Tag Archives: Lemmy Kilmister

Rick Parfitt 1948 – 2016

rick_parfitt_of_status_quo_forced_to_abandon_european_tour_music_scene_irelandA week ago today I was enjoying a Christmas Eve meal with the in-laws when the awful news came through – Status Quo man Rick Parfitt had died. More than any high-profile musician to pass away in the previous twelve months – whether it be Lemmy, David Bowie, Prince, etc. etc. this one affected me.

Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt On Stage In 2015
Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt On Stage In 2015

I knew I was going to have to make some comment on his passing – but what to say to begin to do the justice to man and his contribution to music? There were some lovely words on various news sites etc. following Rick’s death but he was quickly replaced there when George Michael passed away the very next day.

Rick Parfitt
Rick Parfitt

No disrespect to George Michael, who was a great singer, but for me the amount of coverage that he was given vs. Rick seemed to suggest that he was by far the more significant and iconic figure. And maybe to many he was, whilst perhaps it was also reflective of how often Quo have been derided in the press as three chord wonders etc.

Anyway, I suspect that my family may have grown a little tired of the sound of Quo blasting from my speakers over the past week as I’ve paid tribute to Rick and the boys through the stereo and reacquainted myself with much of their music that had slipped from the kind of regular rotation that it used to enjoy.

Status Quo Live In 1981
Status Quo Live In 1981

Quo were my first love as a band, way back in 1981, and have been right up there ever since. Having received the brand new “Never Too Late” album as an Easter present that year, I obtained their entire album back catalogue as quickly as I was able to and have followed the band through all the highs and lows ever since.

Status Quo Live In 1984
Status Quo Live In 1984

In the summer of 1984 I went to see the band live for the first time on their “End Of The Road” tour. At the time I thought it would be my one and only opportunity to witness them play, as the tour was billed as a farewell to the road. And contrary to the jibes aimed at the band, until this year’s “Last Night Of The Electrics” final electric tour before a switch to acoustic touring, that has been their one and only “farewell” tour!. Luckily for me, and many thousands of others, a re-grouping in 1986 meant the return of the band on record and on stage.

Rick Parfitt On Stage In 2007
Rick Parfitt On Stage In 2007

Since then I’ve enjoyed a further fourteen Quo shows, including my wife’s first ever rock concert on the “In Search Of The Fourth Chord” tour. Nothing compared to a great many regular gig goers I’m sure, and I have to confess that my enthusiasm waned at times for their concerts as the set list remained pretty static for long periods of time. Nonetheless, every single show that I went to was well worth the time and money as the band never failed to give anything but a top-class performance.

Roy Lynes, Alan Lancaster, John Coghlan, Rick Parfitt & Francis Rossi In Late 1960s
Roy Lynes, Alan Lancaster, John Coghlan, Rick Parfitt & Francis Rossi In Late 1960s

Having been an ever-present since joining in the late 60s, it was with great sadness that I learnt of Rick’s decision not to return to the band following his latest heart attack this summer. I could completely understand that though, given the need to protect his health and also his desire that if he was going to make further music it needed to “rock” – which sadly the band’s recent studio output and future touring plans do not accommodate.

Francis Rossi On Stage
Francis Rossi On Stage

Francis Rossi has been on the receiving end of an awful lot of stick from so-called Quo fans who seem to take great delight in slagging off everything that the band have done since the “frantic four” ceased to be in 1982. Whilst I realise that Francis has been for a long time the leader of the band I think that this abuse is very unfair. There is an argument that if he’s had his way then Quo would have been doing acoustic and country-style music for decades and that he resented playing the old hits all the time. There may be some truth to this. Certainly he is more inclined to go down the acoustic and lighter Quo route than Rick was, and many a musician who’s been performing for a long time is surely going to tire of some of the material that really has to be played to satisfy both the hardcore and casual concert goer?

Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt
Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt

What is beyond doubt to me, though, is that Francis and Rick have been the public face of Quo for many years now. With Rick gone many have called the band the Francis Rossi Band or Francis Rossi’s Quo.

The Frantic Four
The Frantic Four – John Coghlan, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster & Francis Rossi

Let’s look at the facts. Whilst Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster and Coghlan were all band members between 1967 and 1981, the “frantic four” itself only lasted from 1970 (following the departure of keyboardist Roy Lynes) to late 1976 (when Andrew Bown became an official member). So, depending on your point of view either fifteen or just seven years. Plus a handful of reunion gigs in 2013 and 2014 of course. In that time they produced eleven (or six!) studio albums.

Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi & John "Rhino" Edwards On Stage In 1988
Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi & John “Rhino” Edwards On Stage In 1988

John “Rhino” Edwards has been playing bass for Quo since 1986. By my reckoning – and leaving drummers aside as there have now been four since Coghlan left – that means the core of Rossi, Parfitt, Bown and Edwards were together for thirty years, at least double that of the fabled “frantic four”, and produced sixteen studio albums. Surely, then, those band members have every right to keep calling themselves Status Quo – even after Rick’s departure and death?

Status Quo Backstage In 1991
Status Quo Backstage In 1991

Yes, the bulk of the live set is still taken from the pre-1982 albums but, again, isn’t that the curse of so many “heritage” acts who are compelled to play the old stuff live in preference over their newer material? Bottom line, for me, is that “Quo-light” is as essential overall as the “classic” band and that, frankly, we should be grateful to Francis, Rick and co. for all the great music and performances that they’ve given us since 1986.

Andrew Bown & Richie Malone On Stage In 2016
Andrew Bown & Richie Malone On Stage In 2016

Following his enforced retirement from the band, Richie Malone has come in as stand-in for Rick on the band’s recent tour dates and done a great job by most accounts. However, at this point, who knows what – if any – future the band has?

Rick Parfitt - Bad Hair Day!
Rick Parfitt – Bad Hair Day!

I digress. Back to the late Mr. Parfitt. When I was young it was Rick who I aspired to be. Sure sometimes I had to pretend to be Francis (with my shirt collar turned under to imitate his grandad shirt!) so that I could sing the lead vocals while miming away to the records, but it was Rick, the golden-maned rock god (let’s ignore some of the naff haircuts he had occasionally!), for the heads down riffing and some of the best songs too.

Rick Parfitt In 1978
Rick Parfitt In 1978

Over the years Rick composed many of the great Quo classics. Not often as sole writer (this applies equally to Francis) but his early co-writes with Francis, then with Alan Lancaster and later with Andrew Bown, John “Rhino” Edwards and recently Wayne Morris have produced some of the best songs on each of the band’s albums – the sole exception being 1994’s “Thirsty Work” which is also the least Quo-sounding album, which is surely no random coincidence.

Rick Parfitt On Stage
Rick Parfitt On Stage

I could list all his writing credits, but if you’re really interested head over to From The Makers Of… which has a comprehensive list. Selected highlights, however, include the following: “Forty Five Hundred Times”, “Rain”, “Don’t Drive My Car” and “Mystery Song” would all easily be in my all-time Quo top ten songs and the likes of “Softer Ride”, “Belavista Man”, “Mystery Song”, “Little Lady” and “The Power Of Rock” wouldn’t be far behind. Many of Rick’s songs feature his distinctive lead vocals too.

Rick Parfitt & Francis Rossi In 1970s
Rick Parfitt & Francis Rossi In 1970s

On record, then, Rick had an invaluable input into the band’s superb legacy. Onstage, is there any better sound than all those instantly recognisable riffs being hammered out on his battered white Telecaster, or the perfection of Rick and Francis as they lock into the groove? Yes, age and health issues took their toll on his singing voice but he was still superb when I last saw the band at Lechlade last year.

There was talk of an autobiography and solo album for 2017. Neither will presumably see the light as they surely can’t have had much work done to them. There was a solo record named “Recorded Delivery” cut around 1985 so hopefully that my now finally get an official release.

Lyndsay Whitburn & Rick Parfitt
Rick Parfitt With Third Wife Lyndsay Whitburn

Rick may have had faults as a human being – too much indulgence in drink and drugs through the years and something of a weakness for the ladies perhaps – but whenever I saw him perform or appear on TV etc. there was a down to earth natural humour that shone though and he was the perfect foil to Francis.

Whatever happens now with Status Quo – and I hope the band do carry on (though I’d still rather they plugged back in and rock a bit!) – things can never quite be the same without Rick.  We’re moving house in a week, and I really should be packing stuff, so I’d better get on… Despite my best efforts, I don’t think I’ve come close to doing Rick justice. Suffice it to say he was a huge inspiration to me and many others, and is simply a massive loss. Rest in peace…

Rick Parfitt 1948 - 2016
Rick Parfitt 1948 – 2016
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Blackstar

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David Bowie
David Bowie

Like many folk I was gutted to hear of Motörhead mainman Lemmy’s death just over two weeks ago, though it was a shock it wasn’t entirely surprising given the health problems that had dogged him over the past few years. Much more shocking and surprising was the news yesterday that the legendary David Bowie has also passed away from cancer only two days after his 69th birthday.

