Motorhead Takes Over The Swindon Oasis With The Help Of The Damned And Girlschool
Band Photo: Motorhead (?)
It's almost a given that if you like any form of hard rock or metal, you like Motorhead. No other band has the longevity, the honesty and the volume that Motorhead carry with them at all times. Not only do they live rock and roll, they are the embodiment of it. So having them come to perform in Swindon (which they have only done about three times before in their 34 year history) was a real treat for all concerned.
Opening the show this evening was Girlschool, who have been going for nearly as long as Motorhead, forming in 1978. I unfortunately missed quite a bit of their set but what I did see was alot of fun. They gave a performance that showed how much they enjoy not playing their music, but being on the stage in general. They were definitely a great opening act and set the mood for the great evening of rock and roll that was to follow. I look forward to seeing them again in the future and hopefully getting there on time!
Next up was British punk rock legends The Damned. A little bit of pub trivia for you, The Damned were the first British punk band to release a single, an album and tour the United States, not the Sex Pistols as so many people believe. As Michael Caine might say, not alot of people know that! The Damned approached their live show with a great spirit and got plenty of the crowd excited from the opening sentence of "Hello... We're The Damned.... And we sound a bit like this... Is she really going out with him?" before the pounding drums of "New Rose" kicked off a fantastic performance. I personally had been wanting to see The Damned for six years and it was well worth the wait to see them tear through classic songs like "Neat, Neat, Neat" and "Love Song." They were also as hilarious as they were exciting, with guitarist Captain Sensible joking about the recent Morrissey show in Swindon that ended after the singer collapsed on stage after one song. He declared the tour to be "very anti-Simon Cowell" and a "celebration of rock and roll." They closed with the always classic anthem, "Smash It Up" which was followed with Captain Sensible running over to lead singer Dave Vanian's microphone to perform a bit of his 1980s novelty hit song, "Happy Talk" before being dragged off the stage by his guitar straps by Vanian. If I had to ask anything of The Damned, it would be that next time they play "Machine Gun Etiquette" and "Melody Lee." "Nasty" would be a good addition too, but really, those are only requests. If you're a fan of punk rock, go and see The Damned. You won't regret it!
"We are Motorhead... We play rock and roll" was the introductory growl from the iconic singing bass player Lemmy as the headliners took the stage. After that it was into the classic, "Iron Fist" and the onslaught of loud instruments and great songs continued from there. The energy the band brings didn't stop for a second and the band brought a few surprises into their set too, which is always good to hear, performing a cover of the Twisted Sister song, "Shoot 'em Down" and the acoustic blues vibe of "Whorehouse Blues." It was also nice to hear songs from their new album, "Motorizer" as well as songs from the previous two albums, "Inferno" and "Kiss Of Death." The band performed the awesome, "One Night Stand" from the latter album and "In The Name Of Tragedy" from the former. They also included timeless songs such as "Going To Brazil," "Killed By Death" and "Over The Top." Hearing the band playing "Bomber" felt fantastic as on the two occassions I had seen them before, they left it out from the set. And for the encore? What else would you expect than the song that defines heavy metal and hard rock and roll in general, "Ace Of Spades," followed by the title track of their second album, "Overkill." Motorhead proved once again why they are one of the true legends of rock with a performance that didn't falter once, great crowd interaction and timeless songs. All in all, it was a great night, though the crowd really were a disappointment. Alot of people in Swindon complain that they don't have a proper music venue to draw bigger acts but if they are as still as many in the crowd were for Motorhead, building a venue would just be a waste of money and time. That aside, if you live in the U.K. and you like your concerts to be f'ing loud (the "f" is not for fairly!) and alot of fun, then you simply have to catch this tour!
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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