10 September 2007 | bob the moo
Interesting and entertaining charting of Hawkwind's rock and roll escapades
The British rock band Hawkwind is claimed to have been influential on punk and 1970's rock music across the world. The band are also well known for the sheer volume of members that had passed through their ranks over the years. However as someone who missed the 1970's rock period I generally tend to view all that music through the comedic filter of Spinal Tap, Wayne's World and, more recently, Steve Coogan's Saxondale. As such I find it very easy to dismiss the genre so this was why I made the effort to check out this documentary despite being very much a casual viewer.
As such I did feel like I was playing catch-up to a point because, although not aimed squarely at the hard core fans, it certainly helps to know about the group to some degree. Regardless though, the film does good a solid job of documenting the ups and downs of the band in a way that doesn't need you to really like their music. It does use clips of gigs and performances to good effect to keep you in touch with what they are doing but if it does mostly sound like a lot else in the genre, then the film still engages by telling the fantastic story of this band that seemed to be driven by this destructive creative force that continually ripped at the membership.
The stories start out good but get better as drugs, infighting, sacking, guns, grenades and so on. It is interesting to watch and enjoyable to remember the days of rock where it was sort of warts and all without any of the careful attention to presentation, product and stage-management that most bands now have. This side of it is just about enough to hold my interest as a casual viewer and I imagine that for fans it will be an enjoyable summary as well, either way it is worth a look if you have at least a passing interest in the world of musical fallouts or the genre.