David Bowie In 2004
David Bowie In 2004

It was also just two days after the release of his most recent album “Blackstar”, his second album of new material since his unexpected return to the limelight after nine years away following a heart attack during his 2004 “A Reality Tour”. I suppose I’m getting to the age myself where the heroes that I grew up listening to are going to start passing on with increasing regularity. It’s a depressing thought and one that makes me consider my own mortality too.

Tin Machine - Tin Machine
Tin Machine – Tin Machine

Anyway, I spent a chunk of yesterday listening to various parts of Bowie’s long and varied discography. Bowie being the innovator that he was there is a lot of different styles of music in his oeuvre and not all of it has been easy accessible to the listener. Albums such as the drum ‘n’ bass infused “Earthling” or his much-maligned two albums under the Tin Machine banner for instance.

David Bowie - Low
David Bowie – Low

Naturally it’s often his work during the Seventies that are lauded, such is the popularity of 1972’s “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars” and of the Berlin trilogy of albums – “Low” (1977), “Heroes” (1977) and “Lodger” (1979).

David Bowie - Let's Dance
David Bowie – Let’s Dance

Personally speaking it was the 1983 album “Let’s Dance”, which featured guitar from the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, that was my first foray into the world of Bowie and subsequent to that I found the singles compilations much easier to digest that some of the parent albums.

David Bowie - Heathen
David Bowie – Heathen

Over time, though, I grew to appreciate some of the less immediate material and really enjoyed a lot of his later work, such as 1999’s excellent “Hours…”, 2002’s “Heathen” and the unreleased “Toy” record from 2001. “Reality” (2003) was not as good, to my ears, but I found his comeback album “The Next Day” to be a real return to form, and would definitely recommend the full twenty-two song “Extra” edition!

David Bowie - The Next Day
David Bowie – The Next Day

The latest (and presumably last, unless there’s stuff in the vaults for future releases) album is, of course, the brand new “Blackstar”. So how does it stack up against his back catalogue? Well, to be honest, to begin with I found it hard going, especially after the fairly straight-forward sounds of “The Next Day”.

Having given it repeated plays however, especially in the last twenty-four hours I have to say that it has really grown on me and I now think it’s fabulous!

David Bowie - Blackstar
David Bowie – Blackstar

Kicking off with the near-ten-minute title track, a fusion of drum ‘n’ bass percussion, jazz parts, ethereal vocals, progressive rock style changes and a fairly impenetrable lyric! It takes a few listens to get a handle on, but boy is it a great track.

Ben Monder
Ben Monder

There are only seven songs on the album, one of which, “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)”, was included on last year’s inappropriately titled “Nothing Has Changed” compilation release and released as a single. Another, “‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore” was the b-side for that single. Both songs have been overhauled for the new album. “Sue…” ran to nearly seven and a half minutes on the compilation and was a strange jazz / drum ‘n’ bass hybrid. On “Blackstar” three minutes have been shaved off the song’s duration and whilst it retains the drum ‘n’ bass percussion and some jazziness it has a much more rock edge with a prominent guitar part from Ben Monder.

Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin

The other “old” song “‘Tis A Pity…” was inspired by a play published in 1633 by English poet / playwright John Ford dealing with the subject of incest. The re-recording of this song is also shorter – though only be thirty-odd seconds – and has less of a dance music vibe about it. Bowie’s original saxophone playing has been replaced by a performance from Donny McCaslin.

Jason Lindner
Jason Lindner

The other musicians involved on “Blackstar” (Bowie himself handles acoustic guitar) are keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Mark Guiliana – all, together with McCaslin, members of the Donny McCaslin Quartet jazz group.

Tim Lefebvre
Tim Lefebvre

“Lazarus” is the album’s other single and clocks in at almost six and a half minutes. Tony Visconti, the producer of the record and a long-time Bowie collaborator has stated that the song, which begins with the lines “Look up here, I’m in heaven…”, was just one that refers to Bowie’s then-impending death – though that has really only become clear in the past couple of days now that the lyrics can be seen in the context of Bowie’s passing.

