Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:
Yes, I went to Motörhead last night and it was great, thanks for asking, although I probably can't hear you because I am deaf.
Of the warm-up acts I can tell you little since I missed them, arriving, as I did, straight after work at 21:00. They were apparently good, although they played very short sets.
Motörhead say they are the loudest band in the world, they did have a lot of amps and they made a lot of noise, and it was mostly good. That said, I can be fairly sure the sound engineers would have received an absolute roasting.
There were feedback issues every time Lemmy tried to engage in inter-song banter with the crowd which really pissed him off. And one instance of feedback in a song - their trademark song "Ace of Spades" no less - which would probably be the worst thing that could have happened.
This isn't the first time that I've noticed this at the St James. To be fair I've only been there twice, the time before was Nick Cave back in May, but during that show they suffered sound issues as well though not of feedback, just everything blending together and sounding duller (most probably because there were almost a dozen different people playing/singing at once, a thankless task to try and mix properly).
I am unsure as to whether the St James is a venue for loud bands. There just isn't enough space for the sound to dissipate, it just bounces straight back. It's an excellent venue, built for sound amplification, and with two mezzanines you can never be disappointingly far from the stage. But that's the problem, the sound goes out at 100db for only 50 metres before it hits a wall to be reflected back again. Whereas somewhere larger like the Supertop or somewhere outdoors lets the sound go away, never to re-enter the microphones. Speaking of microphones the stage layout didn't help either with microphones in front of two huge stacks of guitar amps, the bleeding of drum and guitar into vocals was unfortunate. I don't know how Motörhead would go doing a TOOL with the vocalist behind or alongside the drums and amps, but no matter.
A rating then? 7/10. The sound has to take a few points off, but they are a kick-arse band and bloody nice chaps, hanging off the stage to shake hands and pass out the usual goodies to fans at the end.