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MOTORHEAD/The Damned/Girlschool
Hammersmith HMV Apollo 28 November 2009

Photos by Noel Buckley


It's November, It's London, it must be time for Another Perfect Date at the Hammersmith Apollo.

With four bands on, it was an early start and short sets, which didn't do anyone enough justice. I missed most of the opening band but it's always a pleasure to see Girlschool live. I've never seen them play a bad show, their rock'n'roll full of energy.


The four girls make heavy metal sound and look fun, and from the opening number 'Demolition' you knew it would be good.

Some great guitar work from Jax Chambers, and guitarist Kim McAuliffe and bassist Enid Williams sharing vocals. 'C'Mon Let's Go' featured some thunderous drums from Denise Dufort, and 'Hit And Run' went down well too.


But it wasn't all early material; 'I Spy' from the new Legacy CD went down well and showed a much heavier side. 'Screaming Blue Murder', 'Coming Our Way', 'Race With The Devil' and 'Emergency' finished their set, before Motorhead's Lemmy joined the band for a rousing rendition of the Motorhead/Girlschool hit 'Please Don't Touch'.

The Damned

It's been a long time since I last saw The Damned live (1985), and tonight reminded me (and many others) just how good the still are.

The current line-up, still promoting last year's 'So Who's Paranoid' album, centres around vocalist Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible, and with a keyboard player swelling the ranks too, it was good sound.

The band opened with 'New Rose' (Britain's first ever Punk single), before going straight into 'Street Of Dreams'. The latter is taken from 'Phantasmagoria', one of my favourite albums, ever, so to see this played live and so well was a real treat.

'Neat Neat Neat' and 'History Of The World' were also part of the set that pleased many. Top marks to Captain Sensible too for his comments berating Simon Cowell and The X Factor.


Motorhead, one of Britain's greatest Metal institutions, still put on a good performance. That said, while many t-shirts proclaimed 'Everything louder than everything else', this show could largely have been billed as 'Everything the same as the last November tour, and the November tour before that'.

You can't complain about the music, no one in their right mind would at a show that opens with 'Iron Fist' and 'Stay Clean'. 'Shut You Down', 'Metropolis', 'Over The Top' and a track from the latest Motorizer set all followed.


Strange how, 25 years on, 'Another Perfect Day' gets recognition, and the single 'I Got Mine' always goes down well; shame the same could not be said for the following guitar solo. Pointless and self indulgent, and a waste of precious time in a 90 minute set when there are so many decent songs in the ‘Head catalogue that haven't been aired in years.

Another track from Motorizer reminded the crowd that there is vaguely current material available, and was followed by 'Cradle To The Grave', a decent enough song but a strange choice being a single b-side.


'In The Name Of Tragedy' (from Inferno) is a good track, but the drum solo sent me to the bar. 'Orgasmatron' and 'Killed By Death', two of Motorhead's heavier tracks, always stand out, well performed tonight, and 'Going To Brazil' was a surprise inclusion, an excellent and welcome break from the norm.

From here on the set was as excellent yet predictable as ever; 'Bomber' closed the show, with the encore of 'Whorehouse Blues', 'Ace Of Spades' and 'Overkill'.

The whole evening was full of excellent and enjoyable music, Motorhead really do epitomise British bluesy/ ballsy metal and rock'n'roll at its best, but have done precious little to blow me away, on stage or on record, in the last 15 years.

Review by Joe Geesin

Photos by Noel Buckley

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