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MOTORHEAD/ SAXON/ GIRLSCHOOL
Hammersmith Apollo, London 16 June 2005
To celebrate Motorhead’s 30th Anniversary, the bomber stage show was resurrected and this special show put on at Motorhead’s second home, with two very special guests.
Fresh off their own headline tour, Girlschool made a perfect opening band in this large packed venue. The girls were on form, and both looked and sounded great. Denise Dufort’s double bass drum kicked off the crowd and we had just over 35 minutes of their early hits. Sadly the short set didn’t allow anything more recent (the new album Believe is brilliant – trust me), but the set allowed plenty of nostalgia and was a great crowd pleaser. “Screaming Blue Murder” was blistering, the best I’ve ever heard, and “Race With The Devil” was another highlight. New guitarist Jackie Chambers is brilliant, while Kim McCauliffe and bassist Enid Williams rocked and sang their hearts out.
Like Girlschool, Saxon also had a short set and played to the nostalgia factor, playing many tracks they played when supporting Motorhead on that 1979 Bomber tour (shame as the 90’s material is equally classic). Motorhead’s Mickey Dee guested on one track, bassist Nibs Carter played a stormer, and singer Biff Byford is one ultimate, charismatic and occasionally comedic metal frontmen, no question. A rousing standing ovation is what they deserved and got.
Motorhead’s anniversary was a brilliant headline here tonight. 23 tracks (I’ve missed one in the set-list) was close to the recent tour setlist with some bonus additions and the crowd loved nearly every minute.
Dr Rock was heavy and fast, and instantly set the tone. As Lemmy frequently pointed out, Motorhead play Rock’n’roll and tonight we got over 90 minutes of the best and most extreme rock’n’roll. Kicking off with several crowd pleasing oldies, including Stay Clean and Shoot You In The Back, several tracks from the more recent Inferno were also aired, including Killers.
Over The Top and the excellent No Class. R.A.M.O.N.E.S was dedicated to the now diminishing band , and We Are The Road Crew made a rare and welcome appearance.
Two tracks from Another Perfect Day (I Got Mine and Dancing On Your Grave), more popular now than on its release in 1983, but sadly no Shine, one of Motorhead’s best tracks.
Killed By Death and Iron Fist closed the set perfectly.
The encore kicked off with the excellent acoustic Whorehouse Blues, with a harmonica solo from Lemmy. The legendary bomber lighting rig, the event many were here for, was then lowered during a siren. The evening finished with Bomber, Ace Of Spades and Overkill; the band were manic, the crowd went wild, and the bomber (with fit inducing strobe lighting) danced above drummer Mickey Dee as if it truly was in flight.
Guitarist Wizzo was also on form, and Lemmy lapped up every moment of indulgence.
Motorhead proved that they are both legendary and still relevant. As for popularity of any of these bands tonight – never a question.
Given that each band has continued to produce great music throughout the 90s and 00s, and all were seriously on form and worthy of seeing here in their own right, this could be the Metal Event of the year.
Drum intro – C’mon Let’s Go
Hit & Run
Screaming Blue Murder
Race With The Devil
Heavy Metal Thunder
Backs To The Wall
747 (Strangers In The Night) (featuring Mickey Dee)
Strong Arm Of The Law
Princess Of The Night
Wheels Of Steel
Shoot You In The Back
Love Me Like A Reptile
Over The Top
I Got Mine
In The Name Of Tragedy
Dancing On Your Grave
Sacrifice (+ drum solo)
Just ‘Cos You Got The Power
We Are The Roadcrew
Going To Brazil
Killed By Death
Encore: Whorehouse Blues
Ace Of Spades
Review: Joe Geesin
>>Related Album review (Bomber)
>>Related DVD review (Ace of Spades)