Motorhead at a jazz festival? Really? Yes, really! In all fairness, the Montreux Jazz Festival is renowned for its diversity and inclusiveness, everyone from Deep Purple to ZZ Top have graced the hallowed Auditorium Stravinski stage over the years. Motorhead always crossed genres throughout their illustrious career, from punk to metal and everything in between, Lemmy would pop up in the most random of places from milk commercials to movies. It feels like the most natural thing in the world knowing that Motorhead brought their uncompromising, ear bleeding show to a jazz festival!

This lovely live recording of that very show was recorded on the band’s ‘Kiss of Death’ tour and features the most dynamic line up of the band (in my opinion) with the Welsh wizard Phil Campbell on Guitar and Mikkey Dee on drums. The track listing is a career spanning one with all eras of Motorhead (up until that point) being showcased to deafening effect.

 Opening with Snaggletooth, and Lemmy’s famous mantra of ‘We are Motorhead, and we play rock n roll’ it’s easy to see why this line up of the band lasted the longest. They really are as tight as a duck’s backside, to me though, the age-old argument of ‘are Motorhead a heavy metal band?’ with Lemmy always insisting that they were a rock n roll band falls down with the undeniable fact that Mikkey Dee is 100% a metal drummer, and a bloody good one at that!

We get all the favourites of course, Stay Clean, Metropolis, Going to Brazil, Killed by Death, Iron Fist, Ace of Spades, and a ferocious performance of Overkill. For me though, the later material on this live album highlights some of the bands best. In the Name of Tragedy from the Inferno album is an absolute belter and sounds amazing here. We also get the brilliant neck destroying ‘Be My Baby’ from ‘Kiss of Death’ and it’s great to hear ‘I Got Mine’ from ‘Another Perfect Day’ sounding so fresh. We also get a decent cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Rosalie’ which works well with Lemmy’s vocal approach. ‘Sacrifice’ with its double bass drum barrage and crunchy riff has always been a favourite of mine and we get a trademark Mikkey Dee drum solo in the middle of the song.

The production is rock solid, the band really are on fire here, and the package is great as usual from the BMG camp. Available on double LP, double CD, and all digital platforms. Live at Montreux Jazz Festival 2007 will be a great addition to any Motorheadbangers collection. Jazz….nice..

Author: Kenny Kendrick