Airbourne/Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons -
02 Academy, Sheffield, Monday 20th November, 2017
Set List: Big Mouth/Ring Leader/Rock Out/Freakshow/Take Aim/Born To Raise Hell/No Turning Back/R.A.M.O.N.E.S/Dark Days/Silver Machine/Ace Of Spades.
Two mighty Bands right here on the first school night of the week – it made no difference though since it was pretty packed. Apologies – we all but missed openers, The Wild but they went over really good – I only caught the end of the last song unfortunately – next time we promise to see their set.
Anyway, it's been quite a while since Alan Shooter and I had witnessed the legendary guitarist, Phil Campbell on stage. It kinda seems weird to not to see Lemmy beside him and Mikkey Dee behind him too – a big hole that can never be filled will always be gaping open since the loss of Mr. Kilmister. These guys do their absolute best to keep the memory alive by throwing in a few Motorhead songs within the set that has plenty of their own songs too.
Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons are made up him of course of three of his sons Todd (Guitar); Tyla (Bass); Dane on drums with Neil Starr on vocals – a powerful corkscrew haired geezer with a very powerful, ballzy, bawling voice indeed. Great songs included 'Big Mouth' and 'No Turning Back'!
They grabbed Sheffield by the balls pretty damn quick and soon had the very full crowd singing along to many of the numbers in their set – especially classics like 'Born To Raise Hell' which guaranteed plenty of fists and fingers in the air too in the chorus indeedy. Great plug in telling us the name of one of the songs and that it was on the E.P. Available at £5 at the merch stand – can't fault it at all.
There's little doubt that Mr. C was proud of his pack tonight, lapping it up in every song and giving us a big 'Fuck You' from the back of his guitar too – that was just typical of his 'I don't give a you know what kinda humour'. At one point, sharing the microphone with Mr. Starr which was cool to see.
Footage was also filmed using a selfie stick of a couple of the songs, most notably 'Silver Machine' that Phil dedicated to Lemmy, Phil Taylor and Wurzel' which we were told would be on YouTube soon. More singalongs ensued.
Now there was only one way to finish their set and that was with the milestone that is 'Ace Of Spades' with the entire crowd nearly drowning out the band on every word of the song – a fine moment that I am sure Lem would wholeheartedly approve of. Next time I hope they are back as a headliner.
Set List: Intro (Main Title from 'Terminator 2')/Ready To Rock/I'm Going To Hell For This/Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast/Down On You/Rivalry/Girls In Black/Bottom Of The Well/Breakin' Outta Hell/It's All For Rock 'N' Roll/Stand Up For Rock 'N' Roll.
Encore: Live It Up/Raise The Flag/Running Wild.
Now its a good few years that I have seen these guys – 9 years to be exact in another famous Sheffield venue. Anyways, the crazy beer buzzling folk in here were so ready for this kickass bunch of Aussies made up of Joel O'Keeffe (Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar); brother, Ryan O'Keeffe (Drums/Percussion); Justin Street (Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals) and Harri Harrison (Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals)!
Yep, the one and the only Airbourne who come across to me like a hyperactive AC/DC with no sense of letting up for a second hardly – apart from his flash beacon that went out after a few seconds which made him look an ass – hilarious – the show must go on though and that it certainly did.
“Yorkshire, Yorkshire”, the crowd cry at them – reminding the guys where they are I guess – or themselves – take your pick – lol, with the main man saying it was great to be back in Sheffield having been to South America, Canada, all over the USA, into parts of Europe (that I can't rember the names of – getting old ya see!) and even back to their homeland of Australia. Everyone in here was pleased to have these play a million miles an hour m*th*rf*ck*rs back in Steel City too who rocked in unison to the numbers, screaming out the lyrics like O'Keeffe himself.
There's loads of beer slinging around the room with plastic pint glasses coming from the stage as opposed to the other way round – free alcohol and a drenching too – just ask my buddy, Nic Rudd about that – lol, not to mention their very one Lemmy's bar where the frontman put down his guitar and made drinks for the crowd – healthy over the limit/DUI measures I may add too which were generously handed out.
We drank and cheered with respect to the memory of the recently passed AC/DC Rhythm Guitarist, Malcolm Young and of course Lemmy (who it was for originally) with the song 'All For Rock 'N' Roll' dedicated to the two of them tonight. Also witnessed early on in the night was Joel going out into the crowd on the back of a roadie – something he's done for a few years like Angus used to do back in the day.
I am absolutely amazed that he hasn't ripped his head open smashing beer cans against the cranium with the likes of Budweiser or whatever the hell it was spaying out of newly made holes – seeing him throw it in the air and punch it off into the crowd somewhere – he ain't right! Hahahah! Then asking us what we'd say to our boss if we'd turned up at work late after being at the Airbourne gig which of course came the joyous and thunderous 'Fuck You' with middle fingers in the air – class!
Mr. Keefe was up in the balcony giving a show for the disabled people which was so nice of him, rocking on the stage right amp stack in the 1st encore number as well as the air raid siren being rung on the floor below. Or what about presenting the last plectrum to the little lad at the front on the left – a memory he will no doubt treasure for years to come.
There was so much boundless everlasting, energy down-under humour and camaraderie that you nearly forget about the songs themselves which were screamed and rasped at us, never mind those ferocious raw riffs in them that were plentiful the whole way through the set.
So many killer songs and to be honest one massive highlight from beginning to end with cut's like 'Down On You'; 'Breakin' Outta Hell'; 'Stand Up For Rock 'N' Roll'; the almost a ballad 'Rivalry'; the all important 'Girls In Black' and 'Runnin' Wild' that closed the night – the song that started it all with Lemmy driving the truck in the video!
Raw, Rough 'n' Ready, Rock 'N' Roll that's filter free – the way it should be!
By Glenn Milligan