One of the most critically beloved rock bands of the 1970s, Mott the Hoople, has reformed on a couple of occasions in the last 10 years to play their native UK, but American fans had to buy plane fare overseas to see Ian Hunter reuniting with former bandmates. U.S. fans will finally get their chance, though, with a Mott configuration set to perform stateside this April for the first time since 1974.
The current lineup is, in fact, being billed as Mott The Hoople ’74, since the two members joining Hunter for this go-round are guitarist Ariel Bender, who only joined in time for their final studio album, 1974’s classic “The Hoople,” and keyboard player Morgan Fisher, who came on board one album earlier.
The band’s American run is only scheduled for eight dates (none on the west coast), beginning April 1 in Milwaukee, followed in short order by Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland (which Hunter saluted in his solo years with “Cleveland Rocks”), Glenside, PA, Boston and, finally, New York’s Beacon on April 10. Tickets go on sale January 25.
The band’s 1974 tour included Queen as an opening act — something often brought up in the wake of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” although obscured in the movie — and Brian May has continued to extol their influence over the years, describing Mott as “raw, fun, angry, glorious and jagged.”
In 2009, the five original members who were in the group from 1969 through ’73 got back together for a half-dozen gigs, although drummer Dale Griffin was in poor enough health that he was only able to sit in for the encores. Griffin has subsequently died, as has Overend Watts; original guitarist Mick Ralphs (who went on to form Bad Company after leaving Mott) has not performed publicly since suffering a stroke in 2016. Bender, though, was a prized commodity in his own right among Mott fans who have been eager to see him get back together with Hunter, too, despite his short tenure in the group.
Augmenting the lineup for 2019 are James Mastro (guitar, saxophone, mandolin), one-time Wings member — and longtime player in Hunter’s solo band — Steve Holley (drums), Mark Bosch (guitar), Paul Page (bass) and Dennis Dibrizzi (keyboards).
Mott the Hoople’s music has hardly gone unplayed on U.S. stages in recent years, as Hunter, still a robust stage presence at 79, has continued to tour