The venue was quite small, but "intimate" as one guy in the queue described it. It held approx 200 people, most of them knowledgeable about Ian and Mott The Hoople. As we were there early we got seats right at the front, about 6 feet from the man himself.
The band was tight, the sound was excellent, Ian was on form, and I can only describe the show as one of the best, if not THE best, I've ever seen. The crowd really enjoyed it even though most of them hadn't heard the new album yet. The set was as follows, with rough quotes from IH :
- Once Bitten Twice Shy
- Who Do You Love
- Walkin' With A Mountain - brought the place down
- A rendition of "Happy Birthday" from the crowd, and Ian looked pleased that we'd remembered.
- Now Is The Time
- Too Much - a real slow version. Lost the bass somewhere, but recovered with a kind of "lead bass" solo a la Jaco Pastorius.
- Something To Believe In
- "This was written for my wife when her father said you're not marrying HIM" - I Wish I was Your Mother
- 23A Swan Hill - This built up to a really rocking finale, with Ian enjoying every minute of it. Brilliant.
- "There's no such thing as a love song. Love songs are crap. This is a real love song." - Bastard
- "There's a cemetery in Chicago called Justice, and this is about Mary Pedrosa (?) who is said to rise up and be seen every so often." - Resurrection Mary
- "This is one we did in the old days" - Roll Away The Stone
- "This one's off an old album called Brain Capers" - The Moon Upstairs/Rock'n'Roll Queen. A marvellous rocking version, as if the band had been playing it all their lives. The drummer and keyboard player were working overtime, Ian wallowing in the sheer power and sound that was being created.
- F*** It Up. First time I'd heard this, with Darryl Bath showing his personality while sharing the vocals. This one amused the crowd. "We're still working on that one" (it finished a bit abruptly). Must buy the single, that's the b side.
- Ian moves to keyboards and sings a line of Ships. "That's what brings the money in, Barry Manilow and all that."
- "Do you like gospel music? I love gospel music. Unfortunately I can't play gospel music so this'll have to do" - All The Way From Memphis.
- Irene Wilde
- "I asked the guy in the record store did he have this record. He said no" - The Artful Dodger
- There were a few requests shouted at this point. One for Honaloochie Boogie was rebuffed by Ian "Don't be ridiculous!" I asked for Open My Eyes which my wife likes. Darryl Bath's reaction was one of surprise that someone knew it. Ian asked "how'd you know that, you got it?" and then strummed and sang a line of it - made my night!
- "A song I wrote for Mick Ronson's mother" - Michael Picasso with D. Bath heavy on the emotional guitar during a really loud section.
- All The Young Dudes and once again Ian looked to be really enjoying himself, encouraging the crowd to sing.
We managed to get backstage and meet Ian for the first time. He signed a few things and we had a chat. He's a really nice guy and had a lot of time for those who bothered to go in and see him. As he signed my yellowed dog-eared copy of his diary he asked "You know this has been re-issued?" I know my copy's a bit tattered, Ian, but it's personal. :-) I discussed the net and the people here among other things.
A great night for me that will live long in my memory.