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What a Long Strange Trip!
On tour w/ Harvey Bainbridge.

Day1-On July 26 we determined that all systems were ready for take off and hit the road leaving a clammy Cleveland Ohio behind in a van and the LightShow truck. Our goal was to make it to Madison WI in a day but we got sidetracked by the insane Chicago traffic so we just made it over the WI border when we decided to take a break for the nite. We stayed in a hotel that right behind the "Hormel Chilli" plant that had a restaurant and a small pub that was attached. First on the agenda, HIT THE POOL! The water was unfortunately chilly so the road crew only got a quick dip and we had a hell of a time trying to get Harvey to jump in the "warm water", hehe. We told him the water was nice and he said " Is that way you are all standing around it shivering and turning blue?" English sensibility in action I presume.

After nesting down in our rooms Harvey and myself headed to the pub for a few, well, more than a few pints of Beer and a chat. Were were latter joined by Jerry L. who is our "Roadie" and strong back on this tour. Back in our room Harvey and I had a nice talk about music, politics, and England. I was sort of expecting a "TV Suicide" but was happy to not see the box get launched thru the window of the hotel.

Day2- After a nice breakfast we headed out again into the land of Cheese and Fireworks (Exploding Cheese!). I found WI to be a nice state with rolling hills and a plethora of Dairy Farms. THE MAN there seems to have an interesting presence...totally unmarked cars watching for speeders but we had no trouble whatsoever.

After driving thru the entire state we started heading toward our first gig in Minneapolis where were were greeted with a nice rush hour traffic. After driving about in this mess we found the venue (7th Street Entry) and unloaded and started setting up for the show before we were off to dinner.

We had a nice meal that was bought for us by the promoter in the area named Dan Witt who is a regular attendee of our Strange Daze Festivals. He also brought along a few friends which was nice.

The venue was a small but nice one. In the same complex was a larger club that was hosting "Salsa Nite" (and I forgot the chips!) so all was pretty busy. Harvey remembered this venue for he played there w/ Hawkwind about 10 years earlier. By the time we got back we had missed one of three opening acts, the first being a solo act which the name escapes me now. Up next was "The Morning Stars" which featured a lovely blond Scandinavian girl on guitar. Lots of energy and a unique sound. Following them was "Skye Klad" who put on a great performance. We have heard a bit about them so it was nice to see them play. Don`t miss them at SD2K!

Harvey then came on to deliver a fantastic set to an anxious crowd. The way the stage was angled we were able to project some nice lights to fill up this black painted club. I`m not going to ruin anything by rattling off his set lists here...Come to the shows and see for yourself what this legend has to offer!!!

After a late pack up we headed for Eric`s house who is in Skye Klad and was nice enough to offer us a place to rest for a few hours before heading off again into "CheeseLand" on our way to J.J. Kelly`s in Chicago.

Needless to say, the traffic in Chicago really sucks shit! We spent at least three hours in it. From the truck behind I could see Harvey and Jim L. getting gassed by all the auto fumes as huge trucks would trap anyone in front or behind of them.

By the time we arrived we were all a bit punchy, drained and pissed so we got three rooms and crashed for a spell. Later that evening we hooked up with our Ozric promoting friends Jim and Carol Collins and had a "interesting" dinner at The Olive Garden followed by some desert and conversation back in our rooms.

The following day was gig day and we were able to get everything set up at a nice leisurely pace which was a godsend after the day of traffic just before hitting this Windy City.

QuarkSpace opened up the evening with a blistering performance. Harvey followed with an even better show than the previous gig in MN and it closed with a high energy band called "Solar Confusion" who I hear formed after the last Strange Daze event. They were a little rough around the edges but the next best thing to old Hawkind I had ever heard as far as intensity and visual effects go. They too are now on board for SD2K!

We all spent another nite at J.J. Kelly`s and headed off to take a quick pit stop home in Cleveland before the next gig at Little Brothers in Columbus Ohio which is only a few hours from us...phew!

We arrived at Paul`s ( from QuarkSpace) home in the Columbus Burbs around 6.30 pm on Monday and were treated to a nice dinner at a nearby bar.What follows is a short review by our friend Keith Henderson:

Last night was a fun night. The fourth ex-Hawkwind member I've seen gracing the Halls of Columbus since I've lived here, following Nik & Del in 1994, and Lemmy on a number of occasions.

As you all know, the show was retained at Little Brothers, a moderately-sized club that brings in quite a few 'alternative' artists of some note. It's not too far from the OSU campus, so when in session, I'm sure it brings in a fair numbers of upper-class (in a manner of speaking) students. Not tonight though...summertime on a Monday night is not exactly a happening' night on High Street! But a decent number came out last night to see the show. Doesn't sound like much, but we were thinking that it would be barren. And a big turnout would have meant that a lot of folks came thinking it was 'more' Hawkwind than it was, which would have been bad. Q-space's Paul kept hounding the papers to get it right, and the ads were not misleading, though still a bit vague.

Anyway, Quarkspace took the stage at around 10:15, and played about 1:50 or so. Their sound guy never showed, so the band mixed themselves. (Chet took a few wind sprints between the stage and the board.) Paul's drums ended up being too loud (which has never happened before), but it wasn't bothersome except for the one or two quieter acoustic numbers (like Outerspace Highway). On these, the percussion drowned out Chet's vocals (and nearly everything else). They did a rather technotronic set of stuff, prolly 'cause of Harvey being there. I can never remember the titles, but I think 'Recaesarian,' 'Starbridge Freaks,' and 'We are QPR' were the ones they did.

Guitarist Dave Wexler really was smokin' all through the second half of their set, beginning with some terrific space-slide guitar on the dreamy, Floydian track "The Circle."

Harvey came on at about 12:30 and played about 1:05, totally solo. He had only a keyboard and two other units, one of which looked like a DAT playback unit, and another thing full of knobs. So, really, it was less than a fully 'live' performance, but then that's kinda what I expected. He started out with Heading: Cygnus X-1 from Interstellar Chaos, and then went into the two HW tracks Dream Worker/Blue Dreamer and Freefall. The former is as you would expect, the latter a little strange. E-bass for real bass of course, and his disjointed echoed vocals not matching the original, certainly. Then he went through a warm ambient phase (nice!) and a long pulsating synth jam to close out. I rather expected/hoped for TV Suicide (yes, I like it!), and Toad on the Road, but maybe he could be talked into those at SD (if he brought them with him.) :)

Jim L. and Brian F. did a fabulous job with the visuals!!! Not so many bodies on stage (well, just one) and little equipment gave them a big panoramic tapestry to project onto, and all sorts of great space stills and rotating lights were seen. This made it a great A-V show.

So...those of you in Philly and NYC, I'd definitely suggest checking out the show, regardless of whether you're coming to SD'2K or not. Partly because of the cool space show, and partly because the openers there (Sloterdijk and Escapade) won't be at SD'2K.

We left Columbus right after the show and came back to Cleveland to get ready for the shows in Philly and NYC. I hope to put annother update in after these gigs and before the Festival.