Hawklords (1978)

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Hawklords were an English music group active between 1978 and 1979. Members were from Hawkwind, who were inactive during that period, (Robert Calvert – vocals, Dave Brock – guitar and Simon King – drums) and a local Devon group named Ark (Harvey Bainbridge – bass and Martin Griffin – drums) with the addition of former Pilot keyboardist Steve Swindells.

In 1978, the band released their first full studio album 25 Years On.

In 2008, a new Hawklords formed around bass player Harvey Bainbridge and ex-Hawkwind vocalist Ron Tree.


Live - The Hawklords.jpg
Live album by
The Hawklords
ReleasedMay, 1992
RecordedBrunel University, Uxbridge, 24 November 1979
GenreSpace rock
LabelGriffin Music– GN03921-2
Dojo Records – DOJOCD71
The Hawklords chronology
The Friday Rock Show Sessions
California Brainstorm
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars [1]

The release of the album 25 Years On was promoted with a 41 date UK tour during October and November 1978. The stage show was designed by Barney Bubbles and was based on a Metropolis/Mao Tse-tung dystopia theme, featuring a projected film based light show, dancers in drab clothing performing mundane tasks, and spotlight towers creating an oppressive internment camp atmosphere. During the course of the tour the show was cut-back due to financial constraints, sufficiently upsetting Bubbles enough for him to refuse to work with Brock again. Some of the musicians felt that this action lightened the atmosphere resulting in the shows becoming more powerful. For the Hammersmith Odeon gig on 13 October, Lemmy guested on "Silver Machine".

The Brunel University, Uxbridge concert (24 November) was professionally filmed by Charisma Records, but to date only snippets have been aired on UK television. The Plymouth Polytechnic concert (23 November) was professionally recorded, and subsequent archive albums have included portions from it.

A tour programme was sold at this gig detailing the weird science behind the '25 Years' project. It outlined the aims and achievements of Pan Transcendental Industries and its programme for the industrialisation of religion. It described the construction of the first 'Metaphactory' staffed in part by car crash victims whose function was to generate new forms of social behaviour through the transformation of private into public fantasies. The nine million workers who populated this giant factory complex are described in the song 'The Age Of The Micro Man' wherein it is shown that they have no idea what they are working for. In fact the new rulers of this dark industrial age received contact from aliens that they believed were actually angels. These 'angels' said they would provide enlightenment, but at a price. The payment was nonsensical but nevertheless the human race was enslaved.


The following set-list is that from the Hammersmith Odeon, 13 October 1978 performance.[2] The set-list would slightly change during the course of the tour, significantly "Flying Doctor" being dropped halfway through.

Track Weird Tape 4 Hawklords Live Live '78 Friends and Relations
"Automoton" [introduction tape] (Robert Calvert, Dave Brock) 1.1 1. (1:37)
"25 Years" (Brock) 1.2. (7:24) 2. (6:38)
"High Rise" (Calvert, Simon House) 2. (5:00) 3. (5:00)
"Death Trap" (Calvert, Brock) 1. (6:21) 3. (8:46) 4. (5:37)
"The Age of the Micro Man" (Calvert, Brock) 2. (3:40) 5. (3:51)
"Spirit of the Age" (Calvert, Brock) 3. (9:20) 4.[citation needed] (6:48) 6. (9:20)
"Urban Guerrilla" (Calvert, Brock) 4. (5:18) 7. (6:12)
"Sonic Attack" (Michael Moorcock) 5. (6:23) 8. (7:09)
"Flying Doctor" (Calvert, Brock) Volume 3
"Steppenwolf" (Calvert, Brock) 5. (9:07)
"Psi Power" (Calvert, Brock) 9. (6:08)
"Brainstorm" (Nik Turner) 10. (8:20)
"Freefall" (Calvert, Harvey Bainbridge) 6. (5:28)
"Uncle Sam's On Mars" (Hawkwind) 7.1. (6:28)
"The Iron Dream" (Hawkwind) 7.2. (2:05)
"Master Of The Universe" (Turner, Brock)
"Robot" (Calvert, Brock)
"Silver Machine" (Calvert, Brock)


  • Weird Tape 4
    • Recorded at Plymouth Polytechnic, 23 November 1978
    • June 1981, Weird Tapes, WEIRD104, UK cassette
    • September 2000, Voiceprint Records, HAWKVP9CD, UK CD
  • Hawklords Live
    • Recorded at Brunel University, Uxbridge, 24 November 1978. Also includes the additional track "Over The Top" from the Sonic Assassins concert
    • 1992, Dojo Records, DOJOCD7, UK CD
    • May 1992, Griffin Records, GN03921-2, USA CD
  • Live '78
    • Recorded at Brunel University, Uxbridge, 24 November 1978
    • 29 June 2009, Atomhenge (Cherry Red) Records, ATOMCD1014, UK CD

Tour dates[edit]

The band undertook a 42 date UK tour in October and November 1978,[3] with support from Patrik Fitzgerald and The Softies.

