Keeping it fresh, the silver machine rolls on

Hawkwind’s Dave Brock has had a career spanning 50 years. You would have thought by this time in his career that he would have ticked off most points on his bucket list but it seems this is not the case.

The band started in 1969, hit the charts with Silver Machine in 1973 and are renowned as the founders of space rock. Over the years members have included Lemmy, Ginger Baker, Nik Turner, Robert Calvert and Huw Lloyd Langton but the one constant has been Brock.

ANNIVERSARY TOUR – Dave Brock (far right) with current band members (from left) Niall Hone, Richard Chadwick and Magnus Martin

The past few years have seen the band explore new territory as the 78-year-old founder member continues to keep proceedings fresh, which includes embarking on a tour with an orchestra for the first time.

“That’s the whole point of being an artist, isn’t it?” says the guitarist and singer. “You’ve got to constantly keep chasing otherwise it becomes very boring.”

Last summer also saw Hawkwind perform at London’s Citadel Festival, on a line-up headlined by Australia’s Tame Impala and littered with indie guitar bands, Hawkwind stuck out like a sore thumb.

“It’s a good thing to do all of these festivals,” he insists. “I hope we gained some new fans. Nowadays festivals cater to lots of different people, there’s lots of different genres sitting together. In the ‘90s we used to do a lot of dance and trance festivals!”

Hawkwind released their 31st studio album Road to Utopia last year and have just released their new album All Aboard the Skylark before heading out on their 50th Anniversary Tour, which will lead up to their 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert at the world famous Royal Albert Hall, London in November.

Brock says the tour will be visually different to what fans might normally expect, explaining: “We always try to bring something new to the table when it comes to our shows. This time we need to do something different. We’ve got a few ideas…

“Touring is what we do for a living and we obviously try to make our shows spectacular. We are rehearsing regularly. We may have one or two surprises for the tour…”

So…50 years of Hawkwind, are they planning on ending anytime soon?

“You never know what’s going to happen,” he says. “There might be an asteroid hitting the earth. You see, music is a brilliant escape, so we’ve got no plans to end anytime soon!

“As long as we are having a good time, we’ll continue. I wouldn’t be doing it otherwise – I always like a challenge, constantly writing new songs and trying new things.” Er, that’s a no, then.

Hawkwind will play at G Live in Guildford on Monday (25 Nov) – the day before their biggest show in years at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday (26 Nov).

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