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Motörhead with special guests Reverend Horton Heat & Nashville Pussy


Sound Academy, Toronto - Sept 2, 2000

by Alex Young
Photography by Karen Fader McBride


There’s one name that rises above the rubble and ruins of rock and roll left by commercial radio and MTV hipster culture.  A name wherein you feel the weight of the world roll off your tongue when you say it: Motörhead, with an undying influence on the world of rock and roll that includes a blistering mixture of blues, punk, and heavy metal that everyone from Metallica to Queens of the Stone Age owe a debt of gratitude towards.

Lead singer Lemmy Kilmister has been a permanent fixture in the rock world since he infamously shared an apartment in LondonEngland in 1967 with Noel Redding. Redding was playing bass in the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the time and got Lemmy a gig as a Hendrix roadie through 1968. Then Lemmy made his debut onstage with the psychedelic shoegazing stoner rock pioneers Hawkwind after his band Sam Gopal dissolved in 1971. After getting kicked out of Hawkwind in 1975, Lemmy has since been taking his Motorhead circus of sex and sin all over the globe.

Many members of the heavy metal community in Torontoshowed their true colors and stood tall as an onslaught of Motörhead, Nashville Pussy, and Reverend Horton Heat made their mark on the city. The Sound Academy was crawling with a variety of social misfits such as biker babes, heavy metal head bangers and punks that adorned themselves with massive Mohawks like a badges of pride. It’s only when Motörhead comes to town that patrons of strip clubs, tattoo parlors, and biker bars truly reign asQueens of the City and Kings of the Creatures that go bump in the night. Honest to God though, attending a show like this might feel like you’re being transported into another dimension as you leave reality behind….but there’s no other feeling like it in the world. Motorhead


Motorhead - Sound Academy, Toronto - Sept 2, 2000




Nashville Pussy opened the show and proved that there’s more to their band than just a clever name. The band is currently on the road to ram the sounds of their new album, From Hell to Texas, into the ears of anyone that hasn’t heard of them. They surpass any notions that their studio performances might give and are definitely a band to be seen live. The atomic combination of the luscious lead guitar licks from the blonde bombshell Ruyter Suys, and the blistering bass lines thundering from the gorgeous Karen Cuda, were enough to pummel anything in their path. Blaine Cartwright belted out his whiskey-drenched rasp on lead vocals that were matched with equally cunning and often hilarious lyrics. Cartwright told the crowd that they should “support their local drug dealer” to prepare for the song “I’m So High” that had lyrics like “I’m so high/when I look down/I can see the sky”.

Reverend Horton Heat stormed the stage next with the southern charm and old school rock and roll sway while managing to add enough adrenaline to bring a dead man back to life.  Jim Heath aka Reverend Horton Heat brought his own rebellious revival of 50’s rock alive with all the guts and gusto of Buddy Holly on speed, weed, and LSD. Jimbo Wallace’s big mouth bass created enough elastic bass lines they could swallow a man alive, at one point Wallace played it on the ground while Heath stood on top during a blues-infused solo. The band played songs from their new album Laughin’ & Cryin’ including “Drinking and Smoking Cigarettes”, among classic cuts like “Psychobilly Freakout” and “Big Red Rocket of


Motorhead - Sound Academy, Toronto - Sept 2, 2000


Then it was finally time for the men of the hour to make their way onstage. As soon as the lights rose and everyone saw a man standing proudly with massive mutton chops and two plump moles, and the gravelly grunt said, “Good evening”, it was official: Lemmy Kilmister was in the building.

The band blistered the audience with a sonic apocalypse of older songs, an oncoming avalanche of new tracks and truly carved their motto, “Everything Louder than Everything Else” into the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance. The sheer force of their sound was simply astounding; it was like an audio Armageddon that the last true kings of rock and roll remain on their throne of speed. The band brought out Toronto rock figure Danko Jones to back them up on an electrifying rendition of “Killed By Death”. Mickey Dee’s drum solo on the song “In the Name of Tragedy” from 2004’s Inferno was viciously rhythmic and had enough primal power to give someone a heart attack. When the band began their encore with the acoustic tune “Whorehouse Blues”, guitarist Phil Campell and drummer Mickey Dee both played acoustic guitar well. Lemmy allowed his filthy swagger and dirty charm along with his primal grunt do all the talking on lead vocals.

Motörhead could make Clint Eastwood shake in his boots as the boys rustle their spurs and ride into town like they’ve already taken over with their audio anarchy. These silver-tongued devils continue to be tried and true, with a searing live performance that doesn’t lose an inch of integrity, or fall from their original glory of sounding straight out of the gutter.   



Alex Young