Motörhead

Australian Mini Tour Diary 2007

By TMF Staff

07 November 2007

When you hear the name Motörhead, just about everyone who is a music fan in general knows of them regardless of whether their rock 'n' roll style appeals to them or not. After 30 plus years, they are still doing as they've always done and for the first time in a very very long time, the trio were set to grace Australian stages with a headlining set.

Motörhead/Rose Tattoo/Airbourne - Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia, October 3 2007

Words by Jamie Cook and images by Damian Rohrlach

It was just over sixteen years ago when I first saw Motörhead perform a show at The Playroom on Queensland’s own Gold Coast that would remain in local metal fans’ memories for many years to come. On that July night in 1991, after receiving ample warnings from Lemmy himself, some fool found great delight in continually hurling projectiles (full cans of beer) at Motörhead not thinking of the consequences which were about to ruin the evening for the rest of the packed venue. After about four or five songs, the lads from London, England hastily left the stage, never to return. As years went by, I was starting to think perhaps the mighty Motörhead may never come back to see their Aussie fans before they hang up their boots. However, in 2005 they returned supporting Hollywood glam rockers Mötley Crue and now less than two years on, Lemmy and Co were here once again on a headlining tour, but this time with Australian rock legends Rose Tattoo and the up and coming Melbourne rockers Airbourne in toe.

Arriving at the venue just before 8pm, I had missed the entire set from the trendy band of Bogans from Victoria, but for those unfamiliar with Airbourne, they sound like a B-Grade version of AC/DC and have stolen just about every possible Acca Dacca riff as well, aside from that, the word on the street from a number of punters I’d spoken with tonight was that Airbourne “sucked”, were “boring” and had “shit sound”. Unfortunately I didn’t get to make my own opinion on them, but more on the sound issues later in this bulletin.

Rose Tattoo live in Brisbane, Australia Rose Tattoo live in Brisbane, Australia

If there’s a band that has done the hard yards over the past three decades, and have established themselves as one of the premier hard rock bands that Australia has ever produced, it’s the Rosie Tatts, or better known to many as just Rose Tattoo. This was the fourth time I’d seen the Tatts this year, and it was by far their best performance I’d witnessed them play since the 1993 Boggo Road Jail concert (without the inmates of course). Miniature front man Angry Anderson, Geordie Leach and Mick Cocks are the only originals left in the five piece, but each member could teach a thing or two about how to rock to bands half their age. Tonight’s spectacle by Rose Tattoo included a crowd member heckle Angry for his between song preacher type banter on topics of love and rock ‘n’ roll, some good slide guitar by Dai Pritchard who replaced the late great Pete Wells and most of everyone’s favourite anthems that have made this band a household name throughout this country. Bad Boy For Love, Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw, Assault And Battery and One Of The Boys all got the Brisbane crowd screaming with appreciation, and as Nice Boys (Don’t Play Rock ‘n’ Roll) finished off the forty minute set, it became more evident to myself that if these fella’s from Sydney keep playing top shelf shows like tonight they definitely won’t be beaten.

Tonight marked the first concert of the current Australian tour for Motörhead, it was just a damn shame that it was such a poor turnout. With the Convention Centre already in reduced capacity mode, the venue was still missing something….people. Maybe the influx of international touring bands hitting our shores has finally taken its toll on people’s bank accounts. Tickets to attend concerts in Australia already range between $70 and $150, and with tours happening almost on a weekly basis these days, it’s finally come down to fans having to pick and choose who they want to go and see. At $130 a ticket for tonight’s show, sadly it appears Motörhead is one of those casualties people chose to miss.