Mark Guiliana
Mark Guiliana

This album was apparently recorded early last year, some months after his diagnosis (and prognosis?) so has presumably been held back and scheduled to see the light of day to coincide Bowie’s death. The fact that the album has been titled “Blackstar” which is said to be a cancer-like lesion of the breast that literally looks like a black star can now be seen to be a clue too. I suppose it’s easier to see the signs in retrospect but you have to admire the way that Bowie put it all out there, albeit in a cloaked way, with very few people seemingly actually aware of his illness until he passed away. There again, as the final song says “I Can’t Give Everything Away”.

David Bowie
David Bowie

In the end this is a wonderful piece of music by a man who has for decades reinvented himself and his art, so makes for a fitting epitaph. Surely a contender for one of the top albums of 2016 already!…

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“Blackstar” tracklist:

1. Blackstar / 2. ‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore / 3. Lazarus / 4. Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) / 5. Girl Loves Me / 6. Dollar Days / 7. I Can’t Give Everything Away

Motörizer Tour

Hearing of the sad news that heavy metal legend Lemmy passed away yesterday I have been listening to his work with both Hawkwind and Motörhead today, and it seemed like as good a time as any to have a look back at when I saw the latter in concert.

Motörhead - Motörizer
Motörhead – Motörizer

It was during the Motörizer Tour of the UK back in November 2008 and, despite being a fan of the band for years, was the first time I had seen Motörhead in the live arena. So, for the second time in a week, I headed off to Bristol and to the Colston Hall, where I had seen a number of bands in my youth.

Danko Jones
Danko Jones

From the balcony I watched as the first band of the night, Canadian trio Danko Jones, hit the stage. Promoting their fourth album “Never Too Loud” I hadn’t heard anything by the band prior to the gig so was unfamiliar with their material. I do recall that the band were tight and impressive and had a set full of catchy melodic AC/DC-like tunes. Likely playing tracks like “Baby Hates Me” and “Still In High School” I do remember that they finished their brief set with a note-perfect excerpt of the Rush instrumental “YYZ”.

Biff Byford
Biff Byford

Next up were Yorkshire legends Saxon who were gearing up to the imminent release of their eighteenth studio album “Into The Labyrinth” in January 2009. This was the second time I’d seen this band live, the first being way back in 1982 in the very same venue as headliners.

Saxon - Into The Labyrinth
Saxon – Into The Labyrinth

As main support band Biff and the boys were obviously unable to perform a full set but managed to cram two tracks from their most recent album, “Let Me Feel Your Power” and “Ashes To Ashes” into a set containing some stone-cold classic heavy metal tunes such as “Denim And Leather”, “And The Bands Played On” and “747 (Strangers In The Night)” and still find room for brand new single “Live To Rock”. Fantastic to see them live again so long – a superb performance.

Setlist:

1. Motorcycle Man / 2. Let Me Feel Your Power / 3. And The Bands Played On / 4. Live To Rock / 5. Heavy Metal Thunder / 6. Witchfinder General / 7. Denim And Leather / 8. Ashes To Ashes / 9. Princess Of The Night / 10. 747 (Strangers In The Night)

1 and 10 originally from “Wheels Of Steel” (1980) / 2 and 8 originally from “The Inner Sanctum” (2007) / 3, 7 and 9 originally from “Denim And Leather” (1981) / 4 originally from “Into The Labyrinth” (2009) /5 originally from “Strong Arm Of The Law” (1980) / 6 originally from “Lionheart” (2004)

Motorhead - Motorhead
Motörhead – Motörhead

Following the interval it was time for the main event. I recall my first Motörhead record being the live version of “Motörhead”, backed with “Over The Top”, issued to promote the live “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” album. I don’t think I’d heard anything quite like it before!

Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy Kilmister

Anyway on came vocalist / bassist Lemmy, guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee, with Lemmy announcing “We are Motörhead and we play rock and roll” and bang! – we were headlong into “Iron Fist”.

Motörhead
Motörhead

A set full of classics from throughout the band’s career followed, including two songs from the oft-maligned “Another Perfect Day” record that was made when ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson was briefly a member of the group.

Mikkey Dee
Mikkey Dee

Campbell’s guitar riffs and solo flourishes were bang on the money, under-pinned by Lemmy’s unique bass playing style and Dee’s incredible drumming. To play a track like “Overkill” with the energy that he did at the tail end of a long set is no mean feat!

