REVIEW: Ian Hunter, Pyramids, Southsea

Ian Hunter - still a dude
Ian Hunter - still a dude
The Handsome Family. Picture by Brandon Soder

Life Through The Trees is looking handsome at 20

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It’s a mighty long way down rock’n’roll... and rocker Ian Hunter has been there for the past five decades.

Hunter seems the physical embodiment of that lyric, from All the Way from Memphis, one of Mott The Hoople’s greatest hits, as it continues… “you gotta stay young man, you can never be old…”

Legendary rock diarist, archetypal perma-shaded rocker, Hunter has ploughed his own über-cool furrow since the glam-rock days of Top of the Pops with All the Young Dudes, Roll Away the Stone and The Golden Age of Rock ’n’ Roll.

Now 75, and with a loyal following as evidenced by the Pyramids audience, Hunter still displays the talent, vitality, and sheer rock exuberance that made Mott The Hoople so influential.

David Bowie may have penned the Motts’ greatest hit, but Hunter, now fronting the tightly-knit Rant Band, kicked off their world tour in Portsmouth with a near two-hour set bristling with great songs, pop hooks and rock sensibilities.

His voice like a gravelly amalgam of Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker, Hunter can still sing a razor line as evidenced by Once Bitten Twice Shy, and the anthemic Boy.

All the Young Dudes still shines as a rock beacon, and though Hunter’s not so young now, he’s definitely still a dude.