Hawkwind have a loyal following and you only need to look at the bust up between Nik Turner and Dave Brock and the camps fans have aligned themselves to understand that passions’ run high when it comes to this iconic space rock band.

Love In Space was originally recorded in 1995 whilst the band were on tour promoting the Alien 4 Album and was then released a year later. The line-up is Ron Tree on vocals, Dave Brock, Alan Davey and Richard Chadwick and to be fair to Ron Tree he does a great job in bringing a good deal of the feel of the original Bob Calvert to proceedings. Alan Davey is without a doubt my most favorite of bass players and he doesn’t disappoint here.hawkwind-love-in-space-1990

This rerelease is part of the ongoing efforts of Atomhenge to rerelease the output of Hawkwind and give fans old and new access to deleted records. There are three bonus track on the two CD set that are taken from the 1997 Love In Space EP and it’s worth having just for these…but then I’m one of those for whom Hawkwind was (and is) a way of life. I’m just reading the liner notes as I type and note that one of the fire-eaters for the stage show was Wango Riley who used to have a stage at many a free festival…indeed Roughneck Sounds (my old band) played on his stage at Rock and Reggae in Nottingham many moons ago.

The live recording is good here and kicks off with Abducted, a spoken word and electronics piece telling the story of…an abductee, surprise, surprise and it sets the scene brilliantly for what is to come. There’s the fabulous Death Trap that is a bit of a crowd pleaser and Are You Losing Your Mind which will be instantly musically familiar to fans and what I like about this record, as I like when I go to see the band live, is that there is a theme running through the record and a story being told. Ok, this may seem a bit clichéd in the wham bam thankyou mam world of throwaway pop culture, but called me old fashioned…OK, call me an old hippy… but I think ‘concept’ is a good thing.

The sound is, as you would expect from Hawkwind, big and multi layered with electronics, sound effects and segues that come together to produce a coherent, tripped out space adventure. This is pure and unashamedly one for the space cadets out there but it’s also a very good example of what makes Hawkwind such a force to be reckoned with and why I continue to buy everything they put out.

Stuart Smith

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