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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Ted Nugent : Motor City Mayhem & Sweden Rocks review

He’s 65 years old and ornery as hell.

But rock loudmouth, gun nut and all-round guitar star Ted Nugent still ruffles feathers.

In an explosive way. And usually involving hunting dogs.

He has, of course, lambasted Barack Obama; he has hinted he may stand for public office.

Earlier this year, at a Las Vegas hunting and outdoor trade show, the Michigan marauder was recorded stating: “I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America”.

Don’t pull your punches, Ted.

His next tour is going out under the banner of ‘Black Power’.

Don’t ask...

All of which is typical of the larger than life Amboy Duke made good.

But all of which tends to overshadow a fundamental truth.

His studio albums may be patchy (don’t get me started on Damn Yankees) but Ted Nugent’s gigs pack feelgood frenzy.

The re-release of two live albums – Motor City Mayhem and Sweden Rocks, now packaged as a double-CD set – is a timely reminder of what Nugent was placed upon this earth to actually do.

Entertain us.

Recorded in hometown Detroit on Independence Day, Motor City Mayhem originally saw light of day in 2009.

It’s an unashamed crowd-pleaser – Nugent’s 6,000th gig apparently – with Ted given to bellowing “Free-e-e-dom!” in every other song.

All the hallmarks are here, Wango Tango, Wang Dang Sweet Poontang and Free For All served up in inimitable fashion.

There’s a Hendrix-inspired Star Spangled Banner (well, it is July 4) and covers of Bo Diddley and Baby Please Don’t Go. It’s an old-fashioned, old school rock and roll night out. With beer. Plenty of beer.

But it’s the unholy trinity of Stormtroopin’, Cat Scratch Fever and Stranglehold that remind you that, hell, Ted Nugent sure can write a mean riff.

(As he likes to inform the crowd, and at every opportunity).

The Sweden Rocks swet, originally released in 2008, offers pretty much the same songs in different order – plus the likes of Snakeskin Cowboys, Soul Man and Still Raising Hell.

And that, of course, is what the gun-loving political pensioner continues to do.

Pop it in the car player, hit the motorway and crank the volume up to 11.

It ain’t pretty. But you’ll feel a whole lot better for it. Honest.

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