This is maybe less than kind but, when I saw reprint of Nick Kent’s 1975 review of Motorhead’s debut at Hammersmith Odeon on the Rock’s Back Pages weekly newsletter, I just couldn’t resist. A comrade from the trenches of the NME slagging off three of my old mates, one of whom would become his own action figure, it was too fine to pass up. What you might call a witness to history. But what is the historical outcome of all this? Was the critic wrong or did Lemmy take Kent’s advice, rethink his battle plan and repopulate the combo? Don’t you miss the 20th century?
“In fact, Sunday night at the Hammersmith Odeon was very much yer connoisseur's guide to rampantly uninspired heavy metal thunder, kicking off with Motorhead's shocking performance which promptly prefaced the slickness to come with one of the most horrendous displays of H. Metal Savage incompetence possibly ever performed.
Of course, it didn't exactly help that guitarist Larry Wall-lace's bank of amplifiers quickly developed severe feed-back problems rendering most of his playing inaudible beneath a plethora of teeth-grinding electronic incontinence, but aside from that, the fact that Lemmy's consortium raging through the likes of 'Bye Bye Johnny' and 'I'm Waiting for the Man' ultimately comes on like nothing so much as Budgie on methedrine can't exactly gladden the soul of the more discerning metal aficionado. Forced exile camping it up at the Roundhouse should keep them from harm until such time as they see their way to approaching their craft with something other than all the panache of a butcher stripping meat from an overripe carcass. Interestingly enough, Motorhead were given an immensely hard time from the crowd. They turned quite nasty in fact towards the end, displaying all the earmarks of that rarest of commodities in London – an uncompromisingly ballsy audience.”
Click here for Laz with Motorhead
The secret word is Afterbirth