Support: Worry Dolls
Do you remember Mott the Hoople? I thought everyone did, however in the lead up to this show anybody I mentioned it to had no idea who they or Ian Hunter was. Crazy right? Admittedly the people I talked to were not 43 year old wannabe rockers like myself...but still. How can you not know?
The fact that I was one of the younger members of the crowd tonight probably says it all. My, relatively young shiny bald palette, was certainly not the only one here and the middle aged (and older), predominately male, denim jacket brigade were out in force. My kind of people.
The venue (Student Central (the former University of London Union)) is pretty much what you would expect from a Union. The sound is very good (not always the case at such places) but it's probably not the most rock n roll venue Hunter has ever played. It does the job though, with my only gripe being why 2 drinks at one bar cost £7.80 and the same drinks at the other were £11 (my round was was the expensive one).
As for Hunter, I wasn't that familiar with much of his solo output until recently, but his latest LP, Fingers Crossed, is full of excellent songs of which half are played here. Opening track tonight (and opening song on the album), That's When The Trouble Starts, is followed by the classic, Once Bitten Twice Shy. Both sit happily next to each other. Yes it's the Hoople classics, All The Way From Memphis, Roll Away The Stone and I Wish I Was a Your Mother that are sung back loudly, but the new songs fit in very well.
I did see Ian Hunter once before, back in '92 at the Freddie Mercury Tribute. Those 25 years have flown by. Hunter certainly doesn't look or sound 78 (SEVENTY EIGHT). Indeed he really seems to be on a creative roll in recent times and has been a pretty productive pensioner releasing a lot of (quality) solo records in his later years. His latest album reached number 36 in the UK charts. Not bad at all, not that Hunter would really care, but it is nice to see.
Of the other new tracks, Dandy (a tribute to David Bowie, Hunter's collaborator and friend from the early 70's) could fit in well on any Hoople album. Hunter's voice is in great shape and he really does look and sound incredible (as do the Rant Band).
All the Young Dudes closes the 2 hour show; that song, like Ian Hunter himself, still sounds fresh after all these years.
I'm not sure where Hunter lies on the ladder of rock n roll legendary status. Is he classed as a rock legend and Hoople a legendary band? For many yes, certainly for those here he can do no wrong, but unfortunately I'm not sure he or Hoople get the credit they deserve.
Ticket: June 28th 2017
Ticket Price: £28.00