Motorhead Live The Marquee London 1975 and Newcastle City Hall 1978

Motorhead Live The Marquee London 1975 and Newcastle City Hall 1978
motortixFrom day one I was really into the image of Lemmy and Motorhead. The idea of the gun-slinging outsider “louder than anyone else” rock’n’roller appealed to me. I was lucky enough to see the band at one of their first ever gigs, when they played the Marquee Club in London in August 1975. My mate and I were on our way to the Reading Festival, and stopped off in London en route. By chance, Motorhead were playing at the Marquee that night so we went along to see them. Support came from a London band called National Flag, who were quite popular at the time, and were resident band at the Marquee. This was the first Motorhead line-up of Lemmy, ex-Pink Fairies Larry Wallis, and Lucas Fox on drums. Imagine our surprise when we walked into the Marquee club, only to see Lemmy himself playing on the one armed bandit. We had a chat with him, and he advised us on how best to play the bandits. A few years later, I saw Lemmy again in similar circumstances; this time playing a bandit in the bar at Newcastle City Hall. Motorhead were a bit rough that night at the Marquee, but you could see the track that they would be treading. The set consisted of a few new songs, some Pink Fairies (“City Kids” I think), the song “Motorhead” itself, and a couple of classics (“Johnny B Goode”). This initial Motorhead Line-up was short-lived and was soon replaced by the classic grouping of Lemmy on bass and vocals, “Fast Eddie” Clarke on guitar, and drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. The next time I saw Motorhead it was the classic line-up and they were on their first major headline tour, which called at Newcastle City Hall. motorprogThat was in 1978, and by then the band had released their first eponymous album. Support came from ex-Pink Fairies Duncan Sanderson’s Lightning Raiders (although I am sure that they were announced as “The Deviants” but I don’t think the late great Mick Farren was there?). The programme from that gig tells me that it’s “All About Being Loud” and “Loud Enough? Christ! It’s like being wired to some gigantic vibrator – not a sound – more of a sensation. Pete Sutton, NME.” “Noise is a big part of Motorhead mania, some fans actually stick their heads in the P.A. bins.” I didn’t quite do the latter, but I did stand right next to the P.A. at a gig at the Mayfair (probably the Bomber tour), which might explain something about the current state of my hearing. Motorhead were a breath of fresh air at the time, accepted by the NWOBHM fraternity and by the punks. I found a setlist from Hammersmith 1978 on the internet. I suspect the City Hall concert featured a similar set: Motörhead; Vibrator; Tear Ya Down; Keep Us on the Road; Leaving Here; I’ll Be Your Sister; Lost Johnny; The Watcher; Damage Case; Iron Horse/Born to Lose; No Class; Louie Louie; Limb from Limb; (I Won’t) Pay Your Price; I’m Your Witch Doctor; Train Kept A-Rollin’; City Kids; White Line Fever. I always liked the raw energy and pure rock’n’roll noise produced by this band, and went on to see them several more times over the next few years. I’ll write a little more about them over the next few days.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on November 19, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Great blog Peter.

    I was at the October ’78 City Hall show (I went to six City Hall gigs in nine days at this time! – 22nd Budgie, 24th The Buzzcocks, 25th Judas Priest, 26th Whitesnake, 29th Motorhead, 30th Siouxsie & The Banshees).

    The Motorhead 1978 set at the City Hall was exactly as you describe except that after the White Line Fever encore they came back on and did the song Motorhead again.

    Lightning Raiders were great too.


    • Posted by vintagerock on November 19, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Wow sounds like you had a busy couple of weeks at that time Mitch
      I was probably at most of those gigs too. I was a big fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees at the time
      Best wishes Peter


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