Ian Hunter Newcastle Academy 2007


I hate printed tickets

Ian Hunter Newcastle Academy 2007
At the Stockton gig on Tuesday night Ian Hunter told us that he moved to the USA in 1975, that he always meant to return home to the UK, but never has. He went on to point out that he has spent more time in the USA (38 years) than he has here (35 years). Although in recent years he has come over to the UK to tour quite often, this wasn’t always the case. During the 80s and 90s I don’t recall him playing many UK gigs. I went over 30 years without seeing Ian in concert; from the mid 70s to this gig at Newcastle Academy in 2007. I did miss a few gigs in the early 2000s, which I now regret, but picked up on him again at the time of his Shrunken Heads album. I remember being quite excited about seeing him again, and wasn’t disappointed. The set drew heavily from the new album but also featured a good few Mott classics, including (of course) the hits (All the Young Dudes, All the Way from Memphis, Roll Away the Stone, Saturday Gigs), but also delving further into that rich back catalogue with great songs such as Sweet Angeline and Rock n Roll Queen. The Academy was pretty full, although not packed, and the Newcastle crowd gave him a great reception. Mott were always a big favourite and really popular in the North East. The Mayfair crowd loved them and used to go crazy when they played, to the extent that on one (in)famous occasion the bouncers brought the alsation dogs into the crowd to try to control things. I wasn’t at that gig, but heard about it, and do remember the bouncers having the dogs; however they were usually kept at the door. In Ian’s own words from the great Newcastlestuff site: “Newcastle was always one of Mott’s favourite gigs. It is, however, mainly City Hall that I remember. I remember doing one gig up there (it might have been the Mayfair), and it got a bit crazy and Alsatian dogs appeared on the stage. The dogs were scared and to this day I think that was about the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen a ballroom manager do. Fortunately, they got them off the stage without anybody getting hurt. Kids were wild in Newcastle. They’d have the tour bus two feet from the stage door entrance and still they’d get you. Shades smashed, hair pulled, clothes ripped. Ah the good old days! Got booed off city hall stage by 2000 kids one night when the drummer turned up legless. I was the mug who had to tell them the show was off. Not a pretty sight or sound. Great audience.” I remember being at a Mott gig at the City Hall where the show was cancelled, but my memory is that it was because of a power cut. Maybe that was a different gig. Happy Days. I’ve seen Ian a couple of times since this gig in 2007, attended the Mott the Hoople reunion in London, and will try to catch him live whenever I’m able. There’s something about the guy, his voice, his passion and his attitude that draws you in. Long may he continue to come over here and play in his home country.

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