Hawkwind – 01/09/90 – Brixton Academy

This was one of Hawkwind’s legendary all nighters that I’d heard about. The line up was Hawkwind flyer Sep 1990pretty 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.

Hawkwind ticket Sep 1990

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.

Hawkwind Sounds advert Sep 1990


3 thoughts on “Hawkwind – 01/09/90 – Brixton Academy

  1. Jikan August 22, 2015 / 10:05 am

    I was at this gig too, and being honest I have little memory of the whole thing lol. The ozrics and RDF I saw a few times, and Hawkwind.

  2. Mellowman October 8, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    I wuz there, spent most of time nursemaiding a couple of mates who were…hmmm ‘a bit poorly?’ RDF were great, the mushrooms grand, liked the chemistry set, didn’t know the Ozrics were there! I was a bit otherwise inebriated, Hawkwind were fantastic, I think the mushrooms were on after them?

  3. Stuart March 11, 2017 / 6:00 am

    I was there!Legendary journey with a psychopath,hitched from way up north.If I told yo that we got picked up by a hippyish bloke who was a record producer ,had produced Age of Chance or something,in a mini camper van which he was driving to London to sell,and that he had a huge bag of hash which he was too scared to keep hold of so gave to us,you wouldn’t believe me-but that’s what happened.It took 2 days of madness,trips and getting lost to get to Brixton,miraculously got there somehow…got free booze from a mad Rasta who the owner had foolishly left in charge of a Brixton shop,took more medicine and went in to the academy..people openly Smoking,but other stuff you had to be cautious.Police not bothered which was very different from up north.took strange drinks from star-rangers,and spent the next 10 hours on a rainbow psychedelic long wash cycle.Funny thing I remember most of it quite well-Radical Dance Faction (not factor like the ticket said) were bonkers,their bass was so loud that it made me and others retch,while their changes in rhythm made for increased psychedelic panic.The lady from the Mushroom band had mad hair and they were a psychedelic lift up-Ozrics…bit hazy on them…but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere!

    As for Hawkwind-wow-I seem to remember entering some sort of important Cosmic event during Golden Void,but somehow the Hawks came on JUST at the right time I was feeling quite afraid from from my vantage point several light years above the plane of the Milky Way.Seriously.Wandered through the various rooms,managed to pick up great Bob tribute pamphlet…got handed Hawkwind lyrics with cryptic writing on them…

    Anyway,it took me and my psychopathic companion three days..or more to get back north…including someone dropping us off in the pitch black somewhere where we had to walk until it was light to find a motorway to hitch on.

    The things you do when you’re 18!

    Went back the next year.

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