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Why Not Check Out Nik Turner's Hawkwind?

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 17, 2014 9:25PM

photo from Nik Turner's Facebook page

Nik Turner brings his version of Hawkwind to the Beat Kitchen Thursday night in what should be a far out, mind expanding space adventure in rock music.

For Hawkwind fans, there is no reason to skip this one. We caught Nik Turner's set last fall at Reggie's Rock Club, and he did not disappoint. Fans got their fill of great Hawkwind classics like "Brainstorm," "Master of the Universe," "Silver Machine" and "Dee Rider." The same band that backed up Turner last year has signed up for this trip, too. And they bring an edgier to the old Hawkwind classics.

This time around, Turner hopefully won't have to address any drama between he and his former bandmate, Dave Brock, who has continued the Hawkwind legacy since the band's inception. Brock was to bring his version of the band to the Logan Square Auditorium just weeks before Turner's show last fall. However, Brock cited stress-related illness due to Turner's trademark of "Nik Turner's Hawkwind" in postponing the tour

It was a rather odd excuse, as it is hard to imagine Turner's action would cause so much stress to send Brock to the hospital. Brock's Hawkwind then cancelled a March tour of the states, claiming the band expected 50 percent of tour revenues up front to cover tour costs. Again, this excuse didn't really pass the smell test since you'd think the band would have known this four months prior when the tour was originally booked.

Given the fact more than 20 years have passed since Hawkwind last came to the U.S., plus these flimsy excuses to cancel the last scheduled tour, it doesn't seem like Hawkwind will come here again.

So why not see Nik Turner's Hawkwind?

After all there are just as many original Hawkwind members in his version as Brock's—that is to say, one. Plus Turner wrote or co-wrote many of Hawkwind's early classic hits. And you'll hear a lot of great Hawkwind tunes played by a rocking band. It is expected his set will lean heavily toward the band's classic live album from 1973, Space Ritual.

When we last saw Turner, he was in fine form. He still can play a mean saxophone and a chilling flute. The music still seems to energize the 74-year-old rocker, and it's infectious. Throw in some wild lighting and a smoking hot band, and it all adds up to groovy rock journey through time and space.

Nik Turner may be a rock legend in just a small circle of rock fans here in the United States. But his show is worth checking out, especially if you need to be reminded of how insignificant the human race is in terms of the vast universe, never mind how insignificant you are as an individual to the entire human race. Or maybe your existence is in perfect harmony with the universe. Chew on that for a while while digging on vibes of Nik Turner's Hawkwind.

Nik Turner's Hawkwind performs Thursday, Sept. 18, with Witch Mountain and Hedersleben at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., 8:30 p.m., Tickets $12 advance, $15 at the door. 21+