Down ‘N Outz – “The Further Live Adventures Of…” 2CD/DVD/Blu-Ray (Frontiers Music)
Back in 2009, when 70s Brit glam gods Mott The Hoople decided to play a series of reunion shows a certain Joe Elliott of Def Leppard fame (and noted Mott disciple) got the call to participate in some capacity. Stepping up also to the plate were some of The Quireboys in Paul Guerin (guitar), Guy Griffin (guitar) and Keith Weir (keyboards), all being Mott fans themselves, along with bassist Ronnie Garrity (Raw Glory) and drummer Phil Martini (Spear Of Destiny, ex The Quireboys). And lo the Down ‘N Outz were born, playing covers covers of Mott the Hoople, along with acts related to them such as Mott, British Lions and Ian Hunter. The reunion show went down a storm, setting the impetus for a debut album, along with appearances at the High Voltage Festival and supporting Paul Rodgers on his 2011 tour. With an equally successful follow up album released in 2014, a live release was on the cards, and this recording in Joe’s hometown of Sheffield delivers the goods across 16 hard rocking tracks. To be frank, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m awed by the energy of the tight performances here, charging this classic material to a level that Mott themselves would be proud of! From the strutting arrogance of Mott the Hoople’s ‘Crash Street Kidds’ with its teasing guitars Joe Elliott himself does a wonderful glam take on his vocals, while on Mott’s ‘Storm’ the heavy, slightly fuzzed guitars mixed with glam set the stage for Elliott to morph his voice once again into rock n roll while Keith Weir brings warm ambience in places with his keys – when he’s not rocking out too with that fired up piano! Paying tribute to the British Lions on ‘One More Chance To Run’ the revved up chugging guitars and harmonies contrast brilliantly with Weir’s organ and once again hammering piano while the crowd get their singalong cue on Ian Hunter’s ‘England Rocks’, an anthemic hit for him with its socially conscious lyrics, yet somehow still acknowledging his love for his homeland. It’s clear that all these songs are dear to Elliott’s heart and he has done a tremendous job in drawing together this group of like-minded people to bring back to life songs they thought they would never hear live again.