This was one of Hawkwind’s legendary all nighters that I’d heard about. The line up was pretty awesome, all bands I’d heard of, most of whom I had records by, so it promised to be a good’un. I think we got a bit lost in South London, so we were an hour later than we had planned. Brixton on a Saturday afternoon is a bit of a nightmare. Missed World Exit (trying to find a parking space) and The Dark Side (trying to score), so Radical Dance Faction were the first band I saw. They really are an odd band. Rumbling dub basslines and a wicked skank guitar and piano, melodious female backing singers, with the most unappealing monotonous spoken word over the top. A very aggressive massive white dready guy sneering angrily into the mic, very agit-prop lyrics but the whole thing somehow worked. I went back and saw them many times on the strength of this. It didn’t work so well on vinyl (maybe just thin production on Borderline Cases) but live they were so good, really difficult not to dance to. Then Ambitious Beggars, Nutmeg and The Chemistry Set, of whom (and I’m not going to lie to you), I have very little recollection.
This was the first time I’d seen the Magic Mushroom, and they didn’t disappoint. ‘You Can Be My LSD’ went down a storm, along with ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ ‘What’s On Your Mind’ and the excellent ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ from the ‘Process of Illumination’ album. They were massive Hawkwind fans themselves, and did a reasonably passable version of Hurry On Sundown to finish. Ozric Tentacles were probably my favourite band at the time. They weren’t as good as the two previous times I’d seen them, but that could just have been the awful sound in that place. ’Kickmuck’ is always the crowd-pleaser, and this was the days before they started trying to play it as fast as they could. Bevis Frond were good, but I couldn’t tell you a whole lot about them. Then to Hawkwind. Fuck, I don’t remember anything. I’m sure I’d remember if it were a bad performance, but this is one the few times I’ve seen a band, sat intently through the entire set, and nothing stuck. Hasn’t happened too many times over the years, but sorry folks, no idea.