HW: Wembley

Nick Medford nick at HERMIT0.DEMON.CO.UK
Sun Oct 20 12:59:10 EDT 2002

I enjoyed the gig. The Wembley stewards and security staff were as rude
and officious as ever, and whatever cock-up made Alan's vocals
completely inaudible for two-thirds of the set was infuriating- how does
something like that get left for so long?? The numbers most affected were
'Ejection' and 'The Watcher'- fortunately they sound surprisingly OK as
near-instrumentals. The bit of feedback didn't bother me- HW were
(wisely) playing it as loud and heavy as possible and I thought the noise
fitted in nicely! And other than that the sound was actually very good at
times: 'Angels Of Death' and 'Hassan I Sabbah' sounded great. What was
going on between Huw and Alan during 'Motorway City'? Stage banter
or stage barney? Anyway HW played great, and I thought they triumphed
over adversity in a big way: they went down a storm and I'm sure won
some new fans. Brock presumably thought so too as he looked very
happy at the end, which as we know isn't always so. I was pleased to
note that HW got longer than Anthrax despite being below them on the
bill. Possibly the encore with Lemmy might have been unscheduled.
Sounded great though, probably the best 'Silver Machine' I've heard.

As for the rest of the night- I missed the first band (who were they?) but
from what I could hear from the bar they sounded like fairly standard
HM/thrash. Anthrax- I listened to half a song before deciding I was not
going to enjoy them and adjourning to the bar. I believe this to have been
a wise decision.

Motorhead- first time I've seen 'em for fifteen years. They were
excellent. Having only a passing acquaintance with their newer material,
I was surprised to find I recognised most of what they played. The new
numbers didn't grab me particularly, but it's hard to make any real
judgement on a song you've never heard when it's coming at you at this
earsplitting volume. God it was loud. Definitely the loudest gig I've
attended, easily louder than previous MH gigs even. My ears are still
ringing 20 hours later. The sheer intensity of sonic attack makes
Motorhead unlike any other live band. However it also means they can
sound rather samey after a while and I was glad they threw in some
differently-paced numbers ('Metropolis', 'Orgasmotron', 'Going To
Brazil') to break things up a bit. Also a souped-up blues thing which I
can't put a name too (wasn't 'Hoochie Coochie Man' was it?).

What I found really interesting- and unexpected- was this: because they
push things to such an extreme of speed and noise, the music can get
really quite tripped-out at times, or at least that's how it ends up when
it's amplified to this level. Some of the instrumental breaks sound truly-
insanely- psychedelic. I mean, Phil Campbell's free-form soloing at the
end of 'Killed By Death' sounded like Jerry Garcia on speed. And the
drum solo (first time I've *ever* enjoyed a drum solo, Mr Dee is
impressive, sounds almost like a cross between John Bonham and Simon
King!) actually sounded like some kind of futuristic hardcore drum'n'bass
track at one point. Really! Well. I thought so anyway. (Lemmy would be

A powerful night, and I probably won't leave it another 15 years 'til I see
them again. A smaller venue might be nice. On the evidence of last night
that's quite possible - the standing area was full but there looked to be
plenty of unsold seats at the sides, so maybe they over-reached
themselves playing this venue.
Nick Medford

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