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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