Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sunday Night Bogan Rampage

Rose Tattoo

Live at the Enmore Theatre, Oct 7th

I must admit that I'm not at all familiar with Motorhead's work. In fact, the only song of theirs that I would even recognise is the inescapable 'Ace of Spades' (which pops up in the unlikeliest places...). Still, they have a reputation as a great live act and Lemmy is over sixty, so it's possible that this may be my only chance to see them.

I was told to expect a diverse crowd and that's certainly what I found. There were a large number of the expected bikers, bogans and metallers, but they were surprisingly enough balanced out by all sorts of punks, goths, emos and even a few normal people, who stood out like beacons in the night with their non-black t-shirts and blonde hair.

Rose Tattoo

The openers were Airbourne (who I completely missed) and Rose Tattoo (who I didn't). I'm not sure if I'd ever heard of Rose Tattoo before I moved to Sydney so for those who need filling in they're basically the Aussie equivalent of Motorhead. They maybe have a little less of the punk and a little more of the Seventies rock than the headliners, but it's a pretty solid comparison, as both bands are populated by aging, leather clad rockers. Rose Tattoo's set was pleasing enough and a passed the time well.

Apparently Lemmy sets his mic pointing down like that so he doesn't have to see the audience.

We didn't have long to wait until Motorhead took the stage. Their set was a decent ninety minutes and while it started out a bit tepid the band slowly but steadily cranked the intensity (and the volume) right up until the end, when they blasted out a nice three song encore which included, of course, 'Ace of Spades'. The moshpit started out pretty much non-existant, got rowdy about four or five songs in when they pulled out 'Killers', and steadily got messier and messier, in the way that only moshpits full of tanked forty year old bogans can, until the last song when a brawl erupted over a drumstick thrown into the crowd. As for the volume, Motorhead are supposedly the loadest band on earth and while I was wondering what the fuss was about at the time, it turned out that they start at a reasonable level and only gradually increase the volume so that even though it didn't sound loud at the time my ears are still ringing now!

Hey look a decent photo!

The star of the show in terms of flashy musicianship was the drummer, Mikkey Dee. He had his five minute drum solo in the spotlight, which was actually pretty cool (and I usually hate long drum solos, thank you Neil Peart) but even besides that he was an absolute machine the whole way through. Of course the real star of the show was Lemmy, who is a living rock legend. He may not have Mike Patton's showmanship (during his actual performance he seemed kind of bored a lot of the time. Maybe too much booze and not enough speed today...) but his casual, affable nature (he actually had conversations with people in the front row) gives him a different sort of charisma, an understated kind that is unspoken but supported by the weight of his reputation as a honest to god rock and roll motherfucker. His stage banter didn't seem at all premeditated and he even seemed genuine when he thanked the audience. He truly is one of the greatest rock and roll frontmen ever.

My phone really likes the colour purple.

This gig won't go down as one of the best I've seen all year, but I am very glad that I did go, both just for a fun night out and also so that I can now say that I've seen Lemmy in the flesh.

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