19th May 2001 would have been the late Joey Ramone's 50th birthday had he not died one month ago. Tonight, though, it seems that across the world rock'n'roll parties are being held in his honour celebrating his influential life. So what better way for me to remember Joey than a night at Rock City in the company of one of Joey's all time favourite bands, fronted by his close friend Lemmy, Britain's very own answer to the Ramones: the legendary Motorhead!
Rock City looks as if it is sold out tonight. Not a bad achievement after over 25 years of relentless, raw, very dirty Rock'n'Roll with a steadfast, uncompromising approach to ever-changing fashions that has seen Motorhead continually deliver a good hard kick in the teeth to the latest fad... You could count on one hand all the bands who have managed to maintain their integrity, their dignity and their fan base, whilst still remaining relevant for as long as Motorhead have.
Motorhead open tonight by stating the blatantly obvious with 'We Are Motorhead' from last year's album of the same title. 'Bomber' and 'No Class' follow with Lemmy explaining, "this is for those who never got past the 'Ace Of Spades' album!"... And Motorhead march on proving that you can be the loudest band in the world, producing one of the greatest noises in the history of Rock'n'Roll, and still create a perfectly audible live sound! Then about half way through the set we get what I've been waiting for... in Lemmy's own words "...he was one of the greatest men in Rock'n'Roll. He was our friend, he should be yours. 1-2-3-4!" and Motorhead pay their respect to Joey Ramone by bursting into their 1991 tribute to the Ramones, the ingeniously titled R-A-M-O-N-E-S. Then Lemmy asks how many people in the audience consider themselves punks... As Lemmy has always described Motorhead, along with the Ramones, as being the only long haired punks, there are surprisingly few takers, leading Lemmy to quip: "not much Anarchy in the UK here, then!". Regardless of this poor response, Motorhead proceed to play their rendition of the Sex Pistols classic 'God Save The Queen' which appeared as a Motorhead single last year. Then the room and stage lights are dimmed and we're in complete darkness except for one green spotlight that illuminates Lemmy's beautiful face for the song 'Orgasmatron' and the set is perfectly concluded with 'Iron Fist' followed by 'Killed By Death'.
Lemmy returns to the stage for a much deserved encore saluting the crowd and asking rhetorically "I bet you can't guess what's coming next?!" as the unmistakable introduction to Motorhead's most famous ditty 'Ace of Spades' explodes from the stage and fills the room. There's only one thing missing now, and as the thundering drums of the last song this evening begin to reverberate and beat across my chest I receive the confirmation that I'm going to get exactly what I want, what must be one of the first ever true thrash metal songs, and most certainly the best ever penned: 'Overkill'! What more can I say? "Gimme Some Motorhead!"
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