DOWN ‘N’ OUTZ (Live)

at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., December 14, 2014

If you go into any town or city across the country on any night of the week the chances are there will be some tribute band or other playing covers by their favourite artists but you can be sure that there’ll be none with quite the pedigree of the Down ‘n’ Outz.

Formed by Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott and including members of the Quireboys and Vixen, at the personal request of Ian Hunter who wanted a band to open up for the long awaited Mott The Hoople reunion shows in London in 2009. Being a lifelong devotee of all things Mott The Hoople, Elliott jumped at the chance at sharing the stage with his boyhood hero. Interest from that single show mushroomed and an album and tour with Paul Rodgers soon followed with the Down ‘n’Outz covering material from right across Mott The Hoople’s back catalogue and associated solo recordings by various band members.

Down `n` Outz

With a second album, The Further Adventures Of, hot off the press featuring another selection of Mott The Hoople classics it was time for a full blown headlining tour. With Elliott fresh off the road playing huge enormodomes in The States with Kiss this was an altogether more low key affair, playing small clubs the likes of which Elliott has not seen since the formative years of Def Leppard.

Down `n` Outz

Elliott has never hid his love for Mott The Hoople over the years and has championed their music at every opportunity so this was a real labour of love for him and with Paul Guerin, Guy Griffin and Keith Weir from The Quireboys it would be hard to think of any other musicians quite as suited to a project devoted to the Mott cause. American bassist Share Pederson may have seemed like the odd one out but her grooves complimented the glitter and sparkle of Rock and Roll Queen, the Honky Tonk driven Who Do You Love and Whizz Kid to perfection and she matched the boys every beat of the way. She was a real class act.

Down `n` OutzNeatly side stepping the more obvious hits meant there was more space for the hidden gems that an uber fan such as Elliott would want to cover meaning no All The Young Dudes or Roll Away The Stone but leaving more space for One of The Boys and Drivin’ Sister and digging deeper to include Ian Hunter’s England Rocks and One More Chance To Run by the post Mott band British Lions making the set all the more special.

If Elliott’s aim was to expose an inquisitive crowd to the strength and depth of Mott The Hoople’s melody soaked back catalogue then this was a resounding success and set closer Good Times pretty much summed up the uplifting atmosphere in the Riverside at the end of a hugely entertaining evening.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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