When Mott The Hoople reformed for 5 nights at the Hammersmith Odeon in a freezing cold November in 2009, the support bands were different every night. But on the final evening the audience was in for a real treat.
Long time Mott The Hoople and fan Joe Elliott, of Def Leppard fame, had formed a band for a one off appearance playing the songs from Mott The Hoople’s subsidiary bands such as Ian Hunters solo work, The British Lions, and Mott. He pulled some golden threads and got some of the best musicians in the business (from The Quireboys, Raw Glory, and The Union) to join him for this one off celebration.
The song selection for their 45 minute set was faultless – opening up with a thundering version of “Golden Opportunity”, the first track on Ian Hunter’s “Overnight Angels” album from 1977 and which allowed the musicians to stretch out and show their intent. Next up is the gritty title track from that album, with Joe Elliott living the dream as he spits out the vocals.
The British Lions song “One More Chance to Run” follows and includes a name check to John Fiddler, who wrote the song and was in the audience. Morgan Fisher, the keyboard player for Mott the Hoople, Mott, and the British Lions was also in the audience, turning it all into a real rock ’n’ roll family party.
The band then blasts into the aptly titled “Storm” and by now the individual members have got their collective grip on the music and everything is pulling in unison. The three-guitar attack, heavy drum and bass and pitch perfect harmonies all rock like a hurricane.
My own personnel favorite track follows next, a rampaging version of Mott’s “Shouting and Pointing” and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than that, Spike is brought out to sing lead vocals on “Career (No Such Thing As Rock’n’Roll)” and he hits it right on the button, with blistering guitar solos backing him up.
From here on it’s rock ’n’ roll all the way; “England Rocks” and the final number “Good Times” raise the roof of the good old Odeon .
It left a great big hole on the stage for Mott the Hoople to follow this, but they finally did bring the audience back on their side.
Of course this was not the only outing for the Down’n’Outz, they were too good a band to be just brushed away, so whenever their schedules permit and the planets align, they are dusted down and out they go again. The band have already released two studio albums and another Live album is coming.
Ronnie Garrity, the original bass player, found his schedule to be just too hectic and bowed out a year or so ago to be replaced by the voluptuous black leather glad Share Ross from Vixen, which certainly gives the band a very appealing live presence.
One More Chance To Run
Shouting and pointing
Who Do You Love
Joe Elliott – lead vocals and guitar
Phil Martin – drums
Ronnie Garrity/Share Ross
– bass guitar
Keith Weir – keyboards
Guy Griffin – guitar
Paul Guerin – guitar
Spike (lead vocals on “Storm”)