Nick Turner's Hawkwind Live

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Nick Turner's Hawkwind Live at The Rhythm Room, Phoenix, Arizona, November 14, 2013

Space rock fans in Phoenix were given a rare treat as Nik Turner, founding member of Hawkwind and now front man of Nik Turner's Hawkwind played a show at small venue The Rhythm Room.

Nik's version of Hawkwind in this case was Hedersleben, purveyors of spacey krautrock, and they played a few instrumental cuts before returning as Nik Turner's Hawkwind. The four piece band rumbled into the opening strains of Hawkwind's "Earth Calling," the opening cut of Hawkwind's classic Space Ritual album as Turner strolled out of the darkened backstage area and took the stage wearing a modified leather aviator's helmet of the sort that spacemen donned in early sci-fi movies.

The five songs that followed were also lifted from Space Ritual; the slightly punkish anthem "Born To Go," "Orgone Accumulator," "Brainstorm," "Time We Left This World Today" and "The Awakening," one of many tunes in the set that featured Turner honking away on his sax.

Turner also has a new album out called Space Gypsy and two tunes from the effort were played, the kinetic "Fallen Angel STS-51-L" and the somewhat subdued "Galaxy Rise" where Turner switched to flute.

Band keyboardist Kephera Moon stepped out from behind her rack of synths to play the space gypsy to Turner's space god on Hawkwind's "Children of the Sun;" wearing a fringed gown over tight leotards and with her forehead painted with alien/Egyptian symbols, Moon performed a worshipful ritual dance beside, all around and at the feet of Turner, acting all the world like a native girl expressing love for her deity one last time before she's thrown into the volcano.

Turner dug out the relatively obscure "Ejection," a tune originally performed by Hawkwind spin-off band Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters before finishing big with two cuts from the Hawkwind album In Search of Space; the fast and furious "Silver Machine" and "You Shouldn't Do That" with Moon once again writhing and gyrating front and center.

Turner was only able to draw a modest crowd for this show and that's too bad for those who missed it; while still as vibrant as rockers a fraction of his age Turner is now in his 70s and these live trips into space are bound to blast off less frequently in the future.


Nick Turner's Hawkwind Live

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