01 June 2005

Ian Hunter - The Brook Southampton

Remember glam rock? Mott the Hoople were at the vanguard of the movement in the early seventies. Not so much glam as a stepping stone between rock and punk they had massive singles success notably with the Bowie penned “All the Young Dudes". Led by charismatic Dylan-voiced Ian Hunter they played notoriously raucous gigs. I was lucky enough to see them at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens in 1973 as a sixteen year old. Support that night came from four university types calling themselves Queen.

Fast forward thirty two years to The Brook in Southampton and a stage the size of a back bedroom bristling with the hardware of a touring rock band - a few square inches of floor bathed in blue light waiting between the amps for rock n’ roll feet. As is customary the support slot went to the England based Tracie Hunter Band, Ian’s daughter. Best I’ve heard her tight rock outfit play. She’s a chip off the old block, big lungs and plenty of rock snarl.

The main attraction strolled on at 9:15 to riotous applause. Gone now are the heady days of glam and the optimism of youth but still present are the flowing ginger locks, dynamic stage presence and killer rock songs. Now an American citizen, Ian Hunter took the tiny stage with his six-piece American band. This miniature venue is a far cry from the great halls of the seventies but the house was packed with fans every bit as fervent. Drums hammered, bass boomed, piano rocked and those Les Paul guitars just screamed. “It’s a mighty long way down rock and roll...”

Aged sixty five, skinny as a rake and rock n’ roll through and through, Ian put his heart and soul into twenty one songs featuring his best solo material, all the Mott standards and a few album track rarities. Two hours of pure nostalgia. What more could you ask for? Crashing through “Once Bitten Twice Shy” then raising the roof with “All the Way From Memphis.” We five hundred middle-agers enjoyed a sweaty evening of honest rock n’ roll from the master. Cameras popped the whole time recording this most grossly under-estimated of British songwriters.

Mick Ralphs, formerly of Mott the Hoople and later of Bad Company took the stage with the band for the five-song encore, as did daughter Tracie. This was an intimate experience where we could reach out and touch this icon of rock and feel the noise pounding through our bodies. Rock on Ian, we love you man!

Set list:
1. Hymn for the Dudes
2. Lounge Lizard
3. Once Bitten Twice Shy
4. Twisted Steel
5. Resurrection Mary
6. Wash us Away
7. Knees of My Heart
8. 23a Swan Hill
9. The Outsider
10. I Wish I Was Your Mother
11. All American Alien Boy
12. Restless Youth
13. Marionette
14. Dead Man Walking
15. All the Way From Memphis

16. Just Another Night
17. Blues Jam
18. Roll Away the Stone
19. The Saturday Gigs
20. All the Young Dudes

21. A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square

"No matter if fools say we can't win
I know I'll fall in love again."

Mott the Hoople - Roll Away the Stone


yours truly said...

I wish my brain was functionable. I'd read and comment like a "normal" (or at least a functionable, right,) person. Just wanted to say I appreciate you reading & commenting my BS. AND: cute photo of the son, entry below -

Perfect Virgo said...

YT - I always enjoy reading your slant on life. I know what you mean though, sometimes I open the comments box and think "What do I say?" Something usually comes to mind!!

He's still quite cute but now he looks more like me in the same photo!

recoveryroad said...

I'm looking forward to seeing bands at the Brook.

I feel 'strong' enough now to go to a gig. In the past when I was at a gig (playing or listening), it was a booze sodden affair. Lol. Quelle surprise!

Maybe see you there?!

Perfect Virgo said...

Kenny - I'd like that mate! We should keep an eye on the listings. The Brook seems to have a lot of tribute bands but also some original acts.

I am far enough into sobriety now that I have no problem with gigs but still I avoid pubs. I realise now I can have a good time without passing out!!

recoveryroad said...

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush?

This made me laugh from the Brook's website:

"Frank Marino's music never reached the mainsream of popularity but has had a devoted fan base that has grown over the years. Being sober now for over 33 years, he still plays with the enthusiasm that he's always had."

Lol. One day at a time, Frank!

Perfect Virgo said...

Kenny - I'm not familiar with him, but has he cracked it after 33 years? You never say never but I reckon he's as safe as you get!!

recoveryroad said...

Yuss. You gotta hope so, eh?

He's a pretty good guitarist (understatement).


Kinda bluesy, heavy rock with a nod to Hendrix and the greats of that era.

Cocaine Jesus said...

truly wish that i had been there. so often forgotten are ian hunter and mott the hoople in preference to TRex, Bowie, Alice Cooper and Slade.
they were great.
truly wish that i had been there.

Perfect Virgo said...

CJ - the others you mention have their place in the musical annals but Hunter is sheer class. I have seen him several times in recent years (usually he comes no closer to me than London so it has to be The Astoria.) He is a consummate professional, I know you would have loved it. Next time, eh.

Cocaine Jesus said...

damn right about next time.

Perfect Virgo said...

We'll have a party, a sober one!!