Ian Hunter's 1997 UK Tour - Croydon

Fairfield Halls, Croydon

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Just got in and thought I'd like to share this with you all while it's still fresh in my mind ( not that there's much danger of forgetting it ).

Support band Stray are worth cheking out and are still doing a fair bit of their old material, good old 70's retro rock.

Set pretty much the same as normal apart from Keep On Knockin' ( originally recorded live at this very venue for the Wildlife LP ) and acoustic versions of Golden Age Of Rock 'n' Roll, Standin' In My Light, one line of All Of The Good Ones Are Taken and fanfare... 3,000 Miles From Here.

Spoke to Trudi before the gig and she says that they are trying to get back for next autumn ( hopefully we might start getting used to this ).

The band were very tight and the interaction between Darryl and Cuddles deserves special mention, especially during Bastard.

The crowd were a bit more rowdy and less reverent than normal, no bad thing in my opinion as it's all very well playing for us trainspotters every night but Ian seemed to gain a bit more oomph from their reaction.

(Mick Brown)

Just got back from the Croydon gig, and what a night it was I have only seen him 6 times this year but what a night, the best yet it my humble opinion don't ask me to name the set list as I was so blown away by the wonderful night that my brain is just scrambled eggs but we were treated to a similar set list to other nights as has allready been posted (except friday night at Bury St Edmunds when The Moon Upstairs replaced Cleveland Rocks ) but Keep a Knocking and a shortened 3000 Miles + Letter to Britannia, there were others but hopefully other people will remember and post a full list, It was when he pointed at me during ATYD and said something like "Hey you with the glasses, We know more about you than you know about yourself, Come back and see me after the show" that my brain went into overload.

The BIG news of the night was that Ian and the band are going to VH 1 on Wednesday to record 4 songs to be transmitted at a yet unknown date but it will be on The Bridge as the last ones were, So I suggesr to everyone in the States that after you see the confirmed broadcast dates you flood VH 1 over there with snail and email and then you will get a chance to see Ian again.

Now thats what I call a RED LETTER DAY........

(Tony Lambert)

Croydon 5/10/97, an excellent gig, Ian and the Band certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, 3 encores. Played You keep a Knocking, "For old times sake" and of course part of Saturday Gigs after ATYD, "And then we went to Croydon". If I hadn't subscribed to this list, I'd never have known he was playing Croydon until too late. Thanks for being there.

(Martin Curry)

Croydon Sunday 5/10/97. Stop press - Ian and the boys are going into VH-1 's studio on Wednesday to record four numbers for the TV Show The Bridge.Said to be recording two rockers (including 23 A Swan Hill) and two slower numbers.Unknown at the moment when it is likely to be broadcast.('The Bridge' is usually shown first on a Saturday Evening with repeats on Sunday & Monday.(Ian has insisted this time that they use a drum kit even though the studio is too small).

2 1/2 hours of Ian Hunter & band at their very best in a town steeped in MTH history. Ian came on at 9.00 pm after a very good hour long set by three piece outfit called 'Stray'.

Approx 500 people there saw usual set list as follows:

OBTS/who do you love/Angeline - band were having monitor & feedback problems

Boy/Now is the time/Something to believe in/I wish I was you Mother 23A Swan Hill "My parents had a lot to put up with - WW1,The Depression,WW2,Elvis then ME!"

Resurrection Mary who appears to Cab drivers on a Tuesday Waterlow/F**k it up (A Semi in Purley)

Audience requests :GAR&R/All of the good ones are taken (gave up after a few lines)

When the daylight comes - good singalong with the Crydon crowd Just Another Night/Bastard(A love story)/RATS

1st encore Crowd sang Ian Hunter you're a nutter (A compliment I think) Letter to Britannia (1 st verse)/All the way from Memphis/Keep a Knockin' (for old times sake) / Irene Wilde

2nd encore Cleveland Rocks/3,000 miles from here/Standing in my light (showed he still has a very good vocal range), Michael Picasso, ATYD, Saturday Gigs (And then we went to Croydon)

I spoke to Ian briefly after the gig and thanked him for doing 'Letter to Britannia' which I had discussed with him at Falkirk.(He actually remembered me)He couldn't remember any more than the first verse.He said that Falkirk was the first gig that he had started spontaneously doing crowd requests and had been enjoying it ever since. Ian promised me he would try and remember the lyrics to Trudi's Song before Friday at Dudley.

