Mötörhead + The Almighty – Portsmouth Guildhall

The Almighty were sort of a biker band without the bikes, as far as I remember. And that’s all I remember. The music press (I’d abandoned Kerrang and Metal Hammer in favour of Sounds and NME by this point) were lauding them as the next big rock band, but they didn’t bring anything new as far as I was concerned.

Motorhead Sounds advert Feb 1991Mötörhead were just about the heaviest band around. No longer the fastest, probably not even the loudest, but the dirtiest, grungiest rock and roll band ever made. They command the sort of respect reserved for the top echelons of rock society, and rightly so. I think I’d heard louder bands in my time, but never such power – they make a blistering noise on stage, and there is no pantomime heavy metal cliché like with Maiden or any of those bands, it’s just plain old dirty rock and roll. I don’t particularly like Lemmy’s voice, and I find his style of playing a little on the ‘coarse’ side, but he is one hell of a frontman, no question. This incarnation of Mötörhead (the 1916 tour) was a foursome, still featured Philthy Animal Taylor on drums, and with Wurzel and Phil Campbell on guitars they were a close second to the Fast Eddie Clarke lineup.

Motorhead ticket Feb 1991

Mötörhead doesn’t need two guitars, it’s the bass that makes them so heavy, but for some reason three blokes out front looks better, if you’re going to remain stationed in front of your mic stands then two blokes leaves the stage looking a little, well, empty. Anyway, the four of them blew the Guildhall clean away, and even the rather modestly sized aircraft-shaped lighting rig that descended over the stage for ‘Bomber’ somehow worked, somehow didn’t look uncool. Not many bands could pull something like that off without looking Spinal Tap-esque. I think it’s because Lemmy is tuff enuff to carry it off. Of course, ‘Ace Of Spades’ was what everyone was waiting for, and they played it with the energy and enthusiasm of a new song, no hint of going through the motions.

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