|Motorhead/The Damned/Girlschool – Newport, Leisure Centre – 13th November 2009|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Friday, 20 November 2009 12:19|
The line up for this gig read like a veritable who's who of Motorhead history and was one of the most compelling reasons for buying a ticket for Lemmy and Co's annual Winter UK jaunt this time around.
With the 'Head themselves having no new product to promote it was over to the ladies and the punks to provide the newer material of the evening. However, saying that, if Phil Campbell's lad's newish band Straight Lines hadn't been added to the bill at a start time that saw most of us just leaving work we might just might have been able to expand that caveat a little further.
As it happens we made it into the venue just in time to see Kim and the girls launch into a hit-heavy thirty minutes of classic Girlschool. Looking every bit the pros they so obviously are, the classic 'Hit and Run', coupled with 'Emergency' was enough to see one Über Röck reviewer fulfil his nearly thirty year old ambition of watching at least one song by the band with his trousers and pants around his ankles. And before anyone asks, it wasn't me.
Hot on their tails, my real reason for attending tonight, that being to see The Damned performing within a stone's throw of my front door. Too good to be true, and as Captain Sensible politely reminds those in the audience who thought his band 'used to be punks, but are more rock now', Lemmy was in fact in The Damned for two shows where Abba numbers were covered (surreal). The Dammed really are as much a part of the Motorhead family tree as much as say Saxon are, they simply don't want the credit, preferring to be remembered for writing white hot punk rock tunes as 'New Rose', 'Neat Neat Neat' and 'The History Of The World' all delivered with ice cold precision and efficiency by the rather splendid current line up.
'Under The Wheels' from the band's brand new 'So, Who's Paranoid?' album saw the first mosh pit of the night unfold before 'Eloise' and a rampant 'Smash It Up' finished off a way too short set. If I learned one thing from The Damned's performance tonight though it was that Dave Vanian must has been taking trouser lessons from one Biff Byford of Saxon sometime recently, I mean he was packing some serious meat tonight.
As Motorhead took the stage to the usual battle cry of "We Are Motorhead and we play Rock N Roll" from Mr Kilmister, you can't help but pinch yourself and wonder exactly what year it was as the band kicked into the thunderous 'Iron Fist' and 'Stay Clean' opening salvo. Lemmy, legs akimbo, bass strapped on ready to slay, looked exactly like he has always has, the personification of cool frontmen. Phil Campbell meanwhile looked thinner and happier than I'd seen the Welsh Wanker in many a year, strutting around like a long lost member of Hanoi Rocks whilst Mikkey Dee well, he was in King Diamond's band, so enough said. With a set list that flitted between more recent ('Rock Out - With Your Cock Out') and classic ('Dirty Love') Motorhead, it was the cover of Twisted Sister's 'Shoot 'Em Down' that kicked things into another gear audience wise, with a constant stream of crowd surfing that caused the venue's security major (motor)headaches. Previous year set favourites like 'Going To Brazil' and 'Just Cos You Got The Power' were all present and correct before a storming version of 'Bomber' brought the main set to a frantic conclusion. Encores of course followed, with the usual suspects dusted off before 'Overkill' sent everyone home with a strobe induced closed eye burn patterns to end them all.
The chances of some uber cross band collaborations may not have happened tonight, but you can but keep your fingers crossed that by the time this monstrous touring package hits your town maybe 'Ballroom Blitz' or 'Please Don't Touch' might be rolled out for an encore or two...Who knows, stranger things have happened eh?