Look out folks, Here it comes! The Real Deal. Vintage MOTORHEAD LIVE!! remastered for Xtra brain crunching listening pleasure. This, Motorhead's VERY FIRST Live album was recorded at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, London on 18th February 1978. What's Wordsworth?, long unavailable apart from on crapola sounding bootlegs, is back!
Motorhead was enjoying the increased pulling power resulting from the recent chart success of their first album MOTORHEAD (CDWIKM 2) However, less than a year earlier, it had been a very different story. Motorhead had been on the very brink of slinging in the towel and breaking up.
Lemmy had done all that he could to keep the band from going under, in the face of every conceivable adversity. Just as it looked like it was all over, Chiswick Records stepped in to record a first (and final) single, something for the fans to remember the band by. Of course it's now well documented, how Motorhead took that opportunity to turn things around and show the Rock establishment that they were not losers and that in fact, they could show most other bands the way home.
Now just a few months later, things had changed for the better. The Motorhead was set up with a big time manager in the shape of Tony Secunda, a road crew was in place and the guys no longer had to scrabble around borrowing amplifiers and equipment to do a gig.
This Roundhouse gig was one for the true fans, the ones that had loyally stuck by Motorhead through thick and thin. In order to limit the attendance as much as possible to hard-core Motorhead fans, the band played the Roundhouse under the moniker IRON FIST & THE HORDES FROM HELL! This meant that only the inner circle would get to hear of the gig by word of mouth. Don't forget that this was before the age of the mobile phone, text messaging and the Internet.
The Roundhouse at Chalk Farm was the ideal venue for such a gig. In 1978, the venue had been, for over 10 years THE premier alternative rock gig in London. An old locomotive repair shop, situated on the edge of a huge rail shunting complex, it had been opened up as an arts lab in the latter half of the 60s and because of its size had quickly taken over from UFO and Middle Earth.
The band knew that Motorhead's followers could feel comfortable here in this vast distinctly UNplush cavern of a venue. Lemmy had played here loads of times in the past, not only with Hawkwind who were practically the houseband here in the early 70s, but also in 1969 with the legendary hippy underground outfit, Sam Gopal's Dream.
And so the stage was set for a classic gig, a thank you for those that had stuck by the band in the bad old days. A chance perhaps to recapture, shall we say, "the intimacy" of an early, pre-chart success Motorhead gig. Luckily for all you "Johnny come latelys", Chiswick Records had arranged to have the Rolling Stones' mobile recording studio on hand on the day to record this historic gig for posterity.
And so, 24 years later, almost to the day, Motorhead fans can share the excitement of this significant gig with those who were actually in the house on the night. Now remastered in stunning digital sound, turn the volume up LOUD, crack open a few cans of Carlsberg Special and invite your mates 'round, oh! and if the neighbours complain, just tell 'em to get in touch with me. (And if they don't, it just ain't LOUD ENOUGH!!)
by Ted Carroll