Concert review: Motorhead at Wolverhampton Civic Hall

It’s 7.45 and I’ve just been punched in the chest.


Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Concert review by Keith Harrison

It’s 7.45 and I’ve just been punched in the chest.

Not by some ageing anarchist but by the UK Subs’ bass player, 50 yards away.

As my fillings rattle at what is ear-splittingly the loudest gig I’ve ever been to, I catch sight of the Motorhead slogan: ‘Everything Louder Than Everything Else.’

Click on the image on the right to see more pictures of the band and their fans at the concert.

And a terrible realisation hits me like a train; this is only the first support act. How loud is the main event going to be?

It’s unusual for the Civic to be this full this early, but clearly the three bands on offer have loyal followings.

Pantomime punks Anti-Nowhere League were sandwiched in the middle and were by far the weakest of the acts.

Lead singer ‘Animal’ (I’m not making this up) seemed more suited to some East European festival in the early 1980s.

If Borat did rock stars . . .

Then came the headliners. Cowboy-hatted beer-seller Lemmy strained his neck to the mic and Motorhead played their first track.

It went down well.

So well, they seemed to play it over and over again for the next 90 minutes. Or so it seemed to what was left of these untrained ears.

Loud? I could have stayed at home in Stafford and heard every note.

After about 20 minutes of noise that could torture suspects in Guantanamo Bay, the singer told the crowd: ‘Put your hands in the air if you want us to play even louder.”

Unbelievably, they did.

What’s wrong with these people?

Apologies to everyone around me who seemed to know every monotone lyric and bashed their long-haired heads up and down like they were in a trance.

Each to his own and they were clearly loving it.

But, for me, it was like being at a Moonie convention on speed, but I wouldn’t want to be the one sweeping up all that dandruff this morning.

It all went down well with a packed audience and – for a bloke who just stands motionless behind a mic – Lemmy does carry crateloads of stage presence.

From the safety of the balcony, the ‘mosh pit’ in front of the stage looked suitably violent; lads knocked each other down, then picked each other up.

Thems the rules at nights like this and Ace of Spades sent things even wilder towards the end.

Truth be told, it was a friend who persuaded me to go, saying that seeing Motorhead was ‘something you have to do before you die’.

I’ll be having a word with him – just as soon as I get my hearing back.

About Christmas, I reckon. Pardon?

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Comments for: "Concert review: Motorhead at Wolverhampton Civic Hall"


What a dreadful review...why on earth would you send someone who obviously enjoys a more sedate tune or two along to a Motorhead concert?

Motorhead are not a 'well kept' secret, they are a hard rocking heavy metal band and have been since they started back in the mid 70s.

Clive Fennell

I have seen Motorhead in excess of 30 times and with the exception of when they headlined at the NIA with Anthrax as support, for some reason Lemmy had an off day at this concert, they have never failed to deliver. I cannot comment on the support bands as due to transport problems I arrived too late to see them.

This concert was awesome, this was Motorhead at it's best.

To start the concert with Bomber, this would normaly be saved for the encore was an exceptional move. From start to finish, including Phil Cambell and Micky Dee's solos, (at 66 years old I figure it is only fair to give Lemmy a couple of short breaks) this concert was an excercise in how to entertain the concert going public at it's best. As Lemmy always signs off with the words "We are Motorhead and we play rock and roll" before launching into the best live rock song on the planet, remember Motorhead because they are the best bar non.


I agree with Garry, mostly. I write as a easoned proffesional Motorhead fan / concert- goer, since '78. I've seen them when they were rubbish, I've seen them when they have been just brilliant (last year at Wolves was one of those). The only thing matey that wrote the 'review' seemed to notice (as it was real difficut to ignore) was the volume. It was very, very loud. They played great although Lemmy was in one of his 'I'm not too happy' moods. 90 odd minutes of absolutley first class Rock and Roll. My mate took his 14 year old son - he's seen Kiss and big bands like that. Motorhead blew him away (almsot literaly) - his favourite gig so far. Says it all really, right?