  • 6 October – Oxford, New Theatre
  • 7 October – Manchester, Apollo
  • 8 October – Liverpool, Empire
  • 9 October – Edinburgh, Usher Hall
  • 10 October – Newcastle, City Hall
  • 11 October – Middlesbrough, Town Hall
  • 13 October – London, Hammersmith Odeon – guest appearance from Lemmy
  • 14 October – Milton Keynes, Leisure Centre
  • 15 October – Croydon, Fairfield Halls
  • 16 October – Portsmouth, Guild Hall
  • 17 October – Birmingham, Odeon
  • 18 October – Dunstable, Queensway Hall
  • 19 October – Blackburn, King George Hall
  • 20 October – Bristol, Colston Hall
  • 21 October – St. Albans, City Hall
  • 22 October – Ipswich, Gaumont
  • 23 October – Leicester, De Montfort Hall
  • 24 October – Sheffield, City Hall
  • 25 October – Bradford, St. Georges Hall
  • 26 October – Leeds, Queens Hall
  • 27 October – Stoke-on-Trent, Victoria Hall
  • 28 October – Paignton, Festival Theatre
  • 29 October – Poole, Wessex Hall
  • 2 November – Malvern, Winter Gardens
  • 3 November – Cambridge, Corn Exchange
  • 4 November – Ilford, Gants Hill Odeon
  • 5 November – Reading, Hexagon
  • 6 November – Cardiff, University
  • 8 November – Gloucester, Leisure Centre
  • 9 November – Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall
  • 10 November – Derby, Assembly Rooms
  • 11 November – Nottingham, Heart of the Midlands (Rock City)
  • 13 November – Hemel, Pavilion
  • 15 November – Glasgow, Apollo
  • 16 November – Carlisle, Market Hall
  • 17 November – Lancaster, University
  • 18 November – Oldham, Queen Elizabeth Hall
  • 19 November – Blackburn, King George Hall
  • 22 November – Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
  • 23 November – Plymouth, Polytechnic – professionally recorded
  • 24 November – Uxbridge, Brunel University – professionally filmed
  • 25 November – Hastings, Pier Pavilion

Rockfield Studios, 1979[edit]

After the tour, the band were to tour North America, but Calvert, wishing for the return of King, dismissed Griffin who then concentrated on his studio business and playing for Richard Strange before returning to Hawkwind for the 1982 Sonic Attack album. Swindells recalls the five members spending time at Rockfield "where we rehearsed and jammed and wrote... Calvert was suffering definite mental problems when we were there. I think he was going through a divorce from his novelist wife, Pamela, and he was very unstable."[4] Calvert left the band going on to write the novel Hype and recording an accompanying album, and he never appeared on any of the recordings released from these sessions.

Track Length Commentary Available On
Who's Gonna Win the War? (Brock) 5:55 One of the few titles that was worked into a complete track for Levitation, this was released as "live". It may well have been recorded without overdubs, but it wasn't recorded in front of an audience. Weird Tape 1; Hawkwind, Friends and Relations Volume 1; 7" (FLS209) A-side; Levitation 2009 re-master.
Valium 10 (Brock / Bainbridge / Swindells / Smith) 7:51 Drums on this track were played by Mick Smith of The Softees, who were the support for the Hawklords tour. Weird Tape 2; Hawkwind, Friends and Relations Volume 1; 7"&12" (FLS205) B-side; Levitation 2009 re-master.
Douglas in the Jungle (Ode to a Manager) (Brock / Bainbridge / Swindells / King) 6:53 This track is a tribute to their manager Douglas Smith. Weird Tape 2; Hawkwind Anthology; Levitation 2009 re-master.
Time of the Hawklords (Brock / Bainbridge / Swindells / King) 4:07 This track is named after the title of the Michael Butterworth novel, although often abbreviated to "Time of...", and sometimes erroneously titled "Time Off". Weird Tape 2; 7" (FLS209) B-side; Levitation 2009 re-master.
British Tribal Music (Brock / Bainbridge / Swindells / King) 3:57 Hawkwind Anthology; Levitation 2009 re-master.
Motorway City (Brock) 7:24 Hawkwind Family Tree

Return to Hawkwind[edit]

Swindells wrote "Shot Down in the Night" at these sessions, and the band considered it ideal for single release, but with the band having no record contract Swindells departed when offered a solo deal, resulting in the album Fresh Blood. The remaining three members were joined by Huw Lloyd-Langton (lead guitar) and Tim Blake (synthesizers), choosing to revert to the name of Hawkwind and embarking upon a UK Winter 1979 tour resulting in the album Live Seventy Nine. Swindells' studio version and Hawkwind's live version of "Shot Down in the Night" were released as singles simultaneously in 1980, both featuring Lloyd-Langton and King.

The new Hawklords[edit]

In 2008 a new Hawklords formed around Harvey Bainbridge, with drummer Dave Pearce (ex-Bevis Frond), guitarist and keyboard player Jerry Richards, vocalist Ron Tree (ex-Hawkwind singer) and bassist Tom Ashurst. The band's critically acclaimed 2015 album release, R:Evolution reached number 15 on the Official UK Top 30 Progressive Rock Chart and was in the top 75 for over two months. A “Full-blown sonic slab of classic British space-rock”, it has been nominated for best rock album of 2015 by One World Music Awards.[5]

In 2016, the same line up, augmented by guest vocalist Kim McAuliffe, released the album Fusion (LORDS1016)


  1. ^ Hawklords at AllMusic
  2. ^ Hawkfan 3, Author: Brian Tawn; February 1979; Self-published
  3. ^ Youles, Steve. "Gig and Set Lists 1978". Starfarer.net. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  4. ^ Carol Clerk (9 January 2006). The Saga of Hawkwind (2nd Revised ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-1844498321.
  5. ^ "Hawklords". Ents24.com. Retrieved 12 February 2019.

External links[edit]