Prior to the gig at Wembley Arena tonight we hadn't looked up to see who the support for rock legends Motorhead were. We miss the first of the acts to grace the huge stage (Berliners Boss Hoss) but when we do arrive and take our seats I’m pleasantly surprised to see the back-drop for The Damned going up.
Guitarist Raymond Burns comes out sporting his distinctive red beret and says 'Hi, I'm Captain Sensible. You might have seen me on Top of the Pops.’ I'll definitely be showing my age when I say I can be counted amongst those that recall his performance on the show of his early 80s cover of the Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic ‘Happy Talk’.
During their set the auditorium is virtually full and even if you don't know of The Damned (the Mr can be counted in that category) you just can't help bopping along to their catchy mix of poppy punk rock. They trawl through hit after hit, receiving a great reaction throughout and finish up with the classic ‘Smash It Up’, getting a hearty send- off. The Damned are damn good and an easy 7/10.
Motorhead's Lemmy has been through the mill a bit health-wise of late but he comes out with his usual swagger to rapturous greeting, making it clear that to a vast majority of punters in the arena tonight, the man is, in fact, God.
Tonight’s set-list is jam-packed and although pretty predictable it’s nonetheless rousing. There aren’t many bands that could command such an overwhelming response with so few gimmicks and one of the bonuses of being seated up in the rafters is that we have an amazing over-view of the whole arena and it’s an awesome sight.
There’s been a few occasions in the past couple of years when I’ve been disappointed with Motorhead live - the immenseness of their sound and the ear-pummelling level they play at simply being too much for the smaller venues we’ve seen them perform in. But, quite simply, this package lends itself to an indoor arena this size and overall it’s an outstanding show.
After tonight’s gig there’s no doubt in my mind that Motorhead remain the Kings of Rock. Long may they continue to reign. 8/10