I was at the gig last night and I'm gutted I missed UK Subs. I got in the civic at 8.15pm and they had already been on. The gig was everything that X factor isn't - anti establishment, raw rock n roll. It's great that these bands are still around. I always look out for the old punk bands when they come around. Stiff Little Fingers, The Damned, Sham 69, Magazine. They maybe getting on a bit (like me) but for people of a certain era they still cut the mustard compared to the rubbish on offer today. WE'RE MOTORHEAD. WE PLAY ROCK N ROLL !!

andrew weston

totally agree raw rock and roll,saw stiff little fingers 2 weeks ago in Brum ,fantastic and they are getting louder,and the damned 35 th aniversary gig in Brum next week, the reviewers mate was right about one thing you have to see motorhead before you die ,this was the first time i saw motorhead and was blown away !! shame you missed the subs they were great , these bands sell out because our generation loves proper music and dont mime !!!!


Motorhead was good as always, 17 songs played and all very loud. Look-a-likes entertainers came on stage when they played Killed By Death, they were stupid but funny. There was again the usual guitar and drum solos.

Contrary to what the reviwer said, Anti-Nowhere League were excellent, fast raw punk as usual, Animal was full of energy and bass and drums were better than ever. UK Subs were also top notch and they squeezed as many songs as they could in their half hour set. Great night with three great bands, best rock combo I have been so far.


This passed me by completely... I'm gutted I missed the Anti-Nowhere League!!


Can anyone post set list from last night please?? Can't bloody wait 12 Nov in London!!!


Brilliant night Motorhead were awesome as were the rest ANWL and Subs ...crowd loved it and i loved it letting of steam to rock and punk instead of smashing shop windows, looting and causing a misery to people roll on Manchester when i go again.

Did feel sorry for the young girl at the front with Mum it was a bit wild for a young un she should have been further back out of the main crowd.

See you in Manchester


The reviewer was obviously a stray from theJames Morrison gig at the Wulfren. The Subs and ANWL were superb support acts. Motörhead were tight and better than last year.

Sceptical Wolf

OK, so let's get this straight: You went to a concert that you didn't think you'd like and had your suspicions confirmed? ...Looking forward to your take on the Simply Red reunion.


I first saw Motorhead at the Top of the World Stafford, way back when, and have seen them on and off ever since. You know what you`re gonna get with them and its an exception if they let you down. They havent changed, but unfortunately I have, and the last time I saw them was a gig at Brum where Alice Cooper headlined, and that night I decided that the tinnitus I`ve worked hard at developing over the years doesnt need any more help from Lemmy and the boys. They are legends and good luck to them, its me that cant take the pace anymore, not them!


motorhead are a great live band.....but the rubbish they churn out on their last 4 - 5 albums beggars belief...same old same the way number 1....motorhead "heavy metal"...really ?....rock n roll yes.....reviewer was right about "monotonal lyrics"...lemmy cant sing for toffee, listen to 1916 and laugh your head off at how pretentious the man can be.....66 and wearing a cowboy hat ? time to get off the horse i reckon......1 word to sum up motorhead of late = TIRED

m harper

keith harrison is clearly not the right man to review rock concerts. Ive seen motorhead live on and off since 1979 0n the bomber tour, they always do the best at what they do.Maybe keith harrison would be better suited to reviewing maufactured rubbish like the xfactor,good luck keith

Martin W

MOTORHEAD ARE STILL THE BEST ROCK 'N' ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD ! Shame the reviewer was a tasteless idiot that probably watches the x-factor with his mommy with the volume low. Next time please send last year's reviewer who had taste!


??? go back home and watch the x factor with your horlicks motorhead kick ass yer there gigs are loud and fast just the way it should be cant wait for hammersmith and Southampton

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