Wednesday, October 07, 2009

'Down in the city, just Hoople and me...'

I remember seeing Mott The Hoople on Top Of The Pops in their mid-'70's heyday- I liked the music and I always thought that they looked... cocky if you know what I mean. I thought they were great. And I remember looking at the cover of their album 'The Hoople' for ages one day in a shop in Uxbridge trying to decide whether or not I could afford to buy it or not, after all I liked the singles but didn't know all the other tracks on it and what if it's terrible and I don't like it, 'though I liked the cover but you can't buy an album just because it looks nice can you? After all they're expensive compared to singles, and anyway there's a new T.Rex album out and if I'm going to buy anything it should really be that one shouldn't it? Oh I don't know- if only I could get them both, and all the other albums that I've been looking at today...

Nothing's changed- I still spend ages in record shops (when I can find them!) wondering what I can afford to buy. Isn't there a saying, something like 'show me the boy and I'll show you the man'?

They'd finished long before I'd started going to gigs so I didn't get chance to see them although when I was in The Flame we supported Ian Hunter one memorable night in the mid-'90's; they've just reformed for 5 shows at The Hammersmith Apollo (it's the Hammersmith Odeon!) where I saw them play last night, and very good they were too. In the entrance hall before the show familiar faces were everywhere- Bobby Gillespie, Paul Simonon, legendary Mott fan Mick Jones, all testament to the band's influence on subsequent rock musicians, and the air was heavy with anticipation. Original drummer Dale Griffin was reportedly too ill to play (although he came out for the encores,) but with Martin Chambers behind the kit they looked as cocky as ever and sounded a lot better than many thought they had any right to. The older album tracks kept the audience waiting for the singles for over an hour before Hunter sat at the keyboards and led the way into 'The Golden Age Of Rock'n'Roll', 'Honaloochie Boogie' and 'All The Way From Memphis'- judging by the reaction all were well worth waiting for- with encores of 'Roll Away The Stone' and the inevitable 'All The Young Dudes' (a rumoured appearance by David Bowie didn't happen sadly) upped the hysteria level before 'Saturday's Gigs' sent us all home happy. A fine show.

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