Motörhead

support Gob Squad
author TL date 04/12/07 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

After having interviewed Phil Campell, I had to go from Vega to Copenhagen Main Station to pick up some friends who don't know the way to the venue. Coming back at around 8, I'm hit with the surprise of having a Motorhead gig show me something about being a woman. You see, for the first time I've ever witnessed, there's a queue in the MENS restroom?! If this is an effect of the vast majority of tonights crowd being men, or the fact that the crowd just likes to drink much, I dare not guess. Nevertheless, I drain the tanks and find my way to the stage. All this caused me to only catch the last 1½ songs of tonights support band Gob Squad, a danish band that, if general consesus in the crowd is to be believed, I shouldn't be that sorry to have missed.

Anyway time passes as we wait for the main event, and at 9, sure as clockwork, Lemmy and his infamous Motörhead take the stage. Now I'll just go ahead and get the blasphemy over with - I'm no Motörhead fan, so you can kiss any hopes of getting a setlist out of me goodbye. I simply don't know the songs. I'm here to see the beast of legend and from the looks of it, the ready-for-retirement rock'n'rollers seem like they're out to prove the statements that addorn the tshirts they sell; "Everything louder than everything else". As tradition prescribes Lemmy addresses the crowd with "We are Motörhead and we play rock'n'roll" and with no further bullshit the pedal is put to the metal. The first half of the show passes by like a derailed freight train, at relentless speed and relentless volume, and while Mikkey Dee bombards the crowd with high speed drumming not missing a beat, Phil squeezes screeching solo upon screeching solo out of his guitar, leaving no heavy metallers dreams unfulfilled. Needless to say the crowd is licking it all up, and the sold out Vega is flooded wall to wall, front to back, by banging heads and raised horns and fists. Now to the unsuspecting newbie, Motörhead's ensemble of full throttle songs might seem a bit unvaried in the long run, and thus it serves the guys well in the moments where Mikkey takes some short breaks from the kickdrums. What doesn't serve them so well is the fact that a band as old and established and known for a "don't give a fuck attitude" has apparently jumped the bandwagon and decided to include one of the ever so trendy "Fuck George Bush" comments. Now I don't think anyone here at the editorial is any fan of Mr. Bush's but somehow it just feels like a guy like Lemmy Kilmister should be way above pulling an entertainers trick that's almost become more common than the encore.

After an hour of playing, Lemmy announces that "We're going to play two more songs... Or we're going to play to more songs, then leave and then come back. You know how it goes." The two songs I've since learned to know as "Killed By Death" and "Iron Fist", and if memory serves it is during one of these that Mikkey Dee performs one of the most ridiculous drumsolos I've ever seen. For what seems like several minutes, the guy pounds his drums at speeds that make me wonder if he has extra arms attached somewhere. Then during the ending of both songs he follows each drumbeat by throwing one of his drumstick high up in the air, keeping a crewmember busy picking them up behind him - and did I mention there were two large steamcannons going off around him as well? After these spectacles the show "ends", and as promised the guys return. This time however, Mikkey and Phil are both accompanying Lemmy on acoustic guitars, while he himself sports a harmonica and they all give us a cooler-than-a-polarbear-with-shades rendition of "Whore House". Completely contrasting everything they've played, it still doesn't sound out of place. Afterwards it's back to what everyone's been waiting for. I don't really think I have to explain the amount of response "Ace Of Spades" receives. The entire floor is ecstatic, and again, Motörhead sticks to tradition by following it up with 'the song that never ends', better known as "Overkill", reviving the show three or four times before finally letting the blaze burn out.

As Lemmy repeats the words "We are Motörhead and we play rock'n'roll" the festivities are over and there can be no question that the band has nailed it to the wall that they are still everything they're rumoured to be. But while the crowd seems to feel they got what they came for there's a question that appears clearly in my mind. I wonder if a band could get away with fielding material, coming from more than 20 albums, still sounding so incredibly alike - It's basically like listening to almost the same song for the better part of 1½ hours - if they didn't have a Motörhead legend surrounding them. Regardless however, one must bow to the fact that these guys have kept kicking ass for 30 years, still doing it at maximum volume and still playing a longer set than most young bands.

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