Review: MOTÖRHEAD's LEMMYs Got An Ace Up His Sleeve

October 20, 2003

Andrew Perry of reviewed MOTÖRHEAD's concert at London's Hammersmith Apollo Saturday night (October 18).

"My worst fears about Saturday's show — a triumphant return to the venue where 1978's totemic live album 'No Sleep Till Hammersmith' was recorded - were compounded by memories of my last MOTÖRHEAD gig," he wrote. "Then, they rather idiotically opened their set with their one song of indisputable genius, 'Ace of Spades', and then made a terrible job of proving that the rest of their repertoire was anywhere near as good.

"On Saturday they started with 'We Are Motörhead', which was admittedly almost indistinguishable from 'Ace of Spades', but still left the promise of the real thing yet to come. There followed a late Seventies nugget, 'No Class', and one felt almost transported back to that time. The venue may have had its seating removed, thus distancing it from its days as the Odeon ('Apollo?' rasped Lemmy, 'Sagittarius, more like!'),but in every other respect, the show was exactly as it might have been in 1978. The lighting was hilariously unspectacular, while Lemmy's 'showmanship' hinged on the time-honoured slur that the audience in Newcastle made more noise.

"And, yes, MOTÖRHEAD were fantastically loud, but it wasn't all one homogeneous soup of noise. The cover of the SEX PISTOLS' 'God Save The Queen', and 'R.A.M.O.N.E.S.' (a self-explanatory tribute),represented the best punk-rock I've heard in years. Later, there was a bluesy interlude, like Bob Dylan circa 'Highway 61 Revisited' done the heavy metal way.

"Contrasted with these, MOTÖRHEAD staples such as 'Stay Clean', 'Killed by Death' and the set-closing 'Iron Fist' felt all the more powerful." Read more. Photos taken at the gig can be viewed here (Getty Images).

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