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Phil Campbell's All Starr Band - Globe, Cardiff - August 23 2014 (Live Review)

Friday, 05 September 2014 Written by Jon Stickler

Phil Campbell has been lead axesmith, or rather Lord Axesmith, in Motörhead for 28 years. He's toured the globe, sold millions of records and headlined some of the biggest festivals the world has to offer. So, what was he doing treading the boards at Cardiff's Globe on a Saturday night?

Well, it’s pretty much down to his passion for music, which took him out on the road to hit a string of intimate venues alongside his sons, Todd and Dane of Straight Lines and Tyla, of The People The Poet, united under the banner of the All Starr Band.

The familiar war pig backdrops were replaced by a much more basic set-up this time around, adding to what was nothing if not a surreal experience. Having previously battled through hundreds of thousands over the years to see his other band in action at much larger venues, this was a bit like seeing one of your idols jamming in your front room.

The setlist unsurprisingly drew from Motörhead's back catalogue, with the band raising hell on Damage Case, Dog Face Boy, Over The Top, Orgasmatron, Iron Fist, Killed By Death and, of course, Ace Of Spades.

The addition of a few hand-picked favourites from elsewhere added a bit of variety, with Black Sabbath's Children of the Grave, Tina Turner's Nutbush City Limits, Ted Nugent's Cat Scratch Fever, Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick and the Rolling Stones' Jumpin' Jack Flash all making the cut.

There had been rumours that Campbell started up the the All Starr Band in preparation for Motörhead eventually hanging up their bullet belts. That thought aside, it was heartwarming to see that him happy to just jam alongside his family, handing down his signature solos. Whether the band has the legs for a long-term project or not is a question for another time, but some original material would be very welcome indeed.

A shout out must go to support act Buffalo Summer, a band that will prick up the ears of rock ‘n’ roll revivalists, especially fans of the Answer and Rival Sons. Hauling out a soul-tinged but vibrant live performance, channelling Zeppelin, Skynyrd, Free and the Black Crowes, the South Wales four-piece effortlessly riffed, stomped and howled through material from their self-titled debut.

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