IAN HUNTER HAS FINGERS CROSSED FOR DANDY BOWIE TRIBUTE
Ian Hunter: 'Fingers Crossed'
Out Now (Proper Records)
Mott The Dog
At the age of 77 a lot of rock stars are putting their feet up, having their slippers brought to them and settling into their favourite rocking chair but not Mr Ian Hunter. The rocking chair has been chopped up for more fuel and the slippers have been thrown at the items of his scorn.
During the eighties and early nineties, Ian Hunter's career, whilst not stopping, slightly hit the doldrums but the tragic death of his long time friend/sideman/partner-in-crime Mick Ronson in 1993 inspired Ian to not waste his talent but share it willingly with the world. In his own words, from his exalted age he decided to charge ahead.
Things really kicked into gear with the arrival of John Mellencamp's guitarist Andy York acting as a sort of Musical Director. The musical juices started to flow again and the albums that are probably the highest quality of his career started pouring out.
It started with the splendid 'Rant' in 2001 and continued with 'Shrunken Heads' in 2007, 'Man Overboard' in 2009, and 'When I'm President' in 2012. Between all this Ian Hunter toured constantly with his band, The Rant Band, and twice reformed Mott The Hoople, once in 2009 for five sold out shows at Hammersmith Odeon and again in 2013 for a uk tour. Now we get the cherry on top of the rock, the album 'Fingers Crossed'.
It's difficult to choose which song will get the most radio play. The album kicks off in fine style with 'That's When The Trouble Starts', a cautionary tale to the callow youths of today starting out in the world of rock'n'roll with all its pitfalls. The music rattles along at a fair pace with long time drummer Steve Holley keeping the beat while the twin guitars of James Mastro and Mark Bosch put up that wall of sound favoured by Hunter and his Rant Band.
Dennis DiBrizzi is a class act on keyboards switching between piano and heavier organ depending upon the song's need. It's his first album with Ian Hunter and the Rant Band he's glad to finally make an album with the Rant Band and feel part of the family.
Second up is the most talked about track on the album, ‘Dandy’, which is Ian Hunter's tribute to David Bowie who sadly passed away in January of this year. Of course Ian Hunter and Mott The Hoople owed Bowie a huge debt of thanks as he gave them their breakthrough hit in 1972, 'All The Young Dudes'. Sadly Hunter and Bowie have not been in touch for forty years so to keep things in perspective, Ian has written the song from a young fan's point of view in the Ziggy Stardust era.
The song, with it's soaring lead guitar riff, sweeping chorus, references back to 'the day' and spoken outro could easily be a follow up to 'All The Young Dudes' abd it's going to become a must play at every show on the forthcoming tour.
November tour dates are as follows. Tickets for all dates are available right here.
4th November: The Assembly, Leamington Spa
5th November: The Garage, Glasgow
7th November: The Sage, Gateshead
8th November: The Tramshed, Cardiff
9th November: RCNM, Manchester
11th November: O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
12th November: The Tivoli, Buckley
13th November: The Picturedrome, Holmfirth
'Ghosts' was inspired by Ian and the band going down and jamming in the old Sun Recording studios in Memphis while the title track is written from the position of a British seaman press-ganged into the British Navy in the 1750s, the lyrics reflecting his desperate desire to survive and it's certainly the album's emotional high point.
There's an eclectic mix of subjects covered in 'Fingers Crossed' with 'Bow Street Runners' inspired by London's first police force, 'White House' an amusing poke at the pornography scene but a real highlight is 'Stranded In Reality', a mid tempo rocker with the tongue firmly in the cheek on the opening line "I bought my spaceship second hand, should have known better, now the steering is jammed and I'm looking for somewhere to land".
Also grabbing inspiration from the dream invading Greek God Morpheus on the smoldering 'You Can't Live In The Past', Ian even brings into focus his own age as he striked out with the lines "You can never go back, those days are gone, you gotta' move on".
The album romps to it's close with a blast through 'Long Time', which sees Ian looking back on his teenage rock'n'roll heroes.
There is a bonus track, 'Seein' Red', which is listed as the 'Incentive Track' and you get it if you buy the full album package with all the extras and you can do that right here.
It's a busy year for Ian Hunter and the Rant Band with a world tour underway and there's a thirty disc collection coming out soon which you can get right here.
The collection includes all his solo work since leaving Mott The Hoople in 1974, plus a swathe of out-takes, alternative takes, rare songs, promotional DVD's and recordings of concerts from over the years. You also get a signed portrait, books, posters and more. It's strictly to 2,500 and has been proceeded by an EP of seven songs, 'Sampling In Reality'.
'Fingers Crossed' will not be the last you hear of the unstoppable force that is Ian Hunter. Here's lead single and David Bowie tribute track, 'Dandy'.
That’s When The Trouble Starts
Bow Street Runners
Stranded In Reality
Living In The Past
Seein' Red (Incentive Track)
Ian Hunter - Vocals and Guitars
James Mastro - Guitars
Mark Bosch - Guitars
Steve Holley - Drums
Paul Page - Bass Guitar
Dennis Dibrizzi - Keyboards