Mott's veteran troubadour rolls back the years

Ian Hunter, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham, West Sussex
View: At the front, stage right.

One of rock's enduring troubadours was on top form in Sussex recently, showcasing material from his new album When I'm President, plus choice gems from both his solo back catalogue and Mott the Hoople's part in rock's legacy.


Joined on stage by the crack team of John Cougar Mellancamp guitarist Andy York and Johnny Cash stalwart Dave Rowe on double bass, Hunter largely let the music do the talking with classics like All The Good Ones Are Taken, a raucous crowd singalong to Once Bitten Twice Shy, and a mesmeric Crazy Horse mixed in with new songs like Fatally Flawed and When I'm President.

Looking younger than his 73 years, the now US-based front man was on wry form, quipping to the audience: "I've got good news – the Pope's older than me". On great vocal form, and still bashing hell out of his acoustic, the old dog's got a good few years in him yet.

With Hunter performing seated, along with guitarist York, and only bass man Dave Rowe standing, it was odd that the venue had made it a standing only gig. Front row was definitely the place to be if you wanted to see the band in action.

Finishing off with Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane, the encore pulled in favourites Roll Away The Stone, Life and the inevitable All The Young Dudes with the crowd word perfect. Class songs, class performers, class night.

Russ Bravo

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