A wide ranging interview with the real gents of genuine underground music. A legendary 2 hours spent with the men on the frontline. Jerry, a debonair and handsome giant, all empathethic body language and artuculate commentary. Harvey, the wise man of the outfit, a one man encyclopedia of all things Hawkwind and much, much more.
Dave Pearce, a calm, centred south east Londoner, who plays with the latest incarnation of The Bevis Frond, was full of quick humour and was as indulgent of my constant questioning as the very acccomodating others. The friendly and easy going road manager allowed me into the inner sanctum of the tour bus, a compact and warm Mercedes Splitter van which soon filled with grey plumes of our collective smoke.
From anecdotes on everyone from Jack Bruce and Alexis Korner, to the reason for their comeback, it was a wondrous time spent with the friendliest and socially minded men in music. Taciturn newcomer Tom Ashcroft sat in wise before his tender 18 years as the history unfolded apace.
Ron Tree made an appearance towards the close of play. A genial figure in a red waiscoat and white golfing shoes, Ron offered his counsel on a range of topics from his and Jerry’s departure from Hawkwind, to the ravages of American capitalism on the UK and Europe.
We touched on personal histories, from Harvey Bainbridge’s peripatetic Forces upbriging to Jerry Richards’ agricultural background. Dave Pearce admitted he was born and bred in Eltham and hsd famously never left! Ron Tree mentioned his Leeds family as the hours flew like the hawk itself, swooping off at glorious tangents and encompassing 2000 years of human history.
The new album R:Evolution figured largely as the backdrop. A concise album, no sprawl for Hawklords, but a trimmed-down, lean crack sqaud of musicians enjoying themselves and spreading that joy to ever-larger audiences. This is R:Evolution at its finest. Catch them at the top of their game, with no signs of capitulatiing to the flawed notion of ageing. With young Tom on bass and Harvey Bainbridge heading gracefully into his seven decade, there is an elegant ellipse of life on show.
SEAN URQUHART ©2015