I must admit I was unsure about this one; I can’t have been alone in feeling uneasy as Lemmy spent his (what turned out to be) final few months treading the boards of America and Europe, for all the world like some sort of dancing bear being prodded into action for the benefit of faceless money men. However shortly after the great man’s death I was lucky enough to have a chat with Girlschool’s Kim McAuliffe who was actually supporting Kilmister and company on the night Clean Your Clock was recorded – in Munich, last December – and she reported the man to be in good spirits at the time, happy with the way his beloved band was being rapturously received in ever greater numbers by fans across the globe.
That’s certainly the way it appears on this largely excellent live document of that late Autumn German night. Lemmy, accompanied as ever by faithful cohorts Phil Campbell on guitar and drummer Mikkey Dee, seems in good cheer as he banters between songs with both the audience and Campbell, pausing the air of bonhomie only to dedicate Doctor Rock to former drummer Phil Taylor who had died only the week before; He chides the audience who roar on the introduction of Iron Fist’s Rock It for not having bought the album at the time and, shaky renditions of Bomber (opening song jitters maybe accounting for this) and Whorehouse Blues apart gives a sure footed, thunderous performance throughout.
Indeed he’s so sure footed that I’ve rarely if ever heard the versions of No Class or The Chase is Better Than the Catch featured here bettered, whilst the oily, filth-caked crawl of Orgasmatron is another highlight waiting to take it’s place in the pantheon of all-time great Motörhead live versions.
So, against the odds Clean Your Clock stands as a fine, and indeed fitting tribute to the lifes work of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister. And while we’ll never see his like again, it’s comforting to know that the music will go on forever thanks to recordings like this.
Clean Your Clock is released by UDR Music on May 27th.