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An Ode To Motorhead and Lemmy. Class.

Mes dames unt mein herres regard et ecoutes le fantastique Lemmy Kilminster in a great interview in er…c.1970, 80-something dealing most magnificently with a rather staid sounding journalist. (click link as embedding disabled!)


I have only ever seen Motorhead four times in my life – the first time was when I was 11 where my ears bled and I couldn’t hear anything at school for the next week which was quite the best thing ever. At the gig me and my brothers turned to our Dad and shouted ‘Daddeee, our ears really huuurt’ We were told to stop moaning and put our fingers in our ears which we did for most of the show with a few goes of daring each other to take our fingers out at which point we would all scream and laugh because it felt like you were being hit by an express train of noise. Brilliant. Also especially brilliant was running around at the aftershow helping ourselves to everything while the adults got trashed. I then became a punk and decided I couldn’t talk to or be seen with flare-wearing ‘heavy metallers’ – mainly pimplygeekboys with long dull mousy hair and cut off denim jackets with Journey and Motorhead patches sewn onto the back. Secretly I loved Ace of Spades which to me has always been more punk than metal but that’s another story.

The other three gigs were much later in life and most recently the other week at timewarp Hammersmith Odeon. I mean the Apollo of course although it hasn’t changed at all and is still the same old smelly, sticky, beery, dark Odeon. As I queued at the bar I could see a man and his no more than 10 or 11yr old son standing next to me. Thoughts of blimey I wonder what they are going to order? Two JD and Coke? ran through my mind. Surely not. Suddenly the Dad piped up:
“Two vanilla icecreams please”. I love that. A great mix of traditional theatre interval snack coupled with unbelievably loud and proper rock and roll. What more could an 11 year old want?

Next I went in search of the Ladies. I didn’t really need a wee – I just wanted to eavesdrop on possibly amusing fan talk. There was a woman queuing who was dressed in a big mega shiny polyester basque and was apparently following every UK show on the current tour. Staggering. She was moaning about how she had been in Southend earlier in the week, had to go up to Wolverhampton the next day and was really pissed off The Damned were on as support as it meant she might miss her last train home to Ipswich. Now that is a dedicated fan. Then she spent at least 12 mins trying to stop her ‘blimming flyaway hair’. Jesus christ woman – we are at a gig – a Motorhead gig – it’s dark, and sweaty, and loud – fuck the flyaway hair that would be long gone by the middle 8 of Bomber!


I missed Girlschool who were on before The Damned – mainly due to eavesdropping as above. I could hear the chugga chugga of their only hit I know which is the one they originally performed with Motorhead “Please Don’t Touch”. Top tune. Perhaps that is their only hit but I’m sure not. I did get very organised and make sure that I didn’t miss The Damned who were on great form. It is the only time I have heard Dave Vanian sing brilliantly. Really. He was incredible. Monty Oxymoron was leaping about like an excited demented Magnus Pyke from the underworld and La Sensible was tight tight tight. All in all quite neat neat neat despite the naff gimmick of the Captain being pretend-pulled off stage for trying to sing Happy Talk as an encore.


Next the atmosphere shifted and suddenly it felt like iron filings were filling the air with their heavy metallic tension. Lots of big boom boom on the bass drum and wheeling large hangings into place. Premature cheering. Flashing green lights – that sort of thing. Suddenly a big cheeeer-rraaargghhh roar.

I saw the top of Lemmy’s big stetson hat floating across the stage – at that point I had the tallest man with the fattest neck suddenly come and stand in front of me. Not great when you are 5’3″. He moved (after I shouted “for fuck’s sake” a little too loudly).

Lemmy’s wonderfully raspy opening salvo was exactly this: Hello.
We are Motorhead and we play Rock and Fucking Roll.

