at City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., November 10, 2010

It’s incredible to think that Motörhead have been going for so long, and this iconic band have been bursting eardrums for 35 years now and show no signs of slowing down. With an impressive supporting cast of Lemmy-approved Skew Siskin and ex-Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe, this was one show that no red-blooded Metalhead would want to miss.

First up was Skew Siskin, fronted by the formidable Nina C. Alice who’s voice could halt a charging rhino at a dozen paces, and they proved to be the perfect warm up to Michael Monroe and his new band.

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe wasted no time following the demise of Hanoi Rocks, who called it a day at a creative peak following the release of the superb Street Poetry, in putting together a band just as potent as the one he’d just departed. With ex-Hanoi Rocks/Demolition 23 and current New York Dolls bassist Sami Yaffa; Steve Conte also of the New York Dolls; Newcastle-born and bred Ginger from The Wildhearts; and the appropriately named Karl Rockfist on the drums, fans just knew that they were in for a Rock ‘n’ Roll treat.

Michael Monroe certainly did not disappoint kicking off with “Trick of the Wrist” from his hotly anticipated new album. For the following 45 minutes, Monroe plundered from his illustrious back catalog and threw in a couple of choice covers too. The Punk fury of “Nothin’s Alright” and “Hammersmith Palais” from Demolition 23’s sole album, and the rabble-rousing set closer “Dead, Jail or Rock’n’Roll” from his solo work blended perfectly with Hanoi Rocks’ classics “Malibu Beach” and “Mortorvatin”, and Punk covers “Love Song” by The Damned and Johnny Thunders classic “I Wanna Be Loved”.

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe and his band just oozed Rock ‘n’ Roll attitude with a sleazy, leather-clad, shaggy-haired street Punk look, which just screamed rebellion. If you were to sit down and design a Rock band from scratch, then this is exactly how they would look. Michael Monroe was clearly the star of the show as he bounded across the stage non-stop for the full set, hurling his microphone stand into the air and even climbing up onto the balcony and hanging by one hand over the open-jawed crowd below. This was pure Rock ‘n’ Roll entertainment, just as it should be.

Quite what the notoriously partisan Motörhead fans made of it all at first can only be guessed, but what is certain is that by the end of the set there can have been no one present who wasn’t won over by the sheer energy and vigor of this performance.


It may be 35 years since Motörhead were spawned from Lemmy’s departure from Hawkwind, and there’s been many ups and downs on the way, but Lemmy is a fighter and a survivor and is back to celebrate this landmark birthday back on the stage where much of the classic chart-topping live album No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith was recorded in the early ’80’s.

Motörhead hit the stage to the autobiographical “We Are Motörhead” before storming straight into the vintage “Stay Clean”.


The stage setting was fairly basic with Mikkey Dee’s huge drum kit sitting atop a riser flanked by a humungous bank of Marshall amps, leaving the whole stage for guitarist Phil Campbell to run across as Lemmy took his usual position stage left.

The City Hall in Newcastle has witnessed some loud gigs in their time, but this must surely rank as one of the loudest ever, and when Phil Campbell bellowed “Is it loud enough for you?” the volume was pumped even higher. There’ll certainly be many ringing ears in Newcastle for days to come after this.

Motörhead have a new album coming out soon, The World Is Yours, and Lemmy was clearly excited with the prospect of the album hitting the stores any day now, and proudly delivered “Get Back In Line” and “I Know How To Die” to the ravenous crowd — the latter featuring a classic, punishing Motor-riff.

Although to many the definitive line-up of Motörhead features Fast Eddie and Philthy Phil alongside Lemmy, the current band has been together nigh on 20 years with guitarist Phil Campbell being there for 26 years, and have established themselves as a tight, hard-rocking unit in their own right with both Campbell and Dee making their respective positions their own.


Motörhead’s set featured a couple of much-missed fan favorites in the shape of “Metropolis”, “I Got Mine” from “the love it or hate it” Another Perfect Day opus, and “Over The Top”, a B-side to the “Bomber” single, which kept all the diehard Motörhead-bangers more than happy.

Obviously, Motörhead will close the show with their career defining songs, so “Bomber”, “Ace of Spades”, and “Overkill” all were featured in the finale. “Overkill” in particular was relentless in its aural assault, and combined with the seizure-inducing strobe lighting, ensured that all present knew they had witnessed a Motörhead gig.

35 years have been and gone and Motörhead are still rocking louder and faster than anyone else, and show no signs of slowing down for many years yet. You certainly wouldn’t bet against Motörhead being back here in another decade and a half celebrating their half century anniversary.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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