Hawkwind’s Nik Turner & Nicky Garratt
11/3/2013 - Part IV
The plans for this Saturday are to record the final touches for the album in the morning and rehearse the set for the show tomorrow. I have been increasingly concerned that things are running behind and now it is the crunch. Still more interviews are taking place, and Jürgen has to go to a meeting while I play a couple of guitar solos. By the time everyone gets back and we start on the last vocal it is late afternoon. This last track, a slow Arabic sounding song written by Jürgen, turns out to be tricky and of course took hours. The best we can achieve at this point is to do a single run through of the set. This is the first time we've played together with Lana, only Candace is missing.
The songs were okay, the grooves were there but there are still details to be filled in.
Today is the morning of the Echoplex show, Nik and a couple of the others went out last night to a club and got back to the hotel around 3:00. We wanted to go through the set a couple of times. Load in at the Echoplex is at 4:00 and Jürgen's fuzz math not withstanding, (he thought we could go through everything three times), it's clear that we'd have time for just one run through. We were frustrated by sound levels in a studio made for recording, not rehearsing. One thing is too loud for one person and not loud enough for another etc.
We needed a full hour to break down the gear and load up, but the Echoplex is only 5 minutes from the studio. The sound check was fine, despite a few shaky parts.
UEMG opened followed by White Manna. By the end of their set a modest crowd had gathered.
By the end of our set there was a lot of backslapping and adulation. I never put too much stock in that. High from performing everything can all too easily seem rosé. I have to say that by most indicators it was a success, but I wasn't quite as exuberant as some of the others. There are things about the band that need work, particularly on the performance side. I hope I can straighten them out by SXSW. What I will say is that at 72 Nik Turner is still a great performer and he truly loves what he does. His face lights up after someone plays a nice solo and he easily feeds off others energy. I was also pleased that after rehearsals up in the bay area, Jeff and Jason did a great job.
Below: Pictures of the Echoplex gig by Randall Michelson. Click to enlarge
YouTube footage of the Echoplex show (poor audio at times though!) - click here