Motorhead/The Stranglers - Eden Sessions - Bodelva, Cornwall - 27th June 2015 Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rowland   
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 04:00

When Motorhead started 40 years ago, Lemmy stated that if they moved in next door to you, your lawn would die. 40 years later they’re playing The Eden Project. Is this a sign that Motorhead’s powers are waning in their latter years? Or are they just making plants stronger these days? 

 

Stranglers

 

The Eden Project is a very admirable educational charity and eco tourist attraction, situated in a former quarry in Cornwall, a bit like a space age state-of-the-art Kew Gardens. The Eden Sessions are a series of outdoor Summer concerts held right slap bang in the middle of these stunning surroundings, and tonight brings together two bands whose paths would probably have crossed fairly regularly in the later ‘70s – Motorhead and The Stranglers. As we wander around the project during the day, old punks and headbangers mingle with a knowing smile as AC/DC, Hawkwind and Motorhead t-shirts drift past those of The Stranglers, The Ruts and X-Ray Spex. Today is a coming together of punk and metal in the most unlikely of surroundings and throughout the two days we are here for the event, never has there been more goodwill and friendliness passing through the air.

 

The Stranglers are a band I’ve liked for a very long time indeed, but haven’t actually seen live since the ‘80s and the days of Hugh Cornwell. Tonight is a long overdue reunion, and my first chance to catch them with Baz Warne at the helm, playing Cornwell’s old role. The weather has been scorching all day, and the atmosphere is perfect as The Stranglers hit the stage and launch into ‘Toiler On The Sea’. It’s a pretty well rounded set that features a whole host of old nuggets like ‘(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)’, ‘Nice’n’Sleazy’, ‘Duchess’, ‘Hanging Around’ and ‘5 Minutes’ mixing it up with big hits ‘Golden Brown’ and ‘Always The Sun’ and a smattering of latter day material, like ‘Norfolk Coast’. Baz Warne does a superb job fronting the band. He does sound similar to Hugh Cornwell, it has to be said, but he has a massive personality of his own and is jovial throughout, changing the lyric of ‘Always The Sun’ to “who has the job of sucking my knob” and similarly during ‘Peaches’ – “I could think of a lot worse places to be, like down in the streets, or down in the sewer, or in a fucking muddy field in Glastonbury” (this is of course Glastonbury weekend). The hour long set flies by in a flash, and before we know it, JJ Burnel’s recognisable bass flourish signals ‘No More Heroes’ and the end of a magnificent set that is every bit as good as what is to follow. No Jet Black at all for this one, but I’ll be catching the Stranglers again at the first opportunity after this.

 

Motorhead

 

Eight days after I last saw them (at Hellfest), it’s time for another dose of Motorhead. You can see why over the years I’ve racked up nearly 70 Motorhead gigs by now, but rarely have I seen them in such unusual and beautiful surroundings. They have of course just bewildered and delighted the Glastonbury hoards the night before, but tonight they are most definitely playing to a home crowd. It’s the same set as Glastonbury, save for the very welcome added bonus of ‘Orgasmatron’, but that lot didn’t deserve it anyway. My only gripe it that ‘We Are Motorhead’ has become the opening shot once again, whereas at Hellfest and indeed last year, it was the far superior ‘Shoot You In The Back’. Still, with Fast Eddie-era classics like ‘Stay Clean’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘Over The Top’, and ‘The Chase Is Better Than The Catch’ following, who’s complaining? ‘Another Perfect Day’s ‘Rock It’ is a fine choice, and ‘Lost Woman Blues’ makes sure it isn’t all the old stuff. Mikkey Dee works up another sweat with a scintillating drum solo during ‘Dr. Rock’, ‘Orgasmatron’ is.. well, orgasmic, but ‘Going To Brazil’ for me is “going to the bar”. It has to be a quick dash though, as ‘Ace Of Spades’ and the usual encore of ‘Overkill’ wrap things up in fine style. Lemmy is on good form tonight, getting involved in the banter a lot more than he did at Hellfest, and although he doesn’t move around like he did in days gone by, sings and strums that bass just fine. Its business as usual for Lemmy and the boys - another great set from a truly classic band.

 

This event was well worth the marathon drive it took to experience it. The Evening Standard famously once declared that this was the closest you will get to watching a gig on the moon. Well unless the moon has suddenly developed lush greenery, a tropical rainforest housed in a state of the art greenhouse complex, rampant wildlife, fine Mediterranean cuisine and an impressive selection of Cornish ales, I would suggest this isn’t quite true! It is however the closest you will get to watching a gig in the most perfect situation you could imagine. If in future years the Eden Sessions hosts a band you like, I can’t recommend it enough, but get there early or even the day before and soak up everything the Eden Project has to offer too. It’s great value for money – the ticket prices are very reasonable and the camping is dirt cheap, as is the delicious locally brewed beer!

 

Tonight, Motorhead moved in next door to the Eden Project, and it appears no vegetation was harmed during the making of this concert.

 

To visit The Stranglers store on Amazon - CLICK HERE

 

To visit the Motorhead store on Amazon - CLICK HERE