Mott the Dog
July 14, 2018 - July 20, 2018
Mott The Hoople turn up the heat at Ramblin’ Man Fair
Hoople perform at the 2018 Ramblin’ Man Fair in Maidstone, Kent, southern
England, Saturday, June 30. (Photo/Harpic Bryant)
Scorching hot English
summer weather welcomed the ‘ramblers’ to the fourth Ramblin’ Man Fair in
Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent, England on June 30, but not to worry, the beer
and cold cider were in plentiful supply as usual, as was the shade.
Before the festival
there had been some grumbles among ramblers about this and that but the
organization of the event went like clockwork and everything that had been
promised was there present and correct. The beautiful weather was a bonus.
There were too many
bands and performances to give deserved long and flowing reviews to, but
Gorilla Riot, if I dare say (many people had different favorites) just about
edged it on the Rising Stage. Among the other more established acts that
went down well were No Hot Ashes to be followed by great sets in no
particular order from Myles Kennedy, Steve Earle, Cadillac Three, and Skinny
Molly (their version of “Free Bird” sent shivers through the festival site.)
Steel Panther pleased those who like that sort of thing and there were many
other great bands but space restrictions here make me keep it short.
Headlining the Main
Stage, nearly 50 years after forming, were the incomparable Mott The Hoople.
There have been two previous goes at reforming the band, but with original
members. This time it was the turn of Ariel Bender, A.K.A. Luther Grosvenor,
and Morgan Fisher to join main man Ian Hunter on stage. On the first two
rounds the band had played down their Glam Rock image of their later years.
This time they brought the Glam with them, sauntering on stage with Morgan
Fisher to your left as you looked at the stage in his keyboard collared
jacket and Ariel Bender to the right in his snazzy suit, beret and low slung
guitar. Ian Hunter commanded the centre with his ever-present shades, hat,
two piece suit and shoelace tie, even the Maltese cross guitar was brought
out for “Walkin’ With A Mountain.”
Behind them was the
might of Hunter’s full time solo band, the Rant Band, allowing the stars up
front full reign to add their own personal glitter to the show. The band
started deceptively quietly with the opening to Don McLean’s “American Pie”
until the volume rocked up when the lines rang out, “the day that music
died”, or did it? When with a mighty blast, “The Golden Age of Rock’n’Roll”
rent the air asunder and any thoughts that these guys were too old to
headline a rock show (Ian Hunter has just celebrated his 79th birthday) were
scattered to the winds.
As in the old days,
Ariel Bender scampered across the stage like a man demented, ripping solos
from his guitar at will while enticing the audience to higher fever pitches.
Morgan Fisher meanwhile hammered the keys on his piano as if he was
determined to make sure the poor instrument would never make it through the
All the favourite tunes
were performed but perhaps the best was kept for last when the band let it
all hang out to a twenty minute medley of their most rocking songs, followed
by their biggest hit, the David Bowie penned “All The Young Dudes” and
finally, as can only be appropriate as it was Saturday night, the band left
the stage to “Saturday Gigs”, leaving the crowd singing “Goodbye” long after
the band members had exited the stage.
Age Of Rock’n’Roll
Rest In Peace
I Wish I was Your
Roll Away The Stone
Walkin’ With A
Crocus/One Of The Boys/Rock’n’Roll Queen/Crash Street Kids/Whole Lotta’
Shakin’ Goin’ On/Violence)
All The Young Dudes
Written by Mott The Cat.
July 7, 2018 - July 13, 2018
Queen: ‘News of the World’
1977 (from left) Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Freddie Mercury and Brian May.
By the time of Queen’s sixth album “News Of The World” (1977) the band
already ruled the world of rock music and were in the prime of their
careers. It showed up brilliantly on this album with all four members of the
group bristling with confidence. Hence the song writing, instruments and
singing are all shared out, with everybody shining.
The album was a smash
hit internationally, going four times platinum in the United States alone
and selling over 6 million copies in all. Of course it also dripped some of
the best known singles of the Seventies. The double A-sided “We Are The
Champions”/”We Will Rock You” has been played at every sports ground in the
world and especially at cup finals. If you put “We Are The Champions” on in
any gathering, automatically everybody is a Freddie Mercury wannabe.
The second single
“Spread Your Wings” is probably an even better song, though perhaps not as
commercial. But they all stand the test of time very well.
The album opens up with
the rabble rousing “We Will Rock You”, designed by its author Brian May to
be a song to get the crowd going. With its Stomp-Stomp-Clap-Pause four/four
measure it’s a complete earworm of a song.
In the running order of
the tracks released on the original album it’s Freddie Mercury’s turn next
with the songwriting on the aforementioned “We Are The Champions”. Then
third out of the traps is a real blast with “Sheer Heart Attack”, written by
Roger Taylor and a screaming rocker if ever there was one. In contrast the
next lament “All Dead All Dead” is a song inspired by the death of Brian
May’s boyhood cat.
