There are few bands in the world today that deserve the title of “Living Legends”, but Motorhead are surely one. Their massive rock power begat thrash added some oomph to the first punk explosion and kept the musical genre of metal real when its dignity was under assault from spandex-wearing hairspray abusers.

My own fascination with Motorhead led me to not only buy every studio album the band has produced, all but one of their live ones, and main man Lemmy Kilmister’s early work with Hawkwind, Sam Gopal and – yes! – even his 1960s beat combo the Rockin’ Vicars.

Unfortunately, being immobile by nature I’d never had a chance to see the band live. Needless to say when they finally played Ottawa I was there in the front row, merely feet away from a stack of PA amplifiers of a girth and size usually reserved for papal tours.

Before finally getting a chance to see my long-time favourites up close, Montreal heavy rockers Priestess provided a taster: A wide range of influences from stoner rock to NWOBHM and hard rock, and a good, melodic singer, they made a good impression, though a few crowd members were heard yelling for them to get off. (The first band of the evening, Damn 13, came and went before I arrived.)

After much more shouting from the audience eager to catch the main event, out came Motorhead to tumultuous applause and much horny-handidness. They launched into their first song, and almost immediately some clot in the crowd tossed their jacket on stage, landing neatly over the neck of Lemmy’s bass guitar. It wasn’t the only aggravation of the night. Monitor problems - which prompted repeated but good-natured grumbling about the inability of Lemmy to hear his own vocals - and feedback were obviously annoying the band.

Of course, Motorhead have been on the road for 30 years; with that much experience under their belts they’ve undoubtedly seen worse. For the audience, everything sounded “top notch!” – and extraordinarily loud.

Lemmy was the epitome of the charismatic frontman, plugging their latest (excellent) album 'Inferno' with amused charm “I don’t care if you steal it, just listen to it!” and introducing 'R-A-M-O-N-E-S' dedicated to the dearly departed brothers ("It wasn't a sad song when I wrote it, but it is now, coz everyone I wrote it about is dead …") and murdered Pantera and Damage Plan guitarist Dimebag Darrell.

That number had the audience moshing the hardest, but everything in the set hit the spot.' Flying To Brazil'; 'Over The Top', 'Just Because You've Got The Power', a couple from the much-loved (joking!) 'Another Perfect Day (Dancing On Your Grave, I Got Mine)' favourites like 'Killed by Death' and 'Sacrifice' ("Don't dance to this, you'll break your legs" quoth Lemmy). Of course there were a few off 'Inferno' ('Killers', a super version of  'In The Name of Tragedy') and a host of others.

They encored with 'Whorehouse Blues' with Mikky Dee joining in on acoustic guitar (and tossing it neatly to a waiting stage hand at song's end), the perennial standby 'Ace of Spades' and climaxed with 'Overkill'.

A great show from a great band.

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