(Vintage Top of Pops with Filthy Phil Taylor chewing gurning-gum madly)

And so they fugging do – brillliant vibrant rock and roll. Bomber, Rock With Your Cock Out, Metropolis, No Class, (Teach You How To) Sing the Blues were big highlights. I don’t wholly get the whole proper metal thing really – Motorhead are more punk to me. I don’t get the devil’s hand point thing and I don’t get the slightly overlong drum solo’s impressive as they are. Leaping about yes – headbanging no – I just don’t get it. The diehard fans love it and Motorhead love them back which is great. But what I do get is the noise (and the louder the better), the proper bluesy rock’n’roll chords and arrangements and the life of the rock and roller all gloriously breathed in and out night after night after night by a 64 year old man in tight black jeans and big boots who sure knows how to live. Impressive. Fun. Perfect.

Life Art In Life

Art I love to look at: Russian mafia grave art….




Prisoner art..




you can see all, buy and find out more at Koestler Trust exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall here – at weekends female offender curators of the exhibition take guided toursbrilliant scheme

and fairground art..




I love the silky airbrushed pseudo-realistic style of fairground art – makes it all the more exciting when you are there if they have the big colourful hordings everywhere. And I love the way they use celebrity to add to the smoke and mirrors effect of the fairground. Great people-watching too I always find.

From The Back Of My Notebook


Wolftank Systems.
Thonegger. We are in an industrial area.

Italy passes by at night to the sound of The Watt From Pedro Show and WWM podcasts. Inspiring. Lost in other worlds transported by people talking about tv, stuff, music, tours and people. Love it.

Stars are out, the mountains are clear. People are kind.

Hot face, lots of wood. Listening to bass. Thump on the snow. Bag doesn’t fit in, everyone in ski lift ignoring the smell of puke and blaming it on the cheese that someone is taking up the mountain. I don’t think so.

The police won’t let us pass and I get spooked going for a wee behind a derelict mountain house. I am sure I am being watched.

Lost in the time zone, floating on the road.


(Written on a drive from one location to another at night whilst filming in Italy).

Mirror Signal Snap!

Filming in Italy but taking my own photo’s at same time….


Fantastic day-glo seats at Brindisi Airport


Milano Centrale Stazione


Carpark Disco Granny


Braies Lake


Homeless In Milan Central Station


Taxi Queue Milan


Milan Central Stazione – built by Mussolini!


Men shooting the breeze in Lecce


Homeless man outside Genoa Station


A short stop – nice light

Morons Of The World Unite


I gave them the benefit of the doubt but when the lights hadn’t been fixed for the third day running I thought perhaps

(a) they hadn’t noticed
(b) they didn’t care
(c) they like it like that

so I took a photo as I drove past – much to the utter bemusement of other drivers.

Gaga Leroy

Is it me or is there something rather JT LeRoy




Lady Gaga?

Things That Make You Go Agh!


Weird things make my toes curl and my buttocks clench at the same time. Two of them are: The word Emo.


Makes me think of teenagers who get all depressed, wear black and listen to terrible eeemoo music in their bedrooms that are probably also painted black.


And then there is Soho bon viveur restauranteur Aldo Zilli in those breakfast cereal ads. Is it just me or is the way he says ‘Optivita’ really ggggghhhh?

What makes you go aaaaghhh?

Grin Dangerous Gin


This is chef and chief sot Keith Floyd (no relation to Eddie) with his fourth wife looking ecstatically happy. What the hell have they got to be happy about? The photographer’s assistant evidently has chucked a load of leaves at them and let them be shot wearing his’n’hers white leather wooden footwear and in Keith’s case avec sock. I mean I ask you? And they are so beige. Kids – don’t drink gin – this is what happens – you end up looking like a gurning outtake from ill-fated British soap Triangle.

Hi De Hi, Hi De No!



Awfully sorry for yet another gap but I have a genuine reason other than sheer laziness, twittering and bloggers blogfright this time. I have been camping in Cornwall. I can hear a chorus of ‘oh how lovely’. Well quite, in theory but in practice not quite exactly what I had in mind per se. I went with the 8 year old – voici le Garcon de Ginge:


and my very fine and good friend Reeecolaah (no that’s not her real name but in the interest of privacy I have rhymed it with something silly):


there she is stuck in a mound of Dr Who-like heather with Garcon de Ginge.

