MOTÖRHEAD, BRIXTON ACADEMY, LONDON
Photo's by Mark Winslade
Al Pacino had the words 'The World Is Yours', the name of the latest Motörhead album, emblazoned across a globe in his mansion in the film 'Scarface' and old wartface himself, Lemmy, and his cohorts are back for the annual pre-Xmas jamboree.
For as long as I can remember now Motörhead have a formula of doing the festivals in the summer and then touring the UK around the end of November with a London date slung in perfectly on a Saturday night. Every year I attend and most of the time it's an event, rather than just a show.
Along with many other Motörheadbangers it's the time of year to fill your belly with as much beer as humanly possible, only to leave the pub before the band come on stage to an ear splitting volume and to carry on with the drinking, half of which ends up spilt down my jeans.
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This year I was fortunate enough to be invited along to the soundcheck. It was interesting to see how the band warm up for the show with Mickey Dee the first to appear, bashing out a ten minute drum solo, soon followed by the appearance of Phil Campbell with beer in hand dressed in a boating jacket and Panama hat, cranking out the riffs to UFO's 'Too Hot To Handle' and Sabbath's 'Children Of The Grave'.
Lemmy is there briefly with a little tug on the Doobie Brothers 'Long Train Runnin'', followed by a full on assault of Lizzy's 'Rosalie'.
Then it was time to adjourn back to the Canterbury Arms boozer for the ritual of heavy drinking and talking complete bollocks to anyone who cared to listen.
New York noise legends Anthrax were supporting but as I had seen them earlier in the year destroying the Islington Academy, beer back in the pub seemed the better option.
Loaded up I was ready for my yearly dose of Motörhead. With the volume set to 11 it was business as usual but that does indeed have it positives and negatives.
As much as I love Motörhead - they were the first ever band I got into as a wee puny teenager - I fail to understand why some tracks are forever in the set list. Good tracks as they are, 'Stay Clean' and 'Metropolis' have been in the set long before the dinosaurs roamed the earth whilst others from the 'Golden Years' EP and the signature tune 'Motörhead' have been fossilized in rock far longer than I care to remember.
Both the live version of 'Motörhead' and the 'Golden Years' E.P were both Top Ten singles once upon a time and even the classic 'Bomber' only occasionally gets taken out of the hanger.
Whilst 'Stay Clean' gives Lemmy the chance to warm his fingers up with it's in-built bass solo, surely 'Stone Dead Forever' would make a welcome change. Is it laziness or stubborness? I could go on but I'm sure many Motörheadbangers are with me on this?
However, there's no denying the fact that Motörhead are a very unique band doing what they do entirely by their own terms and for that they must be applauded. Lemmy is one of the last in line of rock God icons, standing there in his cowboy boots and Rickenbacker bass looking as iconic as ever grunting away at the legions of the faithful, constantly chugging away whilst some in the stalls are chundering.
Motörhead really are a crash course in cranium spitting brain surgery and that is one thing I wouldn't change for the world. Tracks such as 'Killed By Death', 'Ace Of Spades' and the piledriving 'Overkill' never fail to slay whilst tonight's opener 'I Know How To Die' prove that Motörhead still have the ace up their sleeve in writing great tunes.
I'll be back next year, but please just change the bloody record or else I'll be forced to stay in the pub just a little longer.
For the gig...
For the night out...
I Know How To Die
Over The Top
The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
You Better Run
The One To Sing The Blues
Going To Brazil
Killed By Death
Ace Of Spades
Are You Ready (Thin Lizzy cover)
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