by Jim Lascko
Visit Jim's Strange Trips web site at www.strange-trips.com
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: February 2004
Harvey Bainbridge's "DNA LOUNGE" tour is over!
We had a great time doing it and met some really fantastic people with a lot of good ol' fashioned Hawk Spirit! Harvey wants to thank all the SpaceRock fans that turned out - along with the promoters and venues that hosted this show. Strange Trips would also like to say a big "Thank You" to the following people who put us up... or put up with us!
Harvey Bainbridge & Ann Marie, Andy, Lorraine & Ruby, Clive & Samantha, Malcom in the middle, Danny, Dave, Bruce & Michelle, globe-trotting DC in Hastings, Ian & Marion and friends Trevor & Marc in Lydd, Steve & family in Leeds, Mark and his crew & family in Felixstowe, Bert & Christa with friends Martin & Chris in Amsterdam, and Francis & his crew in Belgium @ The Spirit of '66. Also... our sincere appreciation to photographer Fred Loridant and also to Neil & Marie for the use of their equipment and Big Dave & his better half for their lighting assistance.
We certainly couldn't have done this without all your help... may God bless you all!
A synopsis follows along with some photos:
We (Scott & I) touched down in England and was met at Gatwick airport by our good friends, Andy & Clive. They're ardent Hawkfans and have helped Alan Davey's band "Bedouin" tour in the past, so they knew exactly what we needed. They helped us out immensely by booking Harvey a private gig, carting our asses around, feeding us, and generally making us feel very welcome indeed!
We were given the use of a spare bedroom in our friend Malcom's flat in Hastings, but stayed mostly at Ian & Marion's place in Lydd. They were so kind and hospitable that we just couldn't refuse their generous offer and we had a great time staying there.
We only had 4 gigs to help Harvey out on and the first one was in Leeds just a couple of days after arriving. Andy took us there and went back home the same night - about 10 hours on the road! We met promoter Steve Kind at the Royal Park Cellars - a cozy little venue in the basement of a larger bar. Harvey met us there and we quickly set up the equipment. Neil and Marie soon followed with 2 Opti projectors that we had asked to borrow for the shows. Our two friends Hardy & Kidd (from Mr. Quimby's Beard) also came out to enjoy and support the event.
Opening this show for Harvey was a solo act - "The Graham Young Experience". With the help of an onstage computer set up he was able to play his guitar over, under, and along with his pre-recorded (the miracle of modern technology) samples, and tracks. Very nice guitar work, great sound, and a perfect blending of live musicianship and recorded material.
Harvey was up next and came on strong with a very full and powerful sound. His vocal delivery was tight and clear for the most part, even with his standard spacey-vocal effects added. This was a good, solid performance Although the sets varied from gig to gig due to a bit of improvisation, his core set consisted of Coded Languages... Heading Cygnus-X1... Lost!... Acid House of Dreams... Freefall... Unravelled... Smart Drinks in the DNA Lounge... Keep on Knockin'... 1000% Solution... It Could Be.
A typical encore was Mutation Zone... The Sneaker... One Dimensional Man in his Castle.. and How Do You Think It Will End?
Nice place, energetic set, decent lightshow - but too few people! It's the same tale of woe we hear everywhere and many live acts are hurting because people just don't seem like they're coming out for the shows like they used to. While there were many people in the larger upstairs bar gabbing, watching tv, and listening to pre-recorded music, few were inclined to join us downstairs to see an actual live show! An ominous sign of these troubled times...
Back down to Hasting's again for the next night - a private gig at the local Chopper Club. This turned out to be a comfortable private club setting within the confines of a bike/trike fabrication shop. A good feeling permeated the gig and our hosts were very casual and cool. .
Harvey was joined this night by our friends Bruce and Dave. Bruce did some live DJ type sampling and re-mixing while Dave played along with his guitar between Harvey's sets. They did quite well keeping things moving all night long and it worked out great. This was a very psychedelic show!
Big Dave (video projectors) and Bruce (intelligent lighting effects) contributed to the lightshow that night while I added Neil's two Opti projectors to the array of overheads, oil wheels, strobes, etc. It all gelled together very nicely - especially when Dave ran an x-rated video of two girls having a good time with each other - mixing it in very nicely with the other lights. Talk about Porn-o-delic! Well... whatcha expect?... I TOLD YOU it was a private biker club.
This show ran well into the night and seemed very magical for some reason. We found out why later... there was a total eclipse of the moon during this gig! Many people went outside late in the show and looked up in awe as the darkness slowly crept over the moon. It was a clear, crisp night and we couldn't ask for better viewing conditions. A great time was had by all!
After this gig we had a bit of "down time" which Ian & Marion used to take us to the famous Canterbury Cathedral. It was just beautiful and an amazing piece of architecture. Go if you ever get a chance to see it and you won't be disappointed!
