Space Rock Invasion Tour

Nektar, Brainticket, Huw Lloyd Langton (Hawkwind) and Helios (Chrome)
The Key Club on The Sunset Strip
West Hollywood, CA
By Victoria Joyce
Photography by Mila Reynaud

We got the invite from the good folks at Cleopatra Records to a Labor Day Weekend kickoff party at the Key Club for the Space Rock Invasion Tour. A gig like this was sure to be musician heavy. (You mean like a Joe Satriani show? Yes, that’s right, smartass!) 

To sweeten the deal, our old comrade, Eric Ill was spinning in the downstairs lounge with a special debut release of William Shatner’s “Seeking Major Tom,” a 2CD Digipack with more stars than the Milky Way.  Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. 

Walking in, we caught Huw Lloyd Langton, who is an amazing musician. His band, Hawkwind being one of the earliest Space Rock bands would make him their John Glenn. He’s also as skinny as an envelope of Tang. 

For the uninitiated, this Space Rock stuff is kind of a dreamy, Classic Rock -  slowed down just a touch and Jazzed up just a mite. In a word, beautiful. Like fine wine, good musicians just get better with age, but they do tend to dial it down, like from eleven to nine point five. 

Brainticket took the stage next with THE most amazing light show this side of Timothy Leary. Done by Jim Lascko, the computer-generated spectacular was as Psychedelic as the 18th ring of Saturn. Far out, man. 

Formed in the 60s, Kraut-Rockers, Brainticket is back and going strong. B’ticket’s exotic lead singer, Abby Travis, is a textbook diva, coming out dressed as Medusa and later changing to Dr. John the Nighttripper. We loved it. Lots of feathers, spangles and snakes. 

The Brain-sters only remaining original member, Joel Vandroogenbroeck  was masterful on the organ and flute and came up early to jam with Huw Lloyd Langton.  It was embarrassing to see so many grown men swoon. 

Prog-Rockers, Nektar headlined the evening and left a packed club panting for more. The sound is sophisticated and sweet with keyboards featured equally with guitars and percussion. And the mostly-musicians in attendance were in rapture.  Seriously, Scotty, beam me up now. 

Goodbye, Summer. Hello, Outer Space.