Well, technically Leeds too. But here we have it, Motörhead at their absolute finest, the `classic' line up firing on all cylinders in the North of England. On the back of the masterful `Ace of Spades' album with material from the aforementioned album, `Bomber`, `Overkill' and self titled debut their was no way in hell that this could not absolutely kill. And it does....
The fact that this was recorded in Newcastle City Hall is of particular value to me as it's where I go to see Motörhead every year, so that makes this album just that little more special for me. But still even without this added bonus this is still an iconic album, as it's full of Motörhead classics and great performances. So people complain about the sound quality of this album but considering that the Motörhead live sound is very hard to capture this is excellently produced and also you could take into account that this sounds completely awesome. Lemmy's bass and Eddie's guitar have the right degree of separation, both of them being bloody loud but never drowning the other out for instance all of Eddie's solos and Lemmy's in `Stay Clean' are perfectly audible. The drums sound excellent as well.
As far as song selection goes, the only real fault is that there isn't enough, but still more than enough Motörclassics to satisfy and then some. The only non classic song here is `Iron Horse' which is good but not in the league with the others as say Motörhead's debut wasn't in league with `Overkill', `Bomber' and `Ace of Spades'. My personal favourites amongst this impossibly strong collection of songs are `Stay Clean' in all it's `Lemmy's simple bass solos are better than any slap bass' glory, `The Hammer' which should seriously be put back in the live set, `Motörhead' which craps on the Motörhead studio version from a great distance and is as good as the Hawkwind original which features some wonderful Simon House violin solos. `(We Are) The Road Crew' is of course brilliant and descends into an orgy of feedback that isn't quite captured in the studio version. This version of `Overkill' is the finest I've ever heard and the band must have been on a whole lot of speed as it's bloody fast, Philthy Phil sounds like a train going off the rails the whole time (in the best possible way) and it's the crowning glory of this live album, as it is many a Motörhead gig.
The whole band is on fire on this album. Lemmy's bass playing is phenomenal as always, once again he proves himself as one of the best ever. To play the way Eddie does takes serious balls as you've got to be great to play this simply and still have your own identity when doing so, and Eddie does as well as great tone and feel. Philthy Animal is without doubt one of the best drummers ever (Neil Peart has nothing on Phil, sorry Rush fans!) Phil plays with such energy and excitement it's impossible not to feel moved by his performance. Together they have a unique chemistry, they sound like they could fall apart at any time but never do.
So altogether this is a classic live album as good as any (although `Live and Dangerous' is still my favourite, more songs you see). But still, this is a fantastic album no metal collection should be without it and the ideal starting point for anyone who is new to Motörhead.