Is it just me or is Ian Kilmister, better known as ‘Lemmy’ from Motorhead a bit of a modern day style icon?
It was bon fire night and instead of going to a fireworks show the McConnachie family headed to the O2 Carling Academy in Glasgow to see Motorhead. I must admit when my Dad suggested a family gig I was a bit sceptical, however, when Motorhead was mentioned I could not pass up the opportunity. Though I may not seem like your regular head banging, heavy metal lover, Motorhead are a band I have been brought up with and I can’t help but have a wee soft spot for them…so I put on my Docs and headed for the Carling.
As we entered the venue I was met with the inevitable middle aged metal mob: bald men who had delved into their 70s wardrobe and returned, beer bellies bulging out their band tees, leather trousers bursting at the seems and toes crushed in their scuffed up cow boy boots. Yet, I was surprised to see an even balance between old and young, including some who had barely even reached their teenage years. It appears that Motorhead have managed to span across the generations. Young boys and girls made their way to the front of the stage, clutching cups of JD and coke. They too don the leather trousers and jackets, Motorhead band tees, steel-toe capped boots and doc martins but with a modern edge adding skinny jeans, blazers and shirts into the mix.
When looking around the packed, sold out venue I couldn’t help but ask why? Why are Motorhead still popular in 2011? Yes, this is perhaps due to the loyal, die-hard fans of the seventies but why are they also noted amongst the young music scene when most tracks have the same uncanny resemblance from the likes of 1984s ‘Killed by Death’ from 2010s ‘Outlaw’?
Maybe the question is in itself the answer, the fans know exactly what they are paying for when they buy an album or a gig ticket. They know that Motorhead will stick to the same, fantastic formula and wont move in a new direction. This perhaps explains why Motorhead fans are so loyal. However, I think a lot of the bands modern popularity is due to the legendary status of front man Lemmy.
Though the front man has always been looked up to by fans it seems that in the past decade he has become a legendary face in the rock ‘n’ roll world, with members of bands claiming to be friends with him, a movie recently made about his life and an unholy amount of merchandise that could compete with Disney’s standards. The most successful of such merchandise has to be the Lemmy clothing line. It is impossible to drop into Nice N Sleazys for a pint and not see at least one Motorhead t-shirt, hoodie or hat.
From the moment the lights dimmed and the piercing sound of an air raid siren filled the room, the crowd began cheering as Lemmy sauntered on stage, donning the classic cowboy hat with a Scotland flag on the front. Fans looked up at him mesmerised as the opening riff of ‘Bomber’ rang out. It was then that I began to look at Lemmy as a bit of a style icon for modern fans.
From the start of ‘Bomber’ to last drum beats of ‘Overkill‘, there was much head banding as the mosh pit grew larger. Men, young and old ditched had ditched their tops by the second song, showing off their Lemmy tats as they moshed.
As the gig ended and the band took a bow, I stood with my family impressed and content after what had been a great night. I think it’s safe to say that the Motorhead gig in Glasgow will now become an annual McConnachie family tradition… On the note I am going to start preparing for my wardrobe for next year, and there is no better time than now with the a/w mod vs. rockers style in shops from leather trousers, to peter pan collars.