Welcome to the Inferno

The legends that are Motorhead return to Manchester Apollo once again and after nearly selling it out on the last tour they go one better and fill the venue to capacity this time around. Motorhead move in cycles and now in their 31st year it's no mean achievement to be still selling out major venues. Back in favour with the press and finally receiving the widespread recognition that they deserve, tonight they once again show just why they are still at the forefront of hard as nails rock and roll.

From the opening bars of 'Doctor Rock' and on into 'Stay Clean' the live show is tight, honed and seemingly effortless. The live sound is spot on with Mikkey's powerful trademark drums playing as much a part as Phil Campbell's solid guitar and Lemmy's now legendary rhythm guitar bass. It's good to hear a trio of tracks from the recent 'Kiss of Death' album (which amazingly charted 50 places higher than the superior 'Inferno' at number 45). 'Be My Baby', 'One Night Stand' and 'Sword of Glory' all slip into the set list with ease, such is the quality and consistency of recent Motorhead material.

New tracks aside the rest of the set has become fairly standard over the last couple of years, the only notable exception being a surprise cover of Thin Lizzy's 'Rosalie'. Often played at sound checks it's a welcome addition to the set and Motorhead put their own stamp on it in style. Either side of it comes a succession of classics, including material from '2004's 'Inferno' of which 'In The Name of Tragedy' is quite outstanding. It really is hard to find anything to criticise Motorhead for but if you really wanted to nit pick it could be argued that they often overlook some of the better tracks from the middle of their career. Whilst it's great to hear 'I Got Mine' and 'Dancing On Your Grave' from the 'Another Perfect Day Album', both were played on the last tour and with such a knowledgeable crowd it would be nice if they mixed it up a bit with something other than 'Going To Brazil' from the excellent '1916'.

The back end of the set is just nailed on classic after classic, 'Killed By Death' and 'Iron Fist' precede the encore of new crowd favourite 'Whorehouse Blues', which sees Mikkey and Phil playing acoustic guitar whilst Lemmy takes a rest from the bass to take up the harmonica. After that you know exactly what's coming and quite frankly it would be an outrage if it didn't! 'Ace of Spades' tears the house down as always before what is probably my personal favourite (and the best set closer of any band I've seen) 'Overkill'. Quite simply Motorhead don't do bad shows and those seeing the band for the first time were shown exactly why the rest of us have been coming to see this band for more than half our lives!