Another year, another Motorhead gig. They seem to play on a regular basis like Status Quo and Bowling For Soup, but this time they brought one of my favourite bands with them – New York thrash-masters Anthrax.
Oh, and openers Diaries of a Hero. We caught about five minutes of them due to Gillian’s requirement for sustenance, but what little we saw seemed OK. Nothing special, but worth a listen.
Always seeming to be the little cousin in relation to the remainder of the “Big 4” thrash bands (Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica), Anthrax have always topped my list especially when it comes to live performances. While the others are brutal (Slayer), technically impressive (Megadeth, back in the day) or overblown (Metallica), Anthrax have always just been plain good fun.
Judging from the size of the crowd crammed in for their 8:15-ish start, a fair number had made the effort to catch them and they weren’t to be disappointed. Well, except for the fact that they weren’t headlining so only had the chance to play a handful of songs. With around 45 minutes to fill in the support slot (it may have been longer, but the time simply flew), they managed to cover a fair amount of their history from the likes of “Madhouse” to “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” from current album Worship Music.
“Antisocial” had the crowd punching the air, “Indians” kicked the pit off into the traditional war dance, “Got The Time” rattled by at a rate of knots and the short set was tied up with classic Judge Dredd ballad “I Am The Law”.
Frankly, I’m getting too old for this shit so a short set was probably the best thing for my physically. I was near collapse by the time the last shouts of “I… Am… The… LAAAAAAAAWWWWW!!!” petered out, but I would have happily run myself into the ground for another eight songs. A brilliant set from a brilliant band whose only issue seems to be an unwillingness to commit to a full UK headlining tour.
Headliners tonight, though, were the long-running Motorhead. Lemmy and co wandered onto the stage calm as you like and unleashed an impressive set with seemingly no effort at all. I’m not a huge fan and, in all honesty, if Anthrax hadn’t been on the bill I’d not have bothered with tickets but there’s nothing wrong with ninety minutes of classic heavy rock’n’roll.
We ended up moving right to the back of the venue near the doors. Partly for easy access to the bar and partly because the sound in the Academy is shit. The songs were actually almost audible near the exits. A shame for such a popular music venue when the key reason for its being is one of its weakest points.
Now, Anthrax – about that headlining tour… GET IT SORTED!