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Baker's Dozen

An Expanse Of Sound: Jane Weaver's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , May 17th, 2017 09:37

With the release of her stunning new album, Modern Kosmology, Jane Weaver talks to John Freeman about the 13 records that shaped her musical universe. Portrait by Rebecca Lupton.


Hawkwind - Church Of Hawkwind
I grew up in Widnes, which is a chemical town between two cities [Liverpool and Manchester]. There wasn't much going on there, and when I was about 17 I was attracted to groups of hippies and punks. This album represents that time for me. At that point, I knew who Hawkwind were, but only their more popular stuff. I met these people and they had all of Hawkwind's albums strewn about the floor of their flat. We'd listen to music and when I first heard this album, I was completely blown away. It has a track on it called 'Some People Never Die', which samples news commentaries of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. It was a combination of electronic music and samples of news broadcasts and I found it incredible.

This almost feels more like a Dave Brock solo album. It's produced by Dr Technical, which is him. This was the first album on which Hawkwind were experimenting with more electronic music and that maybe because it's more about Dave Brock messing about on keyboards in the studio. At the time, I liked electronic music such as Gary Numan, but I was also really into heavy music. I liked heavy metal and thrash metal and also psychedelic rock, so this album was perfect. Also, around that time, I started going to a lot of free festivals and Hawkwind were part of that scene. When I look back, those were probably the freest time of my life. I was free-spirited and didn't have a care in the world and was just discovering all these crazy things. This album represents those times.

I sampled 'Star Cannibal' on the last album on the song 'Electric Mountain', so I had to get in touch with Dave Brock and speak to him on the phone. I was so nervous. A couple of weeks before I had spoken to Chris Martin from Coldplay about something and I was fine – I was like 'Hey Chris' - and really relaxed, even though I didn't know him. But, when I had to speak to Dave Brock about the sample I was petrified. He was very, very nice and I have met him since. I did HawkEaster last year and he was great. I have so much respect and admiration for him as he just keeps on trucking. He is an unstoppable force.