Review: Ian Hunter at Sheffield City Hall

Ian Hunter
Ian Hunter

All the (not so) young dudes rewound to the golden age of rock and roll as they worshipped in the temple of Mott the Hoople legend Ian Hunter.

The audience may have been the wrong side of 50 but that wasn’t going to stop them dressing like teenagers in gig T-shirts, dancing as though their lives depended on it or chanting “Hunter” at the top of their voices.

It was debatable whether anyone in Sheffield City Hall’s ballroom last night (Thursday) matched Hunter for age and stamina. The 75-year-old iconic singer and guitarist, backed by The Rant Band, romped through a hefty number of songs with one for every pound spent on the £25 admission charge.

The distinctive piano opening to All The Way from Memphis in which Hunter tickled the ivories was the catalyst to spark the crowd into a cheering fan club. Hunter really didn’t need to sing the chorus of this, one of his greatest hits, as the audience did it for him, just as they had with Once Bitten Twice Shy.

Aside from the classic favourites, hIghlights included Big Mouth (Words), When I’m President, The Shunka Witco (Crazy Horse), 23A Swan Hill and the quirky Girl from the Office.

Hunter’s trademark raspy vocals stood the test of a cold in a punishing two-hour show. However, the sound balance could have been better, the band occasionally burying the voice which the fans had come to hear.

The unstoppable rock ‘n’ roller continues his tour in Brighton tonight, London on Saturday, then he’s off to Norway, Sweden. America and Japan….not bad going, dude!

GAY BOLTON