Phil Campbell & Lemmy Kilmister
Phil Campbell & Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy himself proved to be every inch the icon and force of nature that I expected him to be and was the very personification of Motörhead and their music. A cover of Bob Seger’s”Rosalie” – many will be more familiar with Thin Lizzy’s cracking version – was a surprise inclusion but slotted nicely into the middle of the set. “Stay Clean”, “Rock Out” and “Metropolis” were other highlights.

Motorhead
Motörhead

The encore began with “Whorehouse Blues”, an acoustic foot-stomper that saw Campbell and Dee playing acoustic guitars, with the latter also handling percussion at the same time, and is one of my favourite latter-day tunes from the band’s extensive catalogue.

Motörhead & Friends
Motörhead & Friends

Then it was onto the home straight with the one-two finale of signature song “Ace Of Spades” and then “Overkill”. Stunning and, frankly, rather deafening. What a great show!

Setlist:

1. Iron Fist / 2. Stay Clean / 3. Be My Baby / 4. Rock Out / 5. Metropolis / 6. Over The Top / 7. One Night Stand / 8. I Got Mine / 9. Guitar Solo / 10. The Thousand Names Of God / 11. Rosalie / 12. Another Perfect Day / 13. In The Name Of Tragedy / Drum Solo / 14. Just ‘Cos You Got The Power / 15. Going To Brazil / 16. Killed By Death / 17. Born To Raise Hell / 18. Whorehouse Blues / 19. Ace Of Spades / 20. Overkill

1 originally from “Iron Fist” (1982) / 2, 5 and 20 originally from “Overkill” (1979) / 3 and 7 originally from “Kiss Of Death” (2006) / 4 and 10 originally from Motörizer (2008) / 6 originally b-side from “Bomber” single (1979) / 8 and 12 originally from “Another Perfect Day” (1983) / 13 and 18 originally from “Inferno” (2004) / 14 originally from “Rock ‘N’ Roll” (1987) / 15 originally from “1916” (1991) / 16 originally from “No Remorse” (1984) / 17 originally from “Bastards” (1993) / 19 originally from “Ace Of Spades” (1980)motorsaxjones

R:Evolution

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Hawkwind In 1971
Hawkwind In 1971

Back in 1969 guitarist / keyboardist / singer Dave Brock formed a psychedelic rock / space rock band under the name Hawkwind and, together with fellow musicians Nik Turner (saxophone / flute / vocals), Huw Lloyd-Langton (guitars / vocals), John A. Harrison (bass), Michael “Dik Mik” Davies (synthesizers) and Terry Ollis (drums), created the band’s self-titled debut album in early 1970.

Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy Kilmister

In the years since the band have released numerous studio and live albums and seen dozens of musicians come and go from the line-up, including Lemmy Kilmister (who went on to form Motörhead) and Robert Calvert.

Stacia Blake
Stacia Blake

Other notable figures to be connected to the Hawkwind name include fantasy author Michael Moorcock, interpretive dancer Stacia Blake and lighting engineer Jonathan “Liquid Len” Smeeton.

Hawklords In 1978
Hawklords In 1978

Brock decided to disband Hawkwind during 1978 and formed a new group with Calvert and drummer Simon King (both also from Hawkwind at the time) along with bassist Harvey Bainbridge, keyboard player Steve Swindells and second drummer Martin Griffin.

Hawkwind In 1979
Hawkwind In 1979

The new venture was called Hawklords, likely as a result of disputes over use of the Hawkwind name, and they released one album, titled “25 Years On” in late 1978 and by the following year had folded with Brock, King and Bainbridge joining forces with Lloyd-Langton and keyboardist Tim Blake in a new version of Hawkwind.

Hawkwind In 2012
Hawkwind In 2012

Brock still leads Hawkwind to this day, and his band most recently released “Spacehawks” in 2013, a collection of new and re-recorded catalogue songs.

Hawklords In 2012
Hawklords In 2012

Meanwhile, Hawklords have risen from the ashes, initially in order to play benefit shows for the late Robert Calvert.

Harvey Bainbridge
Harvey Bainbridge

The band is now comprised of ex-Hawkwind (late 90s version) members Bainbridge on keyboards (the only one present in the original Hawklords line-up), guitarist Jerry Richards and vocalist Ron Tree now joined by drummer Dave Pearce and the newest recruit – bassist Tom Ashurst.

Jerry Richards & Ron Tree
Jerry Richards & Ron Tree

The reignited band have since released four new studio albums – “We Are One” (2012), “Dream” (2013), “Censored” (2014) and the new record “R:Evolution”.

