Live Music + Gig Reviews

Motörhead @ Academy, Liverpool

10 November 2004

When this year’s American tour was cancelled because of a foot injury sustained by frontman Lemmy Kilmister there was worrying anticipation as to whether 2004’s extensive UK tour would go ahead.

As it goes, Mr Kilmister is now perfectly fine (there’s littledoubt Jack Daniels was as effective a medicine as any prescriptiondrugs), and tonight Motörhead gave everything they’d got: theresults were truly awesome.

Support act Sepultura delivered a typically loud,aggressive and sweat drenched set. With them on the bill and that the Academy is part of Liverpool University it was no shock that the majority of the audience was barely out of adolescence.

Motörhead have added new album Inferno to their already lengthy CV, which has led to a welcome and overdue shuffle set lists after a few years of similar material. However, much of the show was still filled with old gems while only a few new but potentially classic numbers were churned out.

The first surprise of the night was set opener DoctorRock, from the annoyingly underrated Orgasmatron album. ShootYou In The Back is just as fast and heavy as it was in its youngerAce Of Spades days. Love Me Like A Reptile and Over The Top havebeen given a good dusting and they sound absolutely terrific, it’shard to think that many of the songs played this evening are 20 ormore years old.

The heavy blues of No Class and the fury of Stay Clean gave theaudience the chance to headbang their way to the pharmacyfor aspirins. Going To Brazil and R.A.M.O.N.E.S., Lemmy’sappropriately snappy tribute song to the NYC punk band, were suitablyfast and powerful; while just as effective were the excellent Killersand In The Name Of Tragedy, both from Inferno.

Other surprises included the obscure b-side Just ‘Cos You Got ThePower and Dancing On My Grave from the Another Perfect Dayalbum.

Mikkey Dee’s overlong drum solo during Sacrifice is stillfrustratingly present – although it is a good time to go to the toiletto drain overpriced lager from the system – while Motörhead’sguitarist of 20 years, Phil Campbell adds a heavier shade ofblues to Killed By Death. But a disappointing omission from the show was Bomber, a song that’s just as fast and catchy as their trademark anthem Ace of Spades.

Main set over Motörhead delivered the night’s biggest surprise at the start of their encore. Lemmy, armed with a cigarette and a harmonica, was joined by Mikkey and Phil on acoustic guitars to play Whorehouse Blues from their current release.

It’s just not what you expect from the loudest band in the world,but credit to them for at least attempting something new ifa little out of place. Iron Maiden tried the same thingon 2003/4’s Dance Of Death world tour. Somethingthe air, perhaps, or simply old age?

Motörhead showed no signs of stopping as they speeded their waythrough an hour and 40 minute set; there are very few bands thatpossess the vigour this trio have. By (predictably) finishing with themagnificent Overkill they ensured an exhilarating end to a fantastic night.

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More on Motörhead
Motörhead – Ace Of Spades (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Motörhead – Aftershock
Motörhead @ Royal Festival Hall, London
Motörhead – Kiss Of Death
Motörhead – BBC Live And In Session