These were our pristine and weird and INCREDIBLY BORING campsite neighbours:


Yes. If you were wondering they were actually inside the tent all battened in reading mythical fantasy novels on the only sunny day. That was after they had eaten all bran and done the washing for the day. We lasted three days out of the allotted week for the simple reason that my poor friend was almost consumed by a gale bashed tent stuck giant slug style to her face. The first night we heard loud explosive bangs and a siren coming from the sea. My friend remarked wistfully that she could hear fireworks. I corrected that it was a storm warning and actually a succession of distress flares which all made perfect sense at 01:30 when we were running around in pyjamas and wellies trying to secure the tent in a gale force 6. I still have the scars on my palms from the guy ropes lacerating my skin like razorwire. Moral: don’t try and lash anything down with your bare wet hands (especially rope or cord) in a force 6 gale!

Fast forward to same night 03:30 battling with boggy ground and pegs that won’t stay in as the wind has pulled them out so many times there is now no longer any purchase.

Fast forward same night 04:30 both of us soaked through staring at each other saying: I hate this. Well actually I think we said: this is SHIT!

Fast forward to same night/morning 06:00 – I wake up to panicked shouts of ‘Rockmother! Get up now – the tent is on my face!’ I leapt up and then immediately lost balance on deflating airbed then headbutted the flysheet. Oh comedy camping capers. We finally both staggered outside to see the tent sagging badly on her side which again had lost purchase in the ground that had had a years worth of rain in 2 hours.


Next door had the same problem – we saw a lot of pyjama welly and wet hair action going on throughout the night. Basically no one slept a wink – one family abandoned their tent completely – just took the contents and left. Good move. Later that morning a few obviously seasoned campers came over to say hello and have an irritatingly jolly chat. What the bloody hell did they have to be so jolly about? They all seemed to think it was hilarious and fun that we had all camped out in the eye of a terrible storm.

This lasted for two more days at which point we:
(a) became very miserable and ratty
(b) had to gather around a coolbox with junior monopoly balanced precariously on top lit only by a tiny torch to have mammoth raucous games which garcon de ginge loved as we..
(c) drank copious amounts of wine to obliterate the ability of getting up any more at night to rectify the tent

(d) decided that people who like camping in extremis are mad and obviously like being inconvenienced and cooped up in flappy nylon for fun

(e) thought about torching the tent but himwhosnoreslikeabison would probably not be that happy so we didn’t.


That’s garcon de ginge Martin PArr-style getting back to nature with a seal.

But really, camping is no fun if all you can do is stagger around with hot weatherbeaten faces in damp clothes smelling of dog and have to run the risk of permanent tinnitus due to incredibly loud nylon flapping noise from wind and rain beating down like a ton of marbles onto the roof for 48hrs solid. So we moved. Sheer luck and god knows how we found a 2 bedroom pre-fab holiday home type thing in beautiful grounds including a heated swimming pool half a mile down the road. It had a hand-painted kaola bear plate on the wall in the kitchen.


It was bliss. So it was quite an adventure and despite the harrowing start we still had a great time which involved laughing quite a lot because if we hadn’t we may have cried. Check out the unconscious ‘art therapy’ we did on the beach as part of our recovery….


Ta ta for now.

All photos © Rockmother except top photo © (yes – they are for real!!)

Should you find yourself at a loose end or bored of the radio click here for Listen With Rockmother podcasts – you love it!

Tra La La


Behold the hysterical woman. I thought I better revive my ailing blawg before you all desert me? Don’t be shy.

I’ve been reading things a bit wrong lately which makes life far more interesting than normal. This morning I could have sworn I read a headline proclaiming: Amy Establishes Rehabilitation Unit which sent me off into a reverie of ‘Oh how nice, Amy Winehouse is sooo much better she has founded a rehab centre called Blakes (probably). But no, on third look it was aaarmy. Derr. Oh well. It’s the school holidays. Can you tell?


I was looking in google pictures for ‘jelly brain’ but all that came up was this. I am afraid he is so good I couldn’t leave him out could I ?

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