Archive for the ‘Ian Hunter’ Category

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band Whitley Bay Playhouse 3 July 2017

In Seventy-one all the people come
Bust a few seats but it’s just in fun
Take the Mick out of Top of the Pops
We play better than they do…..

Do you remember the Saturday gigs
We do, we do
Do you remember the Saturday gigs
We do, we do” (Saturday Gigs, Mott the Hoople, 1974)

ian hunter‘Unter is back in town. The guy who has given me so many wonderful memories over the years. The guy who has rock and roll in his blood. Forgive me while I reminisce a little, but seeing Ian Hunter brings so many memories flooding back of so many happy, happy days and nights. I owe this guy so much.

This is the guy who had long curly ginger locks and his iron cross guitar and sang about “Walking with a Mountain” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen” and blew us away with proper rock long before “Dudes” and who I saw at Sunderland Mecca with a young up-and-coming prog band called Genesis as support. Who caused so much mayhem at Newcastle Mayfair that the bouncers brought Alsatian dogs in to control the crowd. This is the guy who brought his Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus to Newcastle City Hall with none other than Max Wall as support. This is the guy who couldn’t make his mind up whether he was Bob Dylan, Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis, when actually he was Ian Hunter and that was enough in itself. Who brought us “All the Young Dudes” and the band was reborn.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Who sang to me from the stage at the Buxton Festival about “The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll” complete with grand piano and a candelabra on top at what was to be Mott’s final UK gig (I think), while I stood in the mud and the rain. Who then teamed up with his old mate Ronson for a great single “Once Bitten Twice Shy” and a great concert at the City Hall. This guy then went solo, returned to the Mayfair with a grand piano at the height of punk rock, and had the Vibrators as support. Who reformed Mott the Hoople and gave me a great night at Hammersmith Odeon sat one row behind none other than Mick Jones of the Clash, a big Mott fan. And throughout the years his passion, rock ethos, drive and love for rock remained undiminished. Sorry for my rant, but this guy is one of my heroes (as you may have gathered).

So there I was, with Alan my carer, on the end of a row near the front in my wheelchair at Whitley Bay Playhouse ready to see my hero again. The audience was a mix of ages, ranging from faces I recognise from the Mayfair in the early 70s, through punks, Mott the Hoople fans and people who just like genuine heartfelt rock. And ‘Unter delivered, again. Two hours of great rock ‘n’ roll with a band of class musicians who provide a relentless backdrop for Ian’s vocals. The hair is not quite so ginger or curly, but the voice is as strong as ever. Two songs in and we get the aforementioned “Once Bitten Twice Shy”, a string of Hunter solo songs, now becoming classics themselves, then the opening guitar of “Roll Away the Stone” blows me away as it always has done. He closes with a nudge back to the past and one of his influences Lou Reed with “Sweet Jane”. The encore includes, as it has to and should, “All the Young Dudes” and the final “Good Night Irene” which seems to have become the closer at the moment.

2017-tour-ian hunterAmazing. One of the best times I have seen him. The guy was pushing 80 at the time but still has more energy, passion and drive than many half his age. I bump into Pauline and Rob of Penetration, who are surprised to see me in my wheelchair and I explain my predicament. Another night of memories, to park in the Mott/Ian Hunter collection. Till the next time, Ian. Let’s hope it is soon.

Setlist: That’s When The Trouble Starts; Once Bitten Twice Shy; Fatally Flawed; When I’m President; Saint; The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nuthin’ but the Truth; Morpheus; Just Another Night; Fingers Crossed; All American Alien Boy; Standin’ in My Light; All the Way From Memphis; Ghosts; Roll Away the Stone; I Wish I Was Your Mother; 23A, Swan Hill; Bastard; Sweet Jane. Encore: Dandy; Long Time; Life / All the Young Dudes / Goodnight Irene

Many thanks to Jim Summaria for allowing use of his image of Ian Hunter through Wikimedia Commons.



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.

