Ian Hunter's 1997 UK Tour - Reading 26th May 1997

The Alley Cat, Reading

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The Alley Cat is a small venue set in the middle of Reading. I was one of the first to arrive, along with the other tour stalwarts, and they soon started letting the punters in, even though the support band was still soundchecking. After a swift drink, I went and stood in front of the stage. I've seen worse support bands than the Cat Scratch Band, but they were still totally forgettable. Don't give up the day job, lads! Roadies then cleared their gear away, allowing Ian and co to come on stage at around 10:20pm.

By this time it was packed in there - some 200 - 250 people. The set was basically the same as before, albeit slightly rearranged:

Encore:

This, however, only tells half the story. Ian and the band were on top form, laughing and joking with the audience. To satisfy the many requests, Ian did the first verse from Angeline, a few bars from Old Records Never Die... He also did the first verse of Gun Control, whereupon the band, totally unrehearsed, promptly joined in (to a huge roar from the audience). Ian said "We nearly rehearsed that one... I've had bands play it worse when they have rehearsed it!" Requests for Bastard were turned down ("Behave yourself!") We nearly got One Of The Boys as well, but Ian couldn't remember how it went.

Put simply, this was brilliant, easily the best of the shows I've seen. I really do hope Ian keeps working with this band, as they work well together. I also hope the rumoured Autumn tour happens, I'll be the first in the queue for that one.

(Adrian Perkins)

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Report and photos copyright © 1997 Adrian Perkins