Born to kick your ass

It’s well over 15 years since I last saw Motorhead here at Wolverhampton Civic Hall and having the bar in a corridor is still a bad idea, especially when Motorhead are in town! Fortunately it’s only five months since I last saw Lemmy and the boys, who have embarked on their annual end of year outing, which usually comprises of a gazillion dates in numerous countries. Tonight is not sold out but there’s precious little room to be had, which all helps to build the atmosphere, something that is never lacking when Lemmy and co hit the stage.

As a band it’s hard to fault them, the performance is so well rehearsed and tight as you’d expect when 95% of the set is the same as the last two tours (even the stage banter is exactly the same). The new additions tonight being a cover of Twisted Sister’s ‘Shoot ’Em Down’ and the long overdue return of the devastatingly good ‘Bomber’. It might be much the same set but the power that they generate for a three piece is quite something and having been together in this incarnation for 17 years they have a rare understanding up on stage; the cues are barely noticeable, they work together so well it’s like a well oiled machine. What keeps it fresh though is that they still have that raw aggression and menace in the delivery and they still have the ability to send a tingle down your spine or cause a rumble in the pit of your gut.

There is the standard solo spot for guitarist Phil Campbell and the same for drummer Mikkey Dee in the middle of ‘In the Name of Tragedy’, both of which receive rapturous applause. The newer songs such as ‘One Night Stand’ and ‘Be My Baby’ still stand up well amongst the old favourites but it’s the aforementioned ‘Bomber’ that steals the show tonight. The encore has been the same three songs for the last three years now and whilst the novelty of ’Whorehouse Blues’ has worn off a little, the day I get tired of hearing ’Ace of Spades’ and ‘Overkill’ is the day I know it’s time to give up. Motorhead do it like no one else and as long as they are still playing I’ll keep coming but it’s surely time for a set overhaul?