Hawkwind, Wilko Johnson, Dub Pistols for Off The Tracks Spring Fest

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Hawkwind, Wilko Johnson and the Dub Pistols will headline Off The Tracks Spring Festival 2012

HAWKWIND are in many ways the quintessential English rock band, and one of the earliest space rock groups. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes. Born from the free festival movement, they were a noted precursor to punk rock and are considered a link between the hippie and punk cultures.

Formed in November 1969 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Brock, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations and styles of music. Dozens of musicians have worked with the group; fantasy and science fiction writer Michael Moorcock was an occasional collaborator.

Hawkwind spent much of 2011 in the studio, followed by a short run of UK dates which saw them joined by fiddler Jon Sevink (Levellers). A new album will be released in spring 2012.

When rock'n'roll was shaken from its pre-punk complacency by the emergence of Dr Feelgood, it was their guitarist WILKO JOHNSON who excited most attention, not only for the startling violence of his stage performance (which was to inspire countless imitators and become one of the classic images of rock'n'roll) but also for his guitar style which combined the roles of lead and rhythm guitar in driving riffs and a stuttering machine gun frenzy which altered conceptions of 'guitar heroics'.

As a songwriter too from early Feelgood favourites like 'Back in the Night' to the power and poetry of 'Dr Dupree' and 'Sneaking Suspicion' he has proved himself one of the best and most original exponents of rhythm'n'blues styles this side of the Atlantic.
The list of bands who acknowledged the influence of Wilko and the Feelgoods is extensive and includes The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Boomtown Rats, and across the Atlantic, The Ramones and Blondie.

After his abrupt departure from Dr Feelgood in 1977 Wilko worked with Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Since 1999, the classic Wilko Johnson Band has rarely been off the road, blasting audiences from Helsinki to Madrid, Aberdeen to Istanbul, and Toulouse to Tokyo.
From their early singles for Concrete Records to their genre-defying ‘Six Million Ways To Live’ album, the DUB PISTOLS have always added a much needed rock’n’roll swagger to the UK’s dance scene. Chewing up hip-hop, dub, techno, ska and punk, and spitting them out in a renegade futuristic skank they have consistently defied genres and exceeded the highest of expectations.

In recent years the band has mutated from a studio based duo into a fully-fledged live act often featuring the talents of guest vocalists Rodney P, Specials front man Terry Hall, rap wunderkind TK, Sugardaddy horn-blower Tim Hutton and scratch maestro DJ Stix.

WARSAW VILLAGE BAND are a symbol of young, intelligent Eastern European music which combines traditions with modern elements and is capable of eliciting enthusiastic responses from rock audiences and traditionalists alike. They’ve been referred to, among other things, as the ‘Polish Pogues’. Their music has established itself in Europe and the world.

The New York Times said: "Traditional Polish songs, with their cutting vocals and meshed fiddles are the foundation of Warsaw Village Band's repertory. But while their line-up is primarily acoustic - hand drums, hammered dulcimer, violins, and cello - their sensibilities are modern. They hear dance-club drive and trancey echoes in the songs and they use recording studio techniques to heighten the central drones and eerie percussive sounds in their songs. Hints of reggae and guests like a scratching disc jockey should further infuriate purists.”

CABBAGE – one of the UK’s most respected and long-running psytrance nights – will once again be taking over the Off The Tracks barn stage, bringing the psychedelic side of trance, techno and downbeat to the late night audience.

Off The Tracks Spring Festival is at Donington Park Farm, Isley Walton, near Castle Donington from May 25-27.

Published on 10 February 2012 by Wayne Feltham

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