Motorhead @ Cliffs Pavillion, Southend

24 November 2009

Tonight the UK’s very own Heavy Metal legends head to the seaside for a gig of epic proportions. Wild, turbulent and stormy…this was just the weather upon arrival. The terrible weather did nothing to deter the huge crowds at the door bustling to get inside. Girlschool were just beginning their set upon my setting foot in the venue. A quick dash to the bar proved tricky with the entire length of the bar being packed 3 deep with beer thirsty motorhead fans.

The mix of people here was astounding, metalheads, bikers, geeks, teens, emo’s, grungers, the very old and the very young all mixing together sharing a good time. Plus there was enough leather in here to start a small sofa business.

After fighting my way stage-wards I managed to catch the final few tracks from the all girl hard rockers, Girlschool. They played their rock in a no nonsense fashion, loud, with simple repetitive lyrics. These girls have disregarded getting old and are still throwing their energies at being rockstars which is great to admire. If I’m to be honest, they were not at all bad. Simple as they were, what they played was catchy, plus the appeal of their hard rock style will never will go out of fashion! Going out of fashion is something which the next band are clearly used to (either that or they were never really in fashion in the first place).


The Damned are cited as a genre defining psychadelic punk rock group who alongside the Clash and Sex Pistols helped kickstart the whole Punk era. Personally I feel they should have stayed in that era! Their music wasn’t terrible, but it was only the punk riffs of guitarist Captain Sensisble (looking like a character from the beano) that stopped this set from being a total disaster. Lead vocals (from a guy who looks like your dodgy uncle who wont give up those shades and leather jacket) were badly spoken, monotonous and without change in tone. There was clealy a political message in there somewhere, one which is probably redundant these days, hence they fell on deaf ears. Nobody got even in the least bit excited, meanwhile the bar mob swelled to 5 deep (all 12 barstaff were kept busy at least).

The Damned
The Damned

It goes to show that attitude punk from old boys who are clearly way past their anti-establishment years have lost their message, diluted with age prehaps. Legends in the book they may be…but their time has past. The Damned did however have a spitting image of Susan Boyle on keyboards, seeing him attempting to bounce, jump and mosh were some of the funniest things I’ve seen!


Motorhead arrived to an enormous ovation which almost rased the roof of this venue which is more accustomed to xmas panto’s and all seated theatre productions. It was heaving in here as the metal legend Lemmy thrashed the first clubbing basslines which trademark Motorheads hard, fast and heavy sound. Within the first few tracks I could already feel my ears beginning to take the brunt of the extreme amplitudes. Lemmy was on fine form with his great (and apt considering its Movember) handlebar moustache circling one of the most distinctively rugged voices in the whole of the music industry, period. His soul breathes rock and roll and he is bursting at the seams with crazy loud, hard and fast attitude.


After a short while of skullcrushingly heavy riffs and wah-wah fuelled impressive guitar solo’s the formula was wearing a tad weak. Enter guitarist Phil Campbell who showcases his exemplary skill by performing a grand Steve Vai-esque instrumental solo in the spotlight which rang beautiful melodies and effect drenched hooks. After this short interlude its back on with the rock and roll. Notable tracks were One Night Stand, Bomber, Fast and Loose. The axe wielders of this rock trio then took a break and let the drummer Mikkey Dee take over. This was a solo of epic proportions, so loud that the drummer had donned a pair of heavy duty ear protecters before setting to the task of smashing the skins to within an inch of breaking point. Each and every thump was like a firework exploding . This was spectacular and massively impressive!


Back from a short break, they shook up thew formula with an old school blues number, with dual acoustic guitars and Lemmy playing the Harmonica…odd indeed! Lemmy then instucted in more traditional fashion… “Get up all you lazy Bastads sitting up there, Get Up!” as her waved at the all seater balcony in a menacing manner, they duely rose! Shaking off the mellow they thrashed out their only true classic track Ace Of Spades which had everyone headbanging along. Finishing on the epically noisy Overkill they faded into the night as did the crow. Each person reeling from the onslaught of tonights superb metal slaying at the hands of the legends that are Motorhead.

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