Live Review: Motorhead and The Stranglers, Eden Project

Live music is the best when you can feel it pulsate through your body. Nothing compares to that sensation, and very few bands are efficient in delivering it to a vast audience. Fortuitously though, Saturday night sent Eden’s biomes into a state of effervescent chaos with loud and classic rock ‘n’ roll music that caused your bones to quiver inside your trembling skin.

King Creature, a run-of-the-mill metal band from Par, opened the evening. Undeniably, they were a worthy warm-up act and got the crowd on their feet, yet their lack of pioneering material created a monotonous experience at best. They merely lacked the essential ingredients to make their set a memorable one.

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Next on the agenda were an iconic English rock band who emerged via the punk rock scene in the mid-1970s. The Stranglers created an uproar when they breezed out onto the stage, and it became apparent from the crowd’s band T-shirts that many individuals had turned up exclusively to see them.

They played a commendable hour-long set that featured all of the old favourites, including Golden Brown, Peaches and No More Heroes. It wasn’t just their musical prowess that had the audience beguiled though; their critical mockery of Glastonbury festival invoked a hearty round of applause from the dedicated audience. They may not have been a band with an energetic stage-presence, but their banter with us mere audience folk almost compensated for that deficiency.

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There was a disconsolate atmosphere when The Strangers departed from the stage and left us to our own devices once more. But the legendary Motörhead didn’t keep us waiting for too long, and frontman Lemmy’s greeting words, “We are Motörhead and we play rock ‘n’ roll”, were met with an eager response.

Motörhead consider themselves to be the “world’s loudest rock band”, and if you were ill-fated enough to forget ear plugs, then you certainly learnt that point with a deafening clarity. Who knew that loud music could leave you feeling like you’ve been beaten to a pulp? The band sure can perform though, and after forty years of keeping themselves in the spotlight, it’s invigorating to see that they have absolutely no intentions of slowing down, (or lowering the decibels).

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Without a shadow of a doubt, all of their songs sound like recycled copies of Ace of Spades. But Motörhead are what they are, and supplied us with an evening of instrumental quality in unity with Lemmy’s infamous gravelly voice, sung through his characteristically high microphone. No one could argue with the fact that at the age of sixty-nine the performer still has his gift to belt out a few tracks.

Highlights came in the form of Mikkey Dee’s notably superhuman drum solo, and the group’s thrash-out of their only real hit, Ace of Spades. Everything else was mediocre in its deliverance, and it would be an injustice of truth to say that there was anything truly extraordinary about their set.

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Motörhead’s performance was grotesquely predictable, but there’s just something that you have to adore about being in the presence of the three aged rockers. The only major disappointment came when they announced their last song after a mere fifty minutes of playing. This came as a massive blow to the audience, and a fifteen minute encore didn’t seem to soften the act of ungenerousness in my opinion. They could have given us a little bit more!

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Review by Keira Trethowan
Photography by Craig Taylor-Broad