Hawkwind

The Weird Tapes No. 4: Live '78

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This CD is the reissue of a mid-'80s very limited edition cassette (remastered and with new artwork). This live set comes from an unidentified 1978 show, as the band was touring as the Hawklords. The lineup for this show was Bob Calvert, Dave Brock, Steve Swindells, Harvey Bainbridge, and Martin Griffin. The sound quality is average (these are 25-year-old tapes from the mixing board); there are some flaws in the tapes, but at least the sound mix is decent and the show was not plagued with microphone feedback. As for the performance itself, it is also average -- not the band's most stellar or inspired, but an honest show. The set list includes mostly key tracks from 1977's Quark, Strangeness and Charm and 1978's PXR5, plus the 1973 single "Urban Guerrilla." Highlights include extended solos in "Spirit of the Age" and an energetic rendition of "Uncle Sam's on Mars." This release can't help but feel redundant in Hawkwind's impressive archival discography but, for those who don't mind bootleg-quality sound, it offers a good example of what the band's live show was like around 1978.

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