The quiet man of the
band John Deacon then gets his name on the score-sheet with “Spread Your
Wings” while “Fight From The Inside” is one of the few Queen songs almost
entirely played by one member: Roger Taylor wrote it, sang the lyrics and
played the drums and guitars. Slash has been quoted as saying the jangling
guitar riffs are amongst his favorites.
“Get Down, Make Love”
opens side 2 and is one of the most sexually orientated songs ever laid down
in a recording studio (snigger). Immediately following it is “Sleeping on
the Sidewalk”, a blues excursion from Brian May that was recorded in one
take (mistakes and all). It has a lovely, loose feel to it. “Who Needs You”
is another John Deacon song, featuring Spanish guitars and Freddie Mercury
“It’s Late” would be
the stand out track of almost any other album. Written by Brian May as a
three act song, the last act sees the band really wig out in true rocking
Lastly we have “My
Melancholy Blues”, a showpiece for the talents of Freddie Mercury and his
jazzy style. It’s a fitting way to close out a classic album.
Queen backed up the
album with an extensive tour of America and Europe. It was the ‘must have’
ticket for both the end of 1977 and early 1978. Queen played a full set with
all the stage props, pyrotechnics etc. and did not even bother with a
support band on the tour, such was their ability to draw a crowd.
Frank Kelly’s artwork
for the album was also groundbreaking.
Mott the Dog Rating:
Freddie Mercury -
vocals, piano and cowbell
Brian May – guitars and
John Deacon - bass
guitar and vocals
Roger Taylor – drums,
We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions
Sheer Heart Attack
All Dead All Dead
Spread Your Wings
Fight From The
Get Down , Make Love
Sleeping on the Side
Who Needs You
My Melancholy Blues
Written By Mott The Dog and Hells Bells, who can be found at Jameson’s The
Irish Pub. Soi AR, North Pattaya.
June 30, 2018 - July 6, 2018
A New Day Festival promises three days of fantastic fun & music
Crowds flock to the stage at the New Day
Festival in Kent, southern England.
The festival will feature a plethora of musical
Mt. Ephraim Gardens
with its large house and 800 acre estate is situated in Herne Hill in the
centre of Kent’s rolling valleys, approx. 48 miles from London. The estate
was first built in 1695 and for the last 300 years has been cared for and
attended by the Dawes family. The gardens had to be completely re-furbished
after years of neglect due to the Second World War but they have been
lovingly restored with many different flowers and rock and water gardens. In
the centre is a lovely old sweet chestnut tree.
Herne Hill itself is
just outside Faversham, which is an old English settlement that can be dated
back to pre-Roman times. Kent is famous for its beautiful countryside,
cherry trees, apple orchards, hop fields and pretty girls. As Charles
Dickens once wrote, “Kent, Sir, Everybody knows Kent”. Within the Mt.
Ephraim Estate is the Mont Field Cricket Ground which was once a County
Ground. Faversham is also the home of England’s oldest family run brewery -
Shepherd Neame. Kent is rightly proud of its many local beers.
Once a year (this year
from August 3-5), Mt. Ephraim opens its gates to A New Day Festival, and
what a wonderful occasion it is too! Three days of great music, sitting
about making new friends, re-acquainting with old ones and seeing people
from previous years.
There are two stages
which are set out at the bottom of two fields, nicely close, but far enough
apart to be just right as it is about a two minute walk between stages. The
Spitfire Stage and the Shindig Stage have bands who follow each other on
with military precision. As you walk back up the fields each side is lined
with stalls, selling everything your heart could desire: fish ’n’ chips,
sandwiches, pastries, curries and pizzas. There is a marvellous cheese shop
selling all sorts of local delicacies as well as people selling clothes and
records (vinyl) and CDs - mostly of the artists appearing at the festival.
There is a fabulous tent in between the stages where, after each band
finishes, they congregate and sign any CDs bought by the patrons.
At the top of each
field are the beer tents. All beers are kept at the same price (last year is
was £3.50 a pint). The festival also employs proper, experienced bar staff
and this makes all the difference.
The cricket pitch is
turned into a camping/glamping site with plenty of parking space and the
amenities are in abundance and impeccably clean. There are also plenty of
nearby hotels and inns. Greed is not on the agenda at the New Day Festival
so the numbers are kept down to allow plenty of freedom to wander about
without having to queue.
With all this, there
are Rock & Roll bands too. Last year the lineup was amazing and this year
they have bettered it. Each day has a band in the mid-afternoon who could
easily headline the event itself. On Friday its John Otway, Saturday Bernie
Torme, and Sunday Son of Man. Saturday is headliners all day long.
A New Day Festival is a
very special event for music lovers so if you happen to live in the UK or be
visiting in early August, make sure to check it out. For more information,
Written by Mott The Dog of Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya.
(Photos courtesy Gem