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Hugh LLoyd-Langton

Talks about Hawkwind, Fragile, tribute bands and Live at the Half Moon

Earlier this week I had the privilege of talking to Huw Lloyd-Langton, a guitarist I have seen many times on stage with the original "space rock" band Hawkwind which he formed with Dave Brock. We did spend a fair amount of time reminiscing about some of the great shows of the past but I also asked him what he thought of tribute bands in general, Fragile in particular and of course "Live at the Half Moon".












Simon: It's a long time since I saw you with Hawkwind on tours like "Chronicles of the Black Sword", what have you and the band been up to recently?

Huw: Well recently we held a Hawkwind re-union where we played with all the current and ex-members, it was a great night which completely sold out. I also have a CD out with the Lloyd-Langton group and regular jam sessions in Kensington on Sunday nights.

Simon: I'm impressed I would have thought that the re-union would have ended as a pitched battle on the stage!

Huw: No, it was a seriously good night and everyone seemed genuinely pleased to be there and I think it showed with everyone really getting into it.

Simon: There are a variety of opinions on tribute bands out there with some loving them and others wondering about the effect that they are having on the new music scene, where do you stand?

Huw: I don't know really, I think it depends on the band but they certainly seem to be getting more work than a lot of the original bands. People want to hear the music though and sometimes the real band aren't around often enough or have given up altogether. There's no reason why fans should be denied hearing the music live. The key thing though is that the tribute band must be up to it, if they aren't it's just a waste.

Simon: Now that you have heard Fragile, what would you say about them?

Huw: Well obviously they have chosen a really tough act to follow, Yes play some of the most complex music in rock and the uniqueness of their sound must be really hard but they manage it somehow.

Simon: So, you'd say that Fragile are in the "worthwhile " category?

Huw: Definitely, they are all very competent musicians and proficient enough to recreate what Yes do on stage.

Simon: And what did you think of "Live at the Half Moon"?

Huw: I was amazed that it was a live recording, it's very clear and I was convinced that it must be full of overdubs but Gonzalo assures me it isn't .

Simon: Yes, we couldn't afford the studio time which was risky because it was only the band's third show with that line-up.

Huw: Only the third gig? They were so tight already then and Yes aren't an easy band to emulate.

Simon: What did you think the highlights were?

Huw: Well it was interesting for me because I'm not heavily into Yes so some of the tracks were new to me. Of course I recognised "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and liked what they had done with it. I really enjoyed listening to it though and a number of the tracks will stay with me for a while.

Simon: So how would you sum up the CD?

Huw: If I hadn't been told I wouldn't have known that it wasn't Yes. It's very tight for a live performance and the sound quality is very clear.

Simon: I guess the acid test though is would you recommend the CD?

Huw: Sure, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is into Yes.

Simon: You occasionally play sessions with Gonzalo, what's happening with that?

Huw: Yes I have a regular residency on Sunday evenings in Kensington, it's a really relaxed night mostly of blues-based stuff and we tend to just about make it up and jam as we go along. It's free to get in though and we come up with some really interesting stuff at times. We may even record some tapes and release them next year . . . possibly.

Simon: Well I'd certainly like a copy of that! Thanks for talking to me and hopefully we'll see you at a Fragile show sometime.

Huw: My pleasure. I may well come along to one of the London shows if I get time.




You can catch Huw in action during his regular Sunday evening jam sessions, often with Gonzalo on keyboards at The Fox, Rattle and Hum, North End Road, West Kensington, London. Entrance is free.

Visit Huw's Website

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