Ian reluctantly signed a girls' backside in the presence of Trudi.The girl pulled her knickers down and Ian hesitantly got to work.The girl is intending to get the signature made into a tattoo - can't wait to see it.(Some guys have all the luck)

A bloke called Darius Fontana (AKA Drew Shannon) asked Ian for an interview for his Glam Rock Fanzine at the Rayner's lane gig.The Fanzine is called Black Velvet and he has promised to send me a copy.He is going to do the interview after the soundchecks at Rayner's Lane. He has also promised Darius he will do Through the Looking Glass for him if he can give him the words.

Ian was having such a good time he forgot to introduce the band & lets not forget Robbie and the other roadies.

(Len Costello)

I'm amazed. This was by far the best I have ever seen Ian Hunter play. I'd half expected a nostalgia trip, but no, what we got was a full tilt, left of centre, angry, emotive, kick-ass (for the US subscribers) performance.

I was so moved, I almost bought a T-shirt. And would have had they been of a decent design. Instead, I walked home with ears ringing loudly and grinning madly.

Thanks Ian.

(Mike Goode)

I allowed plenty of time to drive to Croydon, and thought about using the car park attached to the Fairfield Halls complex. One look at the charges and I did a swift u-turn, and within a minute found some on-street parking. It being Sunday there was no charge. The band were still soundchecking when I arrived, so I stood by the bar and chatted to a couple of the tour regulars until we were let in.

First up were The Ank. Guitar, bass/vocals, drums, and the bass-player's son on violin. A forgettable set, but they tried covering a Joe Satriani number - and all I could hear was drums! Perhaps that was just as well...

Next up were Del Bromham's Stray. I remember seeing the original Stray back in '76. They were a good live band back then, but as the name-change suggests, Del is the only original member left (the drummer and bassist look young enough to have been at school when Stray first started making records). They are also down to a three-piece, with Del handling all the vocal/guitar chores himself. They have a live CD out, which they kept plugging. I'd class them as a good pub band now, tho' they did get a good reception.

And so on to Ian, what can I say? I thought Reading and Salisbury were good gigs, but this was totally ****ing brilliant. He played for over two hours, and seemed to enjoy every minute of it. The hall was nearly full by now, at least 600 in there, and Ian *delivered*. Basically the same set as before, except Salvation has been dropped. They also didn't do the extended ending to F*** It Up we'd had at Salisbury ("She packed her bags and went home... she took the Jag and went home..." etc).

But Ian tried to satisfy every request thrown at him. We had Golden Age Of Rock 'n' Roll, All Of The Good Ones (just the first few lines), 3000 Miles From Here, Standin' In My Light, When The Daylight Comes... the first verse of Letter To Britannia also featured in the first encore. We also got Keep A Knockin' (the entire band, five minutes, very good indeed). "We put that in for old time's sake..."

"Cuddles" came to the front of the stage for some of his guitar work, which I was pleased to see. I always thought it a shame he stayed in the background despite playing lead. I was standing at the front (stage centre), and the stage was small enough that hopefully I've got some good photos of all the band members. Both "Cuddles" and "Trevor" flashed smiles at me after I photographed them, as if to say "Thanks!".

But all too soon the show was over, closing as before with Saturday Gigs, with a slight lyrics change for the occasion ("...and in '74 was the Broadway tour, I didn't much like dressin' up no more, don't wanna be hip... AND THEN WE WENT TO CROYDON!").

There were several of us list members there. Alessandro from Italy came over to say hello, as did Len from Scotland. I chatted briefly to several people, trying to pick up what snippets of information I can. I also chatted briefly to Trudi after the show; it was a pleasure to meet her.

Can't wait for Thursday (Rayners Lane). See you there!

(Adrian Perkins)

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Reports copyright © 1997 Mick Brown, Tony Lambert, Martin Curry, Len Costello, Adrian Perkins. Photos copyright © 1997 Adrian Perkins