[More photos in this Flickr set]
“We are Motorhead… and we play rock and fucking roll!”
Thus sayeth Lemmy, a true metal god as the band introduce their last song of the evening. And bloody hell, do they.
Surprisingly I’ve only seen Motorhead once before, in a tent at Download a few years ago, and the Academy is a great venue to see any band (despite the slightly muddy sound that seems to be a side effect of the acoustics). The huge crowd was already ramming the place when we arrived partway through the Anti-Nowhere League‘s set. They were great and certainly had a number of their own followers in place for their support slot. UK Subs had opened, but we missed them unfortunately.
At half nine, the lights went down and the cheers went up as Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey took to the stage kicking off their set with “Bomber”. Little pockets of the crowd just started bouncing around and the front went obviously mental.
I have to say, looking around, it was nice to be at a gig where my age fit fairly well into the median. I’m used to being the old bastard who stands out… However, after a solid week of ploughing through Sons of Anarchy episodes, Gillian’s view of bikers has been dismissed as sad leather-clad fantasy now she’s been faced with a hall full of the real thing.
As with quite a few of the gigs I go to, I’m no long-standing full-on fan of the headliners but I still recognised more than a handful of songs as the band played through more than a couple of classics. “Killed By Death“, “Orgasmatron” (still the best cover Sepultura ever did), “The One To Sing The Blues“, and new track “Back In Line” were well received as were the rest of the 90-minute set.
Even the drum and guitar solos went down well. Mikkey Dee gurns and mugs his way through the set in much the same way as Maiden’s crowd favourite Nicko – and joins the other two guys on acoustic guitar for one song (sorry – fans will know the track name). Phil Campbell was the most mobile of the three, ripping up a spotlit solo a little over halfway through the concert.
And then, right towards the end, and with no introduction… “Ace of Spades”. Like “Cowboys From Hell”, this is a song that – as soon as you recognise the opening notes – causes hairs to rise and skin to tingle when you hear it live.
A simple set – lights and a bit of smoke – coupled with some great songs and the crowd in their hands let Motorhead look like they could do this forever. I hope they do.