This album is something of a cracker, to be honest. I reckon it’s easily the best of the aforementioned four records, and is equal to anything that Hawkwind themselves have released for a while too.

Dave Pearce
Dave Pearce

My favourite tracks are “Evolver”, “Space Monkey”, “The Last Change” and the brilliant near-ten-minute “Shadow Of The Machines”. Whilst “One Day” is reminiscent of “Hurry On Sundown” (from Hawkwind’s 1969 debut) and therefore arguably somewhat derivative, but overall this is an excellent album.

Basically, if you know and enjoy Hawkwind’s output you are likely to appreciate what the Hawklords have achieved here. Great stuff…

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“R:Evolution” tracklist:

1. Re-animator / 2. Blink Of An Eye / 3. Evolver / 4. The Last Change / 5. Space Monkey / 6. One Day / 7. The Dreaming / 8. The Joker / 9. Shadow Of The Machines

Bad Magic

motorhead-bad-magic

Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy Kilmister

British heavy metal band Motörhead, (more specifically vocalist / bassist Lemmy Kilmister) have not been able to enjoy the fortieth anniversary of the band as they / he might have liked due to health issues forcing some concert cancellations and the unfortunate moment at this year’s Glastonbury festival when Lemmy had a mental block leading him to sing “Ace Of Spades” whilst the band played “Overkill”.

Motörhead In 1980
Motörhead In 1980 (Lemmy, Clarke & Taylor)

As is often the case with bands that had an initial run of success, as Motörhead did with a five album run from 1977-1982, there are always those who consider the line-up from that era – in this case Lemmy, guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor – to be the definite one.

Motörhead In 2015
Motörhead In 2015 (Dee, Lemmy & Campbell)

However, in 2015 we find the band comprising of its longest serving line-up of Lemmy, guitarist Phil Campbell (who joined in 1984) and drummer Mikkey Dee (who joined in 1992).

Motörhead In 1984
Motörhead In 1984 (Würzel, Lemmy, Gill & Campbell)

These three have been together as a three-piece for thirteen studio albums since 1996’s “Overnight Sensation”. Prior to that, second guitarist Michael “Würzel” Burston, had been in the band from 1984 until 1995 and Pete Gill and Taylor (for a second time) had taken stints on the drum stool.

Motörhead At Glastonbury 2015

Despite the aforementioned bad luck, very much on the plus side this year is the arrival of the band’s twenty-second studio album “Bad Magic”.

Sounding nothing like a band of their vintage, Motörhead come flying straight out of the traps with “Victory Or Die”.

Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy sounds great. Granted he’s never been what you might call a great singer, but he has a distinctive rasp and it’s perfect for this band’s output. I suspect, given his age and recent health scares, that producer Cameron Webb has enhanced Lemmy’s voice in the studio, but that’s really nothing to quibble about. And his bass rumbles as menacingly as ever too!

Phil Campbell & Mikkey Dee
Phil Campbell & Mikkey Dee

Campbell’s riffs are great and he pulls some superb melodic and memorable solos out of the bag throughout this record, and Dee shows off his chops, particularly on the introduction to “Shoot Out All Of Your Lights” and the closing cover of the Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy For The Devil”.

Motörhead Live In 2015
Motörhead Live In 2015

Basically, anyone who’s heard an album by this band should know pretty much what to expect. Motörhead have their own distinctive style and sound and this record is more of the same. That’s not to say that they’re going through the motions, because to these ears that’s not the case. It’s just that this isn’t a band given to too much experimentation or deviation of sound.

Motörhead Friends
Motörhead & Friends

This album is, however, another in a line of strong records over the past decade since 2004’s “Inferno”. My favourite tracks are currently “Thunder & Lightning”, “Shoot Out All Of Your Lights”, “The Devil” and “Tell Me Who To Kill”.

To borrow from Lemmy – this is Motörhead, and they play rock and roll…

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“Bad Magic” tracklist:

1. Victory Or Die / 2. Thunder & Lightning / 3. Fire Storm Hotel / 4. Shoot Out All Of Your Lights / 5. The Devil / 6. Electricity / 7. Evil Eye / 8. Teach Them How To Bleed / 9. Till The End / 10. Tell Me Who To Kill / 11. Choking On Your Screams / 12. When The Sky Comes Looking For You / 13. Sympathy For The Devil