Motörhead / Legendary trio in imperious form at Montreux Jazz Festival

It’s coming up to eight years since Lemmy passed, but the legacy of the great Motörhead remains as strong today as it always has. The flood of reissues, special packages and live recordings has provided Motörheadbangers with plenty of material that can flesh out their collections. Whilst some of the recordings haven’t been of the best quality, the latest release recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival on 7 July 2007 is one of the best I’ve heard.

Motörhead – Live at Montreux Jazz Festival ‘07

Release Date: 16 June 2023

Words: Paul Hutchings

A career-spanning 19-song setlist captures the lineup of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee in sparkling form. Opener Snaggletooth is a rarity, only played 32 times live, and it’s a joy to hear this and some of the other songs that featured on the Kiss Of Death tour again. Eleven albums are covered, with the most recent releases Inferno and Kiss Of Death adding three songs each. There’s much to enjoy.

The bluesy swagger of Love At First Sight, one of the most underrated songs the band have ever written, is just one example of how cohesive this trio were live. Lemmy’s bass powers the song along, his unique rhythm style combining with Mikkey’s phenomenal drumming whilst Phil peels solo after solo.

I Got Mine is introduced as being from “our most unpopular album ever”, with one fan getting it completely wrong and shouting out “Bomber”, which earns a swift rebuke from Lemmy. It’s another song that is magical live, and for me, Another Perfect Day remains one of my favourite Motörhead albums.

If you want heavy, look no further than In The Name Of Tragedy, one of the three songs from Inferno. A steamroller of a song, Mikkey’s drumming is incredible, although it’s the whole unit that makes it a blistering addition.

What isn’t always picked up on Motörhead’s live releases is the interplay between Lemmy and Phil and the crowd. Here there is plenty of banter, as well as more serious stuff, such as the dedication to “all those poor bastards dying in Iraq to make businessmen richer.”

Lemmy’s view of the world was often overlooked, but the man’s quiet, observational style is evident in the lyrics of this song. Another one which has rarely been performed live, it sits neatly in the set.

Interestingly, we also get a cover of Rosalie, the Bob Seger classic made more popular by Thin Lizzy. It featured regularly from 2006-08 before returning to the set in that final year of the band’s life. Lemmy dedicates it to Phil Lynott, though I’m 100% sure he knew the heritage of the song.

If you ever saw Motörhead live, you’ll know that the final five or six tracks were always golden. Live At Montreux Jazz is no different, with a high tempo Going To Brazil kicking off the run-in in fine style. It’s followed by powerhouse versions of Killed By Death, Iron Fist, and Whorehouse Blues. That leads to the inevitable Ace of Spades and a thunderous eight-minute Overkill to bring this superb recording to a close.

No Sleep ’til Hammersmith is the definitive Motörhead live album. There are many more that stand just below that. Live at Montreux ’07 is a worthy addition to the discography and really is all the evidence you need to confirm that, on their day, Motörhead were untouchable.

Motörhead Live at Montreux ’07 is available from iMotorhead.com.

Sleeve Notes

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