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Hawkwind: The Solstice at Stonehenge 1984 (1984)

Hawkwind performing at Stonehenge during the English Summer Solstice of 1984.
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Credited cast:
Dave Brock ... Self
Hawkwind ... Themselves
Nik Turner Nik Turner ... Self
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Hawkwind plays the final Peoples' Free Festival at Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice and this tiny snippet of film is an amazing yet important document of a time when there was still the free spirit of independence and nonconformity. Blasting its audience into deep space with their high-octane space rock and surreal theatrics of it lead-singer, it really is time to buckle your seat belts and take a trip into times' long gone past. Written by Cinema_Fan

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This was the twelfth year a concert had been held at Stonehenge. The authorities used force to prevent the festival happening for the 1985 Summer Solstice. If that next festival had taken place it would have made the statute books under ancient charter to become a public (free) festival forever. See more »

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An Archive Document rescued from the vaults!!! See more »

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Hawkwind: The Right Stuff.
4 February 2011 | by Cinema_FanSee all my reviews

"Hawkwind: The Solstice at Stonehenge 1984" is only a short documented glimpse into what was then a festival of standing and creditability amongst the New Age hippies of the nineteen-seventies and the nineteen-eighties. A Free Festival for those, not only New Age hippies too, most certainly on the fringes of English society in this, then, new Capitalist, consumerist, privatised brave-new-world of Right Wing Thatcherite control.

One has to remember the times of 1980s Britain, as Margret Thatchers' Tory (Conservative) Government took hold and tightened its grip on the Unions, selling-off England's heritage, closing industries and giving mass unemployment to its youth, being young in early '80s Britain was not a happy time for Thatcher's children. To best punctuate these extremely bleak times Alan Bleasdale's 1982 television series "Boys from the Blackstuff" is worth the mention here.

The 1984 festival had the likes of Roy Harper, Hawkwind, Here & Now and The Enid to keep the cosmic blues away in the escapism of the free festival spirit. Hawkwind were the band of the people, the underground antiheroes of conformity, mediocrity and blandness.

Forming within the shadow of the first Glastonbury Festival, Hawkwind has had many, many, many line-up changes but remains ever the child of Dave Brock to wean and nurture in his own manner. A band that delivers a space rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, protopunk style of music, perfect for the festival circuit and the obvious choice, once more, for the twelve solstice at Stonehenge, performing as the sun sank then rose above the Stones as 60,000 red-eyed revellers' transcended into the nights sky and morning mist.

This wonderful and fantastic archive footage of Nik Turner, Dave Brock et al performing the now classic's "Uncle Sams On Mars", "Sonic Attack", "The Right Stuff", "Ghost Dance" etc is more than enough to highlight the importance of this band, its music and its relevance. With great riffs, bass lines, cosmic lyrics and surreal visuals form Nik Turner "Hawkwind: The Solstice at Stonehenge 1984" is a rare find with footage, too, of Nik Turner with this band that is nothing more than mesmerising, a strong flagship of an era of pure undiluted charismatic individuality.

With summer night dancers' and fire breathers' to perpetuate the ambiance of tranquillity on stage mixed with high octane rock and excessive highs, this Pagan ritual space dance is a true must for those who care for freedoms and individuality. Seen in two parts, the bands first appearance being 10pm until midnight, they then reappeared to perform once more at 5am until 7am. With this "second act" we see the sun rise over the Stones and the, yet again, surreal character that is Nik Turner and the hypnotic saxophone improvisation that with the dance ritual, once more, succeeds in setting in stone Hawkwind's festival reputation as nothing more than momentous.

Within the next year, the festival was no more, and 1985 saw State Police tactics blocking any vehicles into the area and in turn gave way to what was to be known as "The Battle of the Beanfield". An Olde English ancient charter, too, was snuffed out, as if there had been a free festival on the grounds during 1985 then there would have been a free festival on the grounds for eternity.

While not a professionally shot film, it does give its best to portray these heady times and the bookends of shots of the festival goers and the ripples of tents, toilet queues to the burnt-out heroin dealer's car is all part-and-parcel of this sixty minute time capsule. "Hawkwind: The Solstice at Stonehenge 1984" is a visual document, the last of the days of independence and self-reliance, and the start of tipping the void into the mass media conformity into the late eighties and beyond but also of a past that was somehow more open and carefree.


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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 2004 (UK) See more »

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1.33 : 1
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