Gig Scene: Throwback Thursday: Motorhead, 2011

The last time I saw Regular John play, they were supporting Monster Magnet in my hometown of Melbourne. The caliber of gigs this band is playing speaks volumes about their talent. They formed in N.S.W. and moved to Sydney in 2005, after which time they released a critically acclaimed LP called The Peaceful Atom Is A Bomb. I was totally impressed by their music last time, and again they did not disappoint. Their punk influenced vibe certainly complimented the style of music to come, and they were an apt choice of band to warm up the pilgrims at Festival Hall.

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

I guess the word longevity cannot be applied to bands so frequently these days. How quickly we can forget the music heroes of yesteryear. Well, Motorhead certainly haven’t allowed themselves to become “yesterday’s heroes.” I wonder which punters could envision seeing this band perform 36 years after its inception? I ponder about whether anyone would think this band had 28 albums in them, (if you count live albums and ‘best of’s’)? Who would have thought this band’s inauspicious beginning, lineup changes, management issues and pure bad luck would have made Motorhead an entity that would be protected by band members and fans alike? Why not let the band just die a natural death? The answers lie in the strength and raw talent of the band members and in the devotion of the fans who describe the much-respected Lemmy as “God.” I fully expected the hall to be filled with rough, uncouth and uncultured souls just out to create havoc. Maybe back in the day, a Motorhead gig could have been a risky place to be; such energy do the band excite. These days, punters go to see their gods and to worship at the altar of a unit that doesn’t do anything by half measures.

A mixed bunch of worshippers were there to witness Lemmy’s famous line “We are Motorhead. We play rock and roll.” Lemmy refuses to acknowledge that his exotic blend of heavy metal and punk is anything other than rock. He told us to “Rock out with our cock out,” slightly tough for the female punters who dared to venture into the testosterone driven domain of this intense performance.

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

It must have been very difficult to choose just 18 songs to perform after the greater part of a lifetime in the music game. It was brilliant to hear some of the old standards, particularly “Ace of Spades,” simply because I have always liked it, and it was also great to hear some tracks off their new album The World Is Yours such as, “I Know How To Die.” The band’s style hasn’t varied much over the years, but as I always say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This new stuff gives us an idea that Motorhead will be around, and loved, for many more years, which is certainly a heartening thought given that everything (including fine music) has usually a very short use-by date. Motorhead has the magic.

This article was first published on

About Sharon Brookes 67 Articles
Sharon is a freelance music journalist with 20 years experience writing for street press, web publications and blogs. She specialises in reviewing gigs, books, CD’s, and theatre productions.