Summer Solstice Shenanigans – York Vault Wednesday June 21, 2023

This is a great free show at the York Vaults to celebrate the summer solstice in a way only Hawkind could possibly. First of all, perhaps this is the right time to reveal the most kept secret, the secret in the history of rock music. Under the guise of Sisters Of Percy, who look, and sound, a lot like West Yorkshire Super Hero Percy! It was a great show by the band. “What Les Said”, “Chunks”, and “Greedy People” are the incredible highs of a set full of them. They played a new song, I miss the title, but it was a future sign that was electric, wacky, and kinda catchy, sounding like ’70s funk with some snappy post-punk vocals.

Next up, was Soma Crew, whose set was sadly cut short due to an amp malfunction. High-end psychedelic drone-style songs that live in your head and hang on to your endorphins for fun. The Soma Crew weren’t just musical psychonauts, they also added a few other flavors, such as the occasional grunge sound. Every time I see or listen to Soma Crew, I feel a DNA route back to ’60s Pink Floyd, Spiritualized, and even Tangerine Dream, but this group are not copyists or revivalists, they are very often in our time.

Then it was time for the 2023 Summer Solstice celebration headliner, Spirit Of The Hawk. The sort of conglomerate of talent from Percy, Soma Crew, and mystics elsewhere who treat us to a refined sonic feast like Hawkwind was. Trippy vibes, psychedelic lights, and projection, heavy music, jazzy, proggy, and even a stand-in for legendary dancer Stacia’s naked but body-painted body, with a somewhat talented woman spinning to a lysergic beat in Stacia style, but clad in a glittery jumpsuit. This pushing rhythm section isn’t so much crew as a finely tuned Rolls Royce, perhaps like a ’60s version of a John Lennon classic. The lead guitar adds some heavy muscular prog notes. Meanwhile, his vocals evoke Dave Brock’s classic sound with gusto. Stephen Morris from the New Order once said “Punk rock started because in every small town, there was someone who liked Hawkwind.” Reminded of the two times I saw Hawkwind in the 70’s by this excellent Spirit Of The Hawk show, I believe Stephen Morris was right! So Space Rock gave birth to Punk Rock and many more followed, we need more nights like this, don’t limit it to just the solstice!

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