Snapper Music SMACD906.
Now this is more like it. Two years after an "orchestral" live album/DVD (Strings Attached) Ian Hunter releases another live album/DVD, this time with his regular touring band. Much more representative of a live Ian Hunter show, it was recorded at just one gig, The Astoria on 28th May 2004.
Rest In Peace may not be the most dynamic number with which to open a show, but by the time the rest of the band have joined him mid-song all doubts vanish. A healthy mix of newer material and old staples shows that Ian has lost nothing in songwriting ability and with the band on top form picking highlights from such a strong set is difficult.
The magnificent 23A Swan Hill is always a highlight, alongside Dead Man Walking, Knees Of My Heart and Rollerball. Older material such as The Journey medley, Once Bitten Twice Shy and Just Another Night fare just as well, but the biggest surprise is saved for the final number (All The Way From Memphis) where Ian is joined onstage by Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) and Brian May (Queen).
Sound quality throughout is excellent and the packaging is OK (an eight-page booklet) which concentrates more on Ian's 5-year stint with Mott The Hoople than his 30 years (and counting) as a solo artist.
All in all, an excellent live album. If you were there, it'll bring back memories of a great night, if you weren't (and didn't catch any of the other dates on that tour) then this is what you've been missing all these years.Adrian Perkins