All the Old Dudes - Mott the Hoople @ the Hammersmith Apollo PDF Print E-mail
Gigs - 2009 Gigs
Written by Mojo Wellington   

Ye Gods were “the first great, all-white super group”. However, no-one ever got the chance to see Eric Daley and “Blind” Tony Tintin in their ‘70s heyday of course, or indeed in any other decade for that matter, because they never existed!

Yet as I sat in the stalls last Tuesday night, I felt as if I was watching a recently reformed Ye Gods thrashing it out on one final reunion tour. Which I guess in  some ways is not too far from the truth, as the boys from Mott The Hoople were back together again after 35 years, giving it one hell of a blast.

Guitarist Mick Ralphs and drummer Martin Chambers, on loan from The Pretenders, may have dressed soberly, but the others were kitted out in proper rock ‘n’ roll clobber.  Verden Allen (organ) was clad in a red velvet coat and Peter Watts stood hunched over his Thunderbird bass in a mint green suit.

And in the middle of the stage stood shaggy-haired septuagenarian, Ian Hunter, wearing a dark suit, peach shirt and his trademark shades, looking every bit like Peter Cook in a Parky interview from the 1970s.

But were the Motts any good?

Well, yes.

After a grand introduction from a masqueraded man and Holst’s Thaxted booming out over the PA, a mellow acoustic number was not the strongest of starts, but they soon ramped it up with the likes of Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen – the sort of tune that Primal Scream have been rehashing for years.

The acoustic numbers did return of course, but in the middle of the set, which is the proper place for ‘em, innit? It was in this part of the show that Ian Hunter was at his chattiest, but too much crowd noise was strictly discouraged: “if I hear you singing in the verses of this tune, we’ll stop and start again.”

In the final part of the show, the band were joined by original drummer “Buffin”, whose poor health had prevented him taking a greater part in the show. It was a sad reminder of the frailties of the human body, yet at the same time, wonderfully uplifting to see the power of music overcoming all ills.

Classic hits like All The Way From Memphis and All The Young Dudes closed the show. The latter was supposed to feature Roger Taylor and Brian May from Queen on backing vocals.  Perhaps Brian got lost on his way backstage (he’d been sat out in the stalls for the most part of the gig).  Still, we had the band’s original singer and an assortment of the band’s offspring belting out the chorus.

And this time, we were allowed to sing along.


 6 October 2009

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