Space rock torchbearers Hawkwind have drafted in Eric Clapton to appear on their new album.
Released on Friday 14th September via Cherry Red Records, ‘Road To Utopia’ sees the band join forces with acclaimed conductor and composer (and founder of Wimbledon Common dwellers The Wombles) Mike Batt and features orchestral reworkings of nine Hawkwind classics.
Batt first met Dave Brock at the US embassy in London while both were applying for VISAs, and Hawkwind recently announced autumn 2018 shows at London Palladium with Batt conducting and scoring. With the first Palladium show sold out, this paved the way for a full nationwide tour.
Hawkwind originally intended to record an acoustic album, however due to their blossoming relationship they invited Batt to create arrangements for some of their most celebrated songs.
Batt says: “Dave was delightfully free-spirited and generous to me, using a small ensemble of additional musicians and giving me a pretty free hand with the arrangements.”
Alongside the string quintet, sax quintet and brass section the album features Dave Brock (vocals, electric, acoustic guitars, harmonica, keyboards), Richard Chadwick (drums, percussion, vocals), Mr Dibs (vocals), Haz Wheaton (bass) and Magnus Martin (acoustic guitar).
Eric Clapton lends his trademark guitar playing to a reworking of ‘The Watcher’, which was Lemmy Kilmister’s first composition for Hawkwind back in 1972 on their third studio album ‘Doremi Fasol Latido’.
Dave says of ‘Road To Utopia’: "Reinventing these familiar songs has been an interesting experience...We hope you like them."
The track-listing is as follows:
1. Quark, Strangeness and Charm
2. The Watcher
3. We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago
4. Flying Doctor
5. Psychic Power
6. Hymn To The Sun
7. The Age of the Micro Man
8. Intro The Night
9. Down Through The Night
The last remaining tickets for Hawkwind’s ‘In Search of Utopia – Infinity and Beyond’ tour are on sale from Planet Rock Tickets now.
Leeds Town Hall – Thu 18th
Salford Lowry – Fri 19th
Gateshead Sage – Sat 20th
London Palladium – Sun 4th – SOLD OUT
London Palladium – Mon 5th
Bath Forum – Sat 24th
Birmingham Symphony Hall – Sun 25th