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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential purchase for Mott fans for DVD alone, 17 May 2014
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This review is from: Live 2013 (2cd + Dvd) (Audio CD)
Despite my extreme reservations on the long delay, (see my comments before release) I recommend that all Mott fans purchase this release, which represents very good value.

What we have here is a slightly mixed bag, but I recommend it for the DVD alone and fully endorse the comments made by others. It's a must have.

Parts of the audio are superb but it does need a few plays. The first time I played it was like when I saw them in 2009 and they started with 'Hymn for the Dudes' and Ian's voice was struggling and I was not sure I was going to enjoy it. There is no doubt that Ian's voice is not always strong enough, and he clearly struggles sometimes straining it to try to sing over the famous Mott barrage these days. But frankly, without wishing to be ageist, it is amazing that he is still doing it, when most people are long retired, or no longer around to rock the roll. His integrity and enthusiasm is never in doubt and the band instrumentally do manage to reproduce the power of the Group in their hey-day.

There are some excellent bits and the good, far outweigh the not so good. There is a brilliant 9 minute plus version of 'the Journey' which I would say is the centre piece of the concert, with an excellent arrangement being a medley incorporating 'When my minds gone' and 'No wheels to ride' and works just great. I also think they do an exceptional 'Ballad of Mott' and there is a touching 'Waterloo', surely one of Ian's best ballads.

Overand gets his day in the sun with an excellent ''Born late 58' and the real surprise is 'Soft Ground '(my least favourite track off the 'Dudes' album and yet it works really well live) which is much better than the original studio version. Verden Allen's vocal is excellent.

I believe there has been some overdubbing as 'Roll Away the Stone' has a complete vocal and Ian sounds in excellent voice on some tracks and yet appears to be struggling on others. Frankly I don't give a damn, as after all, the audio is for posterity and what sounds great when attending a concert, often doesn't sound so good at lower volume in the comfort of your sitting room. I would have been happy if even more had been touched up in the studio, but can see that there would then be criticism levelled for that. There are other surprises, but I don't want to spoil them all.

On one track Ian incorporates the Stones 'The Last Time' chorus slightly amending it to "this could be the very last time" saying this a number of times and you do think that live, it may well have been. In which case I think the momentum should
not be lost and they should go back into a studio to do some studio redos of some of the tracks from both the 2009 and 2013 concerts as well as others, which I have already suggested in my remarks rant. My wish list would include:

Sea Diver with Verden's organ and Mick Ralphs soaring guitar as done live on the 72 tour replacing the strings

Redo Sweet Angeline, as the studio version was not as good as it as it could have been on 'Brain Capers'

How about a long medley covering both Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' (as we don't have a full studio version of the former, even though they recorded it for some BBC sessions, now sadly believed lost) and 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' which they did an excellent version of at the 2009 concert I saw.

I also still believe they could do a great version of the track they originally passed on back in 72 (according to Bowie, if not Hunter) as a single; namely the great and under-rated 'Drive in Saturday'. The descending chorus is just made for them to do a great version, especially now there is no pressure of being labelled Bowie's puppets, which would have been the case back in the day, if they had recorded it as the follow up to 'Dudes'. I think we need the great Stan Tippins on the case.

A final comment on the concert, I disagree with one of the other reviews, as I think there is enough track variation from the 2009 concerts to make it an essential purchase for Mott fans, while not being one you would hold up to try to sway the uninitiated. It just needs to be played LOUD to get the real Mott feel and then the really good far outweighs some of the weaker moments.

There is no doubt collectively they still pack a tremendous punch, with Mick Ralphs having some nice different lead guitar solos and its interesting to hear his take on the 'Hoople' material which could be developed further in a studio setting (as well as being kinder to Ian's voice as he would not strain to be heard over the music) and also with Martin Chambers being the great, consistent powerhouse he always is, subbing for the much missed Buffin.

I say buy it and play it loud, just in case it is the final chapter of this great band.
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