; Purple Pyramid Records)
Alan Davey continues his work on providing new forms of space rock with plenty of guests on this Hawkestrel’s second album, released last year. Here we get a mix of covers and originals, and he has brought in many well-known musicians including Todd Rundgren, former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, prog legend David Cross, electric violinist L. Shankar, Arthur Brown and MC5’s Wayne Kramer. The lead single from the album was “Day Of The Quake”, which is a revamp of a rare early ‘80s recording from Robert Calvert. Davey says, “This masterclass of English poetics gets married up to some up-tempo exciting music I wrote with the one and only Mick Taylor guesting on lead guitar and the legendary Nik Turner on sax.” Hawkwind have gone through one or two musicians, it must be said, and I think they have had 11 bassists since they were formed, but while Lemmy will always be the most famous, Davey has the longest tenure in that role (in two stints). While playing in a very different style to Lemmy, much more in the way of single notes as opposed to chords, his sound was always prominent and that is still the case here, so no matter who is playing or singing on each song (there is a listing of 20 others involved on this album), he is at the forefront and brings it all together. The result is something that fans of Hawkwind will enjoy, not only for so many luminaries being involved, but also as it is quite an enjoyable album. Tracks such as “Cosmic Divide” show the quieter elements of the band, with some gorgeous flute, while others are more jagged and harsh and yet others are full on space rock as we would expect. There is only one Nik Turner, and his sax stands out a mile when it is deployed. Whereas one of his other outfits, Alan Davey's Psychedelic Warlords, are an actual band, Hawkestrel appears to be a project where he utilises old and new recordings. Consequently, this album features contributions from at least three musicians who are no longer with us, but overall, this is a pleasant listen and certainly stands up against some Hawkwind releases.
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