The next gig up was at Lix's Bar in Felixstowe with promoter Mark Colley. A very nice venue (I saw that our friend Mr. Dibs would also be playing there soon with his band Spacehead) and full of young people this night. Mark had organized the "Sonic Rock Solstice 2002" festival (featuring Bedouin, Harvey Bainbridge, Spacehead, Mr. Quimby's Beard, and others) and recently helped Hawkwind out on tour.
He often works with the younger crowd, giving them tips and workshops on running sound, doing tours, etc. - which is a great thing! There were some older, more conventional Hawk-type fans there, but they were in the minority this night. A young band opened the show and had the kids up and going with their playful posturing and fresh enthusiasm, but the older fans enjoyed the second half more when Harvey took the stage. Having the mixture of the young and (not) so young there was very cool... kind of like exchanging a little youthful enthusiasm for a bit of insight and wisdom. Keep up the good work, Mark!
Only a day to rest and we were then off to Belgium for a show at the The Spirit of '66 in Verviers. Andy had previously spoken to some friends of his in Holland (Bert & Christa) about us and Harvey's gig in Belgium. Since we had a day or two to kill before the show, they offered to put us up for a few nights at their place right outside of Amsterdam. So, after taking a ferry across the English Channel, we headed up through France and Belgium on the way to Holland.
Bert, an avid Hawkwind fan, was to take us into Amsterdam to see the sites (ie: whorehouses and coffeshops) which is a pilgrimage that many people from the increasingly fascist and "big brother-like" USA would love to take... just to get a tiny glimpse of REAL freedom.
* Note: Whether you do, or whether you don't, please remember... you don't have to be a whoremonger or a crazed dopehead to know (or appreciate) that fascist and oppressive governments simply have no right or business interfering in your private personal life.
It was cold and drizzly on the day we visited Amsterdam , but we still walked around the Red Light district a bit and marveled at all the crooked buildings sinking slowly back into the sandy ground that the builders had claimed from the encroaching water. It looked a bit surreal to my eyes, but in a quirky and colorful Robin William's "Popeye" sort of way!
We stopped at Rick's Cafe to have a cup of coffee and a smoke. I chose a bit of tasty Black Afghanistan hash and a larger chunk of Blond Lebanese. To quote the Campbell Soup twins... Hmmm, Hmmm...Good! :-) A few good hits and your body starts relaxing which then allows you to adjust your head properly... NOW THAT'S GOOD MEDICINE!! Much better than Prozac, Zoloft, or the other pharmaceutical drugs that they dope everybody up with in the USA.
It's hard to imagine a man having to go to jail for just wanting to sit down and enjoy a few shots of some tasty liquor or a glass of good beer (and a good time) with his friends, but that's the way it is in Amerika with pot - let alone hash! Good people run the risk of jail time, loss of jobs, criminal records, denial of educational grants, etc. just for wanting to burn a tasty bud with their friends. Here this moment, relaxing and joking with our friends, that whole notion seemed extremely absurd and nonsensical. We really had a great time and enjoyed ourselves immensely!
There was a casual and laid back atmosphere in Amsterdam with no sign of the chaotic, immoral, anarchy that Amerika would have you believe takes over when drug laws are relaxed and people are free to responsibly and moderately enjoy what they like to do - without having to worry about the authorities busting down their doors and dragging them off to taxpayer funded state built prison camps!
There's a big difference between a casual user and a full time abuser - just as there is between a social drinker and a full blown alcoholic. Where's the logic and reason in these laws? Things must make sense, no?
Early the next day we set off for the Spirit of '66 in Verviers, Belgium with Bert and two of his friends, Martin & Chris, leading the way in their car. They were excited about Harvey's upcoming gig and kindly offered their assistance to us - and we gladly accepted it. Chris immediately began to document our adventure with his video camera and said he will make us a DVD out of it.
Ths Spirit of '66 is a very nice and comforable club operated by music lover Francis Geron and we had a great time doing our show there. Electric Orange, a German band, opened the festivities and really got the people going with their progressive and very spacey set. Check these boys out if you ever get the chance and you sure won't regret it. They were very good.
An added bonus this night was the presence of professional photographer Fred Loridant (photorock.com) and the pictures interspered throughout this review were taken by him that evening. We had Harvey set up on one side of the stage while we shot the lightshow straight down the middle and onto the backdrop. It worked good and looked great!
We said goodby to our friends that night and the next day we left early to catch the ferry back to England. We made such good time that Scott and I dubbed Harvey "LeBlur" - and he really earned it that day! After dropping us off and taking a bit of a breather, Harvey drove the rest of the way home that night by himself.
After that it was just resting up a bit at Ian & Marion's place until it was time to go home. When that day came Andy and Clive took us back to where they picked us up and we said our goodbyes! It was a great time that we had with good music, good friends, and lots of good beer and hash.
Needless to say, we can't wait to return! ;-)