Around 9.30pm we see the U.K three piece walk onto the stage and the Brisbane crowd are greeted with Lemmy’s trademark “Good evening, we are Motörhead, and we play rock ‘n’ roll”. Dr. Rock is the first tune off the blocks, with Stay Clean coming in at a close second. However there was just one problem, the mix. It was terrible! For the entire night, including when support bands were on, the wall of sound was nothing but a muddy mess, up until about the fourth last song Motörhead played when a reasonable improvement could be heard. With the sound issues aside, Motörhead still delivered the Brisbane fans what they came for. Only two months off turning sixty-two years young, to this day Lemmy still owns whatever stage he sets foot on, and I’m sure if he decided to sing lullaby’s for the full ninety minutes, it would still be one of the greatest things since the invention of the wheel. Phil Campbell looking as though he’d just finished work on the wharves was outstanding on the axe, while Mikkey Dee, whom Lemmy describes as “the best drummer in the world”, was simply dazzling during his drum solo through Sacrifice. In fact, it was probably the best drum solo I’d ever heard or seen from an arena rock show, and I’ve seen plenty of those in my time. A solid set list was dispensed from the aging veterans, In the Name Of Tragedy, Killed By Death, Metropolis, Iron Fist, Killers, Just 'Cos You Got The Power, No Class and Whorehouse Blues, which saw Mikkey Dee play acoustic guitar whilst using one foot to work a Bass Drum and the other foot to work the cymbals. If those jingles weren’t enough, Lemmy pauses at one point during the show to say “this is a tribute to Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott was a good friend of mine, but now he’s fuckin’ dead”, and the band launch into the Lizzy classic, Rosalie. For the encore, it wouldn’t be a Motörhead show without their biggest song to date, Ace Of Spades, and just as you thought that was it, Lemmy advises “Don’t forget us, we are Motörhead, and we play Rock ‘n’ Roll” before concluding the evening with a ripping version of Overkill.

Motorhead live in Brisbane, Australia Motorhead live in Brisbane, Australia Motorhead live in Brisbane, Australia

Most of the shirts at the merchandise stand may have sold out tonight, but the band whose name is written on them sure hasn’t in their thirty plus year career. Tonight there was no remorse as Motörhead whipped up an inferno in the way of a scorching set which hammered the Brisbane fans. Here’s hoping these bastards return to these fine shores sometime very soon.

Motörhead/Rose Tattoo/The Casanova’s – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, Australia, 13 October 2007

Words and images by Aedan Siebert

Motörhead. Honestly, what else needs to be said? I could leave it at that and most of the readers (especially those that went to the gig) out there would sagely nod their heads – knowing exactly what I was on about. But for those of you who don’t know… Motörhead is an entity that - even to this very day - stands at the head of the rock and roll pack. Over its epic thirty-something year existence the band has given more to the realms of rock and metal than many could ever hope to achieve. Not to mention the fact that they have adamantly refused to alter their image or drastically change their sound – the band has, and always will be Motörhead – purveyors of rock ‘n fuckin’ roll! Even the uninitiated however, upon strolling into the Thebarton theatre on the 13th of October and taking one look at the venue’s stage – an eerie orange glow emanating from the array of on-switches stuck in a monolithic wall of Marshall amps – would’ve surely had an inkling as to what sort of ride they were in for...

Rose Tattoo live in Adelaide, Australia Rose Tattoo live in Adelaide, Australia

As soon as The Casanova’s hit the stage it was markedly clear that their appearance was subject to some very mixed views from the small crowd of punters that had already arrived. Some could be seen cheering, tapping their feet and banging along to the band’s blend of fairly straight ahead Aussie rock and roll, while others merely stood, arms crossed – waiting impatiently for the band to finish their set. Whatever your opinion on the matter, the Melbourne three-piece certainly got out there and gave it their all.

After a remarkably brief intermission, it was time for the Tatts to pump the now much larger audience full of their own brand of classic rock tunes. The Tatts, while perhaps not sharing quite the same status as Motorhead are certainly rock legends in their own right. Both the band’s stage and life experience clearly came to the fore as they belted out a barrage of great tracks including: Nice Boys, Bad Boy For Love and Rock ‘N’ Roll Outlaw. It was great to see the almost capacity crowd – which was made up of as many young faces as it was older ones – rocking out and showing The Tatts the respect they deserved.

Motorhead live in Adelaide, Australia Motorhead live in Adelaide, Australia

Once again the punters were graced with an amazingly brief wait before the band everyone was waiting for, casually strolled onto the stage. The crowd erupted into a frenzy, as the rockin’ road crew shook the very foundations of the Thebarton, dishing out plenty of classics (Ace Of Spades, Sacrifice, Killed By Death and Just Cos’ You Got The Power) and some new additions (Killers, Whorehouse Blues – played to perfection with Mikkey and Phil on acoustic guitar and Lemmy laying down the harmonica) from their ever growing list of material. The boys themselves were in fine form, Phil and Mikkey Dee even busted out some fine solos (guitar and drums respectively) to wow the already very happy audience. Before launching into their final track for the night (Overkill) Lemmy left the fans with an important message: ‘Don’t forget us. We are Motörhead… and we play rock n’ fuckin’ roll!’ – Words that still echoed through the heads of many long after the band had left the stage, leaving a host of dumbstruck faces and ferocious feedback in their wake.

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