Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ian Hunter - Friday 11th November - Shepherds Bush Empire

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band
I had been looking forward to seeing Ian again and was even more pleased when I remembered that we had decent floor seats for this one. Support came from Graham Parker and Brinsley Schwarz who were pleasant enough - but somehow I expected that I'd recognise at least a couple of their songs. I didn't! Still, it was fine and Graham came across well with some self depreciating humour to the fore.

Mr Hunter has been touring for a good few years now with his Rant Band and the set tonight was a good mixture of old classics and newer favourites. Ian was in fine voice and effortlessly switched between guitar and keyboard. The crowd lapped it up (after almost being dragged to their feet initially by 2 somewhat overexcited fans - who presumably wanted to get "down the front"). If I do have one reoccurring issue with Ian's shows, it is the front of house sound. Now, it could be mitigating that we were in the 4th row, but it took several songs before the vocals and in-between speech became clear (and lifted above the instruments). Also when special guest Paul Cuddeford joined in for "All The Way From Memphis", it took an age for the desk to realise that he was playing a solo and to turn him up so the audience could hear it. I'm sure being the sound man is a far from easy job, but there are few recurring shows I go to these days where the vocals start so muffled.

Despite those reservations, I really enjoyed the show and it was nice to be able to hear "All The Young Dudes" without a stage invasion by Joe Elliott!

Setlist
That's When The Trouble Starts
Once Bitten Twice Shy
When I'm President
Saint
The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nuthin' but the Truth 
Cleveland Rocks 
All American Alien Boy 
Fingers Crossed
Honaloochie Boogie 
Dandy
Just Another Night 
Bow Street Runners 
Shrunken Heads 
American Spy 
Michael Picasso 
Ghosts
23A, Swan Hill 
Sweet Jane 
+
Irene Wilde (Snippet)
All the Way From Memphis (with Paul Cuddeford)
Life
All the Young Dudes 
Goodnight, Irene (Snippet with Graham Parker)

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