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No sleep 'til Metal Hammersmith! Behind the scenes at the 2016 Golden Gods

Metal Hammer celebrated turning 30 by heading to Hammersmith for this 2016's Golden Gods Awards, complete with star-studded ceremony and a tribute to the late Lemmy Kilmister

Hundreds of rockstars. Thousands of you. And in a legendary location synonymous with Motörhead. There was an audible gulp in the room when we decided to upgrade to a venue twice the capacity of our old stomping ground, the IndigO2, but with a salute to Lemmy on the cards we could think of no better place to celebrate the Golden Gods and our 30th anniversary. Even more awesomely, we set the ticket price to £6.66, and our good friends at the Eventim Apollo waived their fees so it could all go into the Heavy Metal Truants pot for Teenage Cancer Trust, Childline and Nordoff Robbins.

With ‘Satanic Wacky Races’ as the theme for arrivals, first up tonight are Amon Amarth, escorted by an almighty troupe of Vikings. Judging by the grin on his face, Johan Hegg should win the award for Happiest Frontman Of 2016. Pulling up in a hearse, the sinister Sons Of Balaur materialise, straight from the pages of metal graphic novel Realm Of The Damned. “This is another opportunity for us to spread the unholy gospel of Balaur,” rasps frontman Tomas. “We’re just here as a conduit for our great Lord. The question is, are we going to behave?” Then Dani Filth runs over and screams in their faces, proving that he’s definitely not going to...

On the red carpet, Dragonforce’s Herman Li and bandmate/Sinsaenum man Frédéric Leclercq have rocked up, taking a break from recording their new album. Herman’s relieved they don’t have to perform during the ceremony this year, and can enjoy some Fireball whisky. “We’ve been stuck in a studio for way too long. Let’s get drunk, Lemmy style!” he laughs.

The Shrine, who played on the final Motörboat cruise, have got their own celebrations planned. “We’ll be playing a few of his songs when we DJ the aftershow party later. You can expect hot love. That’s Motörhead – sex and rock’n’roll!”

Further down the carpet, Dave Mustaine is interviewing Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo in his other job as a TV presenter for Sky Arts. The Megadeth frontman is looking forward to Saxon’s Salute To Lemmy. “I’m going to be cheering from the sidelines,” he tells us.

Inside, the bar is filling up. Asking Alexandria bassist Sam Bettley is abstaining from alcohol ahead of getting tattooed tomorrow, but it’s guitarist Cameron Liddell’s 27th birthday, so he and drummer James Cassells line up the shots. Yeah… this is gonna get messy.


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