Sunday, 19 July 2009

Criminal Record

It was appropriate for Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton to reveal his own side project to the world in the form of a live album.
Not only could he showcase his own tasty blues licks and chops but he could interject with the odd audience pleasing Hawkwind number, guaranteeing interest, and hopefully, potential sales.

In 1983, somewhere between Hawkwind studio albums and tours, Lloyd-Langton's trio were occupying space and filling in time; allowing Huw to break away from the confines of the Hawkwind Mother Ship and play the kind of licks he used to play alongside Ariel Bender (Luther Grosvenor) in the 70's hard rock band Widowmaker.

But you can't be associated with the vanguard band of space rock without something rubbing off, and Huw's writing and playing, although deeply rooted in blues' music, is tinged with sci-fi musings, spacy riffs and E-bowed resonance.

The sound of the album emulates an audience recording, and the only probable reason Flicknife Records chose to release the album in the manner of a bootleg was to retain some kind of authenticity.
Although I'm not sure as to just how authentic this recording actually is.

Despite being recorded in "Brentford, 1983" there is no venue credited.
And if you listen real hard, at the beginning of the first track, someone in the 'audience' shouts out: "Brentford, Outside the Law," stating both supposed venue and the title of the album.

Huw Lloyd-Langton's official web site describes this album as "a bootleg", despite giving a Flicknife catalogue number, and urges the reader: "do not purchase".
Why that should be, I'm not sure (more likely to do with 'business' and royalties rather than the record company bootlegging [or faking a bootleg of] their own artist), but it's certainly not for lack of musical quality or charm.
(He needn't worry about being left out of the royalties loop for this product as it is very, very deleted.)

There are some great Lloyd-Langton tracks here, and despite the lo-fi quality, the chemistry and ability of the band cannot be denied. They were an excellent live act, and I spent many an evening in various venues around London being highly entertained by Huw and his rhythm section cohorts.

I went along to the Marquee club one night to see the Lloyd-Langton Group play, but as soon as the band trod the boards this really loud, large, drunken punky guy along with a couple of punk girls forced their way to the front and began to scream at those on stage - not really in an offensive or aggressive way, but poor mild-mannered Huw was looking deeply uncomfortable - another nasty flashback?
I was having doubts as to whether he was going to play at all.

But then Huw's face changed; an epiphany occurred; a wide, cheeky smile presented itself, as the chunky punk was recognised as an ally, and was soon on stage singing along with the occasional Hawkwind chorus.
Making that the night I saw Charlie Harper sing with the Lloyd-Langton Group.

You hear a lot about the punk/reggae connection but you rarely hear mention of the punk/space rock alliance; I don't think I ever met a punk who didn't love Hawkwind...

So, despite this not being the best of recordings, and a little suspect in its conception, it still manages to capture the band from this period well; and for a three-piece blues' band the live album is without doubt the best way to showcase their music.

Lloyd Langton Group - Outside the Law (1984)

Outside the Law
Five to Four
Talk To You
Rocky Paths
Space Chase
Waiting For Tomorrow
Mark of Cain
Psychedelic Warlords

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
Liberate the Lloyd-Langton Group here


Anonymous said...

thnx! anything hawkind-related cannot be bad

NOISEBOX said...

great blog! please check out or maybe put this on your links:

thanks and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for this!

Anonymous said...

I went to this show and it was at the Brentford Red Lion Pub. A really small pub venue. Huw and band were mingling with the crowed before the show. All very nice. My friend recorded the show and it came out really badly. Maybe they used that recording for this release - i don't know. I've no idea what happened to that tape either. Probably just as well.
Rock On Stu.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to re-up some of the Lloyd-Langton's stuff, cause it seems to me these links are now dead. Thanks!

roy rocket said...

Coming up - stay tuned. roy