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson Newcastle City Hall 1975

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson Newcastle City Hall 1975
Support from Jet
hunterronsontix This seemed a strange, yet exciting, pairing at the time. I’d seen both artists individually; Hunter with Mott the Hoople, who were one of the best live acts around in the early 1970s, and Ronson with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars, and on own his solo tour. So I was interested to see what the two together would be like, and went along with some mates to the gig at Newcastle City Hall. Hunter had just released his first solo album, which Mick Ronson featured on, and the single Once Bitten Twice Shy was just about to be released. Ronson had released the solo album Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, and a second album was on its way. The set was a mix of tracks from both artists solo albums, and a few Mott favourites. The pairing worked well, and it was a good gig. Both guys were heroes of mine at the time. They were both strong personalities on stage, each having their own style and swagger. Happy Days. The excellent Glasgow Apollo site has a setlist from the show at that venue, which took place a couple of days before we saw Hunter and Ronson at Newcastle. I would think the set at Newcastle will have been similar: Once Bitten Twice Shy (Hunter and Ronson); Lounge Lizard (Hunter); Angel No.9 (Ronson); Growing Up and I’m Fine (Ronson); Who Do You Love? (Hunter); White Light/White Heat (cover; from Ronson album and also covered by Bowie and the Spiders); Boy (Hunter); Play Don’t Worry (title track of Ronson second album); The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nuthin’ but the Truth (Hunter); Roll Away the Stone (Mott); Slaughter on 10th Avenue (Ronson); The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Mott); All the Way from Memphis (Mott); All the Young Dudes (Mott); The Girl Can’t Help It (a cover, but from Ronson’s second album). Support for the tour came from Jet who were a short lived glam rock with a strong pedigree. The line-up was Andy Ellison (crazy frontman and vocals, ex-John’s Children, went on to front Radio Stars), Martin Gordon (bass, ex-Sparks and also was later in Radio Stars), Chris Townson (drums, formerly in John’s Children and also was later in Radio Stars), David O’List (lead guitar, ex-The Nice) and Peter Oxendale (keyboards and breifly in Sparks).

Ian Hunter Stockton Arc March 26th 2013

Ian Hunter Stockton Arc March 26th 2013
huntertix Ian Hunter is currently touring the UK with an acoustic show, featuring himself and guitarist Andy York (Ian’s producer and guitarist for John Mellencamp) and double bass player David Roe (who has played with Johnny Cash). Special guest for the tour is Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers. I’d had a busy day and arrived late, just before Ian took to the stage, missing Jason’s set. The Arc was packed, the show having sold out some time ago. This was a seated concert, which was good for me, as I need to sit down at gigs these days. I saw a face I recognised in the next row. I am pretty sure it was Janick Gers from Iron Maiden, who lives locally. Good to see that he had turned out to see Mr Hunter. The three piece acoustic line up works well. I was in the second row, directly in front of Andy York, who is an excellent guitarist, and David Roe plays a pretty mean double bass. A lot of the songs were unfamiliar with me, but I really enjoyed the gig. Hunter was on good form, and in good voice although he was sucking throat lozenges. The set included Shrunken Heads; Ships (which Ian explained was a hit for Barry Manilow); Once Bitten Twice Shy; Wild Bunch; When I’m President; Sweet Jane (a great cover of the Velvet Underground song with some nifty guitar from Andy). For the encores it was the hits: Roll Away the Stone; Life; All the Young Dudes (with Jason on backing vocals); and to close the evening s very short excerpt from Goodnight Irene. Good to see Ian again. Still snowing as I drove home. I will scan my ticket and load it later today.

Ian Hunter & the Rant Band Tyne Theatre 11 Oct 2010

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band Newcastle Tyne Theatre 11 Oct 2010
The Tyne Theatre was pretty full downstairs for Ian Hunter, with the circle around half full. Most of the audience seemed long time fans, sporting t-shirts from his many tours, with many Mott the Hoople at Hammersmith shirts on show.
Most of the set was Ian Hunter solo stuff, some of which I sort of recognised. But as we got to the end we got the real favourites: Walking with a Mountain, Sweet Jane, All the Way from Memphis, Roll Away the Stone, Saturday Gigs (we all sang along) and All the Young Dudes.
Setlist (something like): Sea Diver; Life After Death; Cleveland Rocks; Dancing on the Moon; Shallow Crystals; Irene Wilde; Arms and Legs; Flowers; Rain; River of Tears; Man Overboard; Wash Us Away; Walking With a Mountain; Michael Picasso; Sweet Jane
Encore: Somewhere; All the Way From Memphis; Boy
Encore 2: Roll Away the Stone; The Saturday Gigs ; All the Young Dudes

i hate printed tickets