This Monday, I’ll be looking at a double live LP set that combines two of Motorhead’s final-ish shows recorded during their 40th Anniversary tour. The date is November 20, 2015 in Germany only weeks before Lemmy’s passing from brain and neck cancer. Just a bit of fair warning, this review will be anything but objective.
Clean Your Clock on vinyl boasts a pop up art gate fold and coloured vinyl on the cover. I’m thankful in my excitement when finding this that I wasn’t able to read past “pop up art gate fold” because my mind exploded when I saw the marble grey colour of the discs!
Holding the discs for the first time I can tell that is a quality product. Not only does it come with its own plastic sleeve, but the vinyl itself feels heavy. I’d almost think it was one of my Nona’s old 78s. The CD version has the pop up art as well, but the vinyl display is obviously on a larger scale. Here I am opening it for the first time…
Time to give her a spin and take in Clean Your Clock… look at it…
The needle hits the groove and there is hardly a pop. Not sure if that speaks to the quality or the newness of the vinyl. It has been a while since I purchased a new-new vinyl record.
The albums opens up with Bomber, with feedback and all. It just wouldn’t be a Motorhead show if there wasn’t feedback. Lemmy’s vox is a little low in the mix and I’m guessing this was intentional since it wasn’t corrected for the remainder of both discs. What is right is how the six string guitar player, Phil Campbell, is coming through the left speaker and Lemmy’s bass is hammering in the right. The Mickey Dee’s drums and Lemmy’s vox are given the stereo treatment so it is like you’re standing there in 2015 watching the concert.
Stay Clean and Metropolis is next. All of these tunes are from the “classic” line up when the band was at the peak of its commercial success and consisted of Lemmy, Philthy Animal Taylor on drums, and Fast Eddie Clarke on guitar from 1979 to 1983. Lemmy seems like he is savoring these older songs instead of trying to blow through them at lightening speed like he has been known to do. I remember when he would open shows with Ace of Spades just to get it out of the way. The sound from the vinyl is warm, deep, and rich. Wow.
Both Mickey and Phil are in fine form and don’t sound a day over 22. Lemmy’s bass sounds as good as ever too but his voice does sound like he is hurting at times. He sounded better the further he got into the show, however, and you could tell he was having fun. I’m glad he forged on for us.
The setlist is mostly classic staples with When the Sky Comes Looking For You being the only song from the their latest Bad Magic album. I won’t review every song since there is a lot here, but I’ll mention a couple of highlights.
Rock It – Motorhead was always good about including an obscure tune or two in their set list. This one is from the underrated, and underselling Another Perfect Day. The album came out in 1983 and Lemmy voices how he is STILL pissed that it didn’t sell well (I bought it, Lem!). I got more to say about that album but I’ll save it for a possible review of it.
Doctor Rock – is dedicated to Philthy Animal Taylor who died just a month prior to this concert. Taylor had already left the band before Doctor Rock was recorded but it is the song with the big drum solo in it.
Lemmy says Ace of Spades is the final song in the show, but of course they come out to fulfill the encore request. The blues-y Whorehouse Blues kicks it off and you could tell Lemmy was having a blast with this one. Before starting Overkill, Lemmy admits that this will be the REAL final song of the night. I don’t know who the genius is that took this pre-amble from the first of the two recordings, but man, did it get me when Lemmy said: “If you want to see us again, we’re here tomorrow night too.” Shit.
Overkill finishes with many flourishes and the crowd roars with approval after the last note is played. Then the hum of over driven guitars sitting too close to amps takes over for a while as Motorhead walks off the stage. It was done the very same way when I saw them for the first time on July 23, 1995 at the Sudbury Arena. Although there will be many many many more post humous releases welding the Motorhead and Lemmy names, this is where the book closes for me. It is perfect.
PS: I know there is a DVD/Blu-ray video that came with the CD of this show. I have checked out what is available on YouTube and I will track the whole thing down.
PSS: I just want to thank all of those who I’m subbed to and blog regularly about music. Your writing has influenced me to expand this blog beyond only writing about Blu-rays. So, Thank you.