Review: Mott the Hoople at Birmingham Symphony Hall – Jon Griffin


When David Bowie gifted Mott the Hoople All The Young Dudes in the 1970s, he saved an acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful group from probable oblivion.

Mott went on to conquer a significant part of the musical landscape – and rocked so hard that they were banned from the Royal Albert Hall following a mini-riot. They also really enjoyed making fun of Tony Blackburn, boosting their credibility by several notches.

Mott imploded in the mid-1970s, but Ian Hunter’s wonderful repertoire of songs is still alive and well. The band, of course, are no longer in the first wave of youth, and it showed up at times, especially with a jarring Honaloochie Boogie.

But the aging process affects us all, and it would be very silly to hit a band that is still as adored as the mighty Mott. There was a real air of nostalgia and anticipation as Hunter, Ralphs, Allen and Watts took to the stage to the sound of moving strains of I Vow To Thee My Country.

Rock and Roll Queen kicked off the proceedings and an almost two-hour set was built to a fitting crescendo, as Mott tore up The Golden Age of Rock and Roll and All The Way From Memphis with verve. 70s style.

An inevitable callback of All The Young Dudes was followed by a catchy Roll Away The Stone and a poignant rendition of Saturday Gigs.

Mott is unlikely to be banned from a concert hall again, but there is always an endearing rebellious side to a band that will never be forgotten.


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