Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter's 1997 UK Tour - Burnley 3rd May 1997

The Mechanics, Burnley

Burnley gig photo 1
Burnley gig photo 2
Burnley gig photo 3
Burnley gig photo 4

My 13 year old son and I attended the Burnley concert. In brief it was fantastic and we had a great night. Never having been to Burnley before I was pleasantly surprised. The town was clean and for a Saturday night it was fairly quiet and we had no trouble either in finding the venue or parking the car. The Mechanics is in a building refurbished with (I think) European grant money several years ago and they have done a great job on it. We arrived at about 19.00 and sat outside the downstairs bar. The concert hall was upstairs, we couldn't go up as they were doing the sound check but we heard the band run through 'Walking With A Mountain'.

When the sound check was finished we were let upstairs and Ian was just coming out of the hall and he stopped for a chat and signed some autographs but had to dash off to get ready. At this time (about 19.30) there were only about 20 or so people there. We sat in the bar and had a few drinks and were let into the hall itself just after 20.00. My first impression was this is strange! Between the stage and the first row of seats there was maybe 35 to 40 feet of space where they had laid out maybe 30 tables with chairs around them. So we parked ourselves right in the middle at the very front! Ian and the band came on just after 21.00 (time enough for my boy to spend some more money on drinks and snacks).

Set list (which I wrote down during the concert so am pretty confident about) was:

The band played great and I was particularly impressed with Darrel Bath but the best was still to come. On stage Ian looked fantastic, just as if the last 20 years had never happened. When I bought the new album I enjoyed it very much but didn't like the title track (or Skeletons In My Closet) but live TAD is different and I now view it in a new light.

Everyone trooped out when it was over (there must have been about 250 or so there - sorry I'm not too good at estimating crowd numbers and I didn't look behind me much anyway) and most either went downstairs or to one of the bars. About a dozen or so of us stood around for 15 minutes or so (they were selling picture disc CD's of the album and tour T-shirts - black with Ian's picture on the front and our dates on the back) just hoping to get a closer look and say hello. Then the tour manager appeared and asked us upstairs to meet the band in the dressing room. So as well as getting Ian and the band to autograph my CD insert and the book we had a chat and had some photographs taken. Because we had been right at the front and my son being obviously the youngest there (by about 25 years) Ian had noticed him and said so and had a chat with him which really made his night. Ian was relaxed and chatty and there was no pressure on us to go. I would have liked to have stayed longer but my son was visibly wilting by this stage so a quick handshake and we left.

All in all a great night.

(Dave Davies)