After all these years it's a bit embarrassing to say I'd never gotten 'round to seeing Motörhead, but it's true. I could reel off a long list of excuses, including falling out of favour with rock, metal & punk whilst I hit the rave & festival scene for a few years, but I won't.
What matters is that after seeing Feeder last weekend, with The Chemists supporting, my mate said he was seeing Motörhead this following weekend. I couldn't help but feel a fair bit disappointed with myself for not knowing the Motörhead gig was on and I had the undeniable urge to see Motörhead live.
Sure, I'm skint but one day out a week is good for the soul, otherwise it's just 6 days of being poor infront of the TV with 5 dull days at work. And when you realise that Lemmy is 62 now, you wonder how many more chances you're going to get to see Motörhead in concert. The same goes for seeing his old band mate, Dave Brock, so Hawkwind are also, as ever, on that perpetual "must see" list.
Then there was the line-up: Danko Jones were on the foot of the bill and these are three Toronto lads that I've been busting to see since I blogged about them back in 2005. As for Saxon, wow; it's been 20 years since I last saw Saxon after buying tickets for them outside the all-seater Hammersmith Odeon, as it was back then.
So you've got to admit, that is an undeniably good line-up: Danko Jones, Saxon and Motörhead, Oh yes!
After a couple of beers and some random banter in a warm London pub, we hit the Hammersmith Apollo (nee Hammersmith Odeon) for the first time, for me at least, in many many years. It was refreshing to be back there again after many stints in the Brixton Academy in recent history.
We caught Danko Jones in the middle of their set and they make a lot of noise for a three-piece band. The main man himself has quite some attitude, so was it this or "who the f**k are Danko Jones?" that kept the crowd from moving? Luckily there were one or two fans there making an effort to enjoy themselves, but we soon threw our shouts behind the music and the place seemed to liven up at tad. It's a shame really, I expected DJ to get a much better reception. Check out stuff like I Want You to see how good these guys are.
Saxon came on as if a score of years hadn't passed us by. Alright, Biff Byford is grey now but he's still got his hair and his voice in good shape too. And if they were this good 20 years ago, why have I not loved this band as much as I did last night? They were tight, they rocked out, the crowd were behind them and they belted out a host of cracking tunes new and old.
The new Saxon tracks sounded in keeping with that NWOBHM Saxon noise, although did I detect a swirl of synth in one or two of them? Whatever, it can never be as dire as that LP Destiny from '88 or whenever; the time when it seemed like they were trying to cash-in on that appalling soft rock of the like of Heart and all those other ponce-rock bands that I hated so much that I'm lucky enough not to remember their names.
But yeah, Saxon are back. And they brought with them old classics like Denim and Leather, Princess of the Night, Wheels of Steel, 747 (Strangers in the Night). They've even announced a forthcoming tour and their new album Into the Labyrinth is out in January.
Motörhead are the business though. The lighting and stage show was basic but good. They had cams set up, projecting onto the backdrop, so it was fun to see into the crowd and the overhead drum shot. Right on the money ;)
I'm sure I heard Metropolis played in there and was amazed to hear one of my favourite Motörhead stompers Killed by Death, a f**king hilarious track in my warped imagination :) It was pretty raucous by this time, with the crowd getting rowdy. Some random tw@t was totally drunk and trying to shove me into the fray so I eyeballed the bastard and bided my time to punch him in the chops if he came near me again. Funny thing is I was getting pushed by some prick at Feeder last week so, third time lucky, I could end up decking someone next gig LOL [I don't think so, somehow; I don't expect any stoned-out hippy at a Hawkwind gig to give me any grief!]
I don't recall if I heard the classics Bomber, Overkill or Motörhead, maybe I was having too much of a good time rocking out, but they did finish with an acoustic set of Whorehouse Blues and then ripped up The Ace of Spades. Lemmy himself said he's sick of playing that track, but hey, what Motörhead gig would be complete without it - it is, afterall, their signature tune. They even had some scantily-clad chicks breathing fire on the stage, so it was definitely Motörhead bike rally style entertainment.
After being in that noisy smelly city it was nice to get back to suburban Farnborough, albeit on the crowded and very late last train home. Boy, was it bloody cold though. At least we didn't have snow down here.