Motorhead @ Colston Hall – 19/11/10

In 1975 Ian Fraser Kilmister, better known to you and I as Lemmy, was arrested at customs and excise in Canada for possession of speed.  He spent 5 days in prison and was fired from Hawkwind, which led him to form the self proclaimed, and Guinness certified, ‘Loudest band in the world’, Motorhead (named after the Canadian slang for a speed addict).

35 years later Lemmy and Motorhead are in the thick of their anniversary tour, covering practically every inch of the UK. Not only is it a celebration for the band, but also Pontypridd’s finest, Phil Campbell, who is commemorating his 25th year in the band.

Nina C. Alice - Skew Siskin - Photograph by Gigsniper

Opening up proceedings are Skew Siskin, a hard rock outfit from Germany who seem to have something of a cult following. The band made their mark in 1992 with ‘If The Walls Could Talk’. Nearly 20 years on the band still sound as fresh as ever and have a notably honed stage presence, lead singer Nina C. Alice is like a combination of Joan Jett and the late, great Ronnie James Dio, with her gravelly singing voice and constant devil horned salutes to the crowd. This is a band with tried and tested hard rock sensibilities, and have surely made some new fans on this tour.

Michael Monroe - Monroe - Photograph by Gigsniper

Next up is Monroe, the solo project of former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe. The band are somewhat of a glam/sleaze super group, featuring  Sami Yaffa (Hanoi Rocks/Johnny Thunders/New York Dolls), Steve Conte(New York Dolls), Ginger (The Quireboys/The Wildhearts/Brides of Destruction) and Karl Rockfist (Danzig/The Chelsea Smiles). From the offset it is clear that this band ooze pure rock n roll, 12 bar chops and sing along choruses are the order of the day. Michael Monroe is the epitome of the showman, like a ball of pure energy he commands the stage, and makes an effort to greet the crowd by leaping onto the barrier from the stage. The set is a combination of Monroe’s solo work with highlights from the extensive Hanoi Rocks back catalogue, a treat for any glam lover!

Lemmy - Motorhead - Photograph by Gigsniper

Now it’s time for Motorhead, as the house lights go down Lemmy cooly walks onstage, trademark cowboy hat atop his head to a rapturous reception, and welcomes the audience with his trademark greeting, “We are Motorhead, and we play Rock n Roll”. It is clear that they live up to their legendary status, and despite the 35 years that have passed I wouldn’t like to contest their ‘Loudest band in the world’ moniker;  Mikkey Dee’s bass drum being so thunderous that the audience can physically feel it! In the little over an hour that Motorhead have graced the stage they have managed to rip through a 20 song setlist (including an encore), a feat that even a band half their age would be hard pushed to achieve.

Phil Campbell - Motorhead - Photograph by Gigsniper

Highlights include ‘Killed by Death’ (featuring Nina C. Alice), ‘Metropolis’, ‘In the Name of Tragedy’ (featuring Mikkey Dee’s machine gun like drum solo), ‘Born to Raise Hell’ (featuring Michael Monroe) and of course ‘Ace of Spades’. To paraphrase Lemmy himself, They are Motorhead, and they are the definition of Rock n Roll.

Jarrad ‘Nöir’ Owens

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