Mott the Hoople reunites for handful of UK gigs this month
By Alex Baker
Few bands embody the high highs and desperate lows of the rock and roll business like Mott the Hoople. Led by inimitable frontman Ian Hunter and guitarist Mick Ralphs, the band formed in 1969 and toiled for a number of years without much success.
Finally, after what Ralphs called “an unrewarding and disappointing European tour,” in the early ’70s, the band were on the verge of calling it quits when they received an unexpected lifeline.
David Bowie, who at the time ruled over the British pop charts with his Ziggy Stardust persona, contacted the band, saying he was a huge fan and that he’d penned a song he thought they should record.
“Please don’t split up,” he told them, according to Ralphs. “But if you must, please listen to my song and consider doing it.”
That song, “All the Young Dudes,” proved to be the band’s breakthrough hit. Practically overnight Mott the Hoople became the poster band for the glam rock movement, at last finding the success that had eluded them for so many years.
Unfortunately the days of wine and roses for Mott the Hoople would be short-lived. They followed up the success of “Dudes” with 1973′s Mott, a concept album about a band struggling on the edge of the limelight. The following year they released The Hoople, another ’70s glam rock epic that had a kind of proto-punk feel to it in places. But by then Ralphs had already left to join Bad Company and been replaced by Ariel Bender.
The remnants of the group continued on as just “Mott,” but failed to find chart success with their two subsequent releases. By 1980, they’d packed it in.
Now the band has reformed and they’re gearing up for a five-date tour of the UK in November. These shows will be the band’s first since they reunited (to much acclaim) in 2009 to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
These are complete dates for Mott the Hoople’s UK shows:
November 11 Symphony Hall, Birmingham, GB
November 13 Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, GB
November 16 Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne, GB
November 17 O2 Apollo Manchester, Manchester, GB
November 18 The O2, London, GB
For tickets and information, click here.