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Mott the Hoople at Birmingham's Symphony Hall - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Young Dudes Make Light of Power Failure
It was all going so well. Mott the Hoople opened the first show on their 2013 reunion UK tour with Rock and Roll Queen from their eponymous 1969 debut album which had the capacity Symphony Hall audience – including Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott - on their feet and singing along.

Then, as they launched into One of the Boys, the stage lights went out and the house lights came on. The band looked perplexed but carried on as roadies scurried around trying to solve the illumination problems.

Halfway through the show's third song, The Moon Upstairs from 1971's Brain Capers, the stage lights returned to a great cheer from the audience.

Mott the Hoople


In truth, Mott the Hoople could do no wrong – the fans were simply delighted that four fifths of the original line-up were back together for a tour. Frontman Ian Hunter, guitarist Mick Ralphs, bassist Overend Watts and keyboardist Verden Allen originally reformed in 2009 to play together at a series of London gigs for the first time in 35 years. Drummer Dale Griffin joined them for the encores but due to ill health his place on the 2013 tour has been taken by Martin Chambers.

Mott the Hoople
Reunited: Mott the Hoople


At Symphony Hall we were treated to a mix of rockers like Sucker and Walkin' With A Mountain and softer semi acoustic numbers like Waterlow. A highlight was Overend Watts' Born Late '58, mainly because this was a hometown gig for the bass player who wrote and sang the song. But it was the Glam Rock hits that raised the roof as they closed the hour and 40 minute show.

Ian Hunter moved to the piano, backing singers, including Hunter's son and daughter, Tracie and Jamie, lined up behind him, and we were treated to Honaloochie Boogie, The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll and All The Way From Memphis.

Three more songs were saved for the encore – All The Young Dudes, Roll Away The Stone and Saturday Gigs which has the refrain 'Goodbye'. Hunter waved to the crowd as he sang it. Whether it marks Mott the Hoople's final farewell to Birmingham remains to be seen.

symphony hall
Mott's Birmingham farewell?: Hoople's gig was at Symphony Hall


The tour continues at Glasgow Clyde Auditorium on November 13, Newcastle City Hall on November 16, Manchester O2 Apollo on November 17 and London's O2 on November 18.
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Why? Long awaited reunion tour
When: November 11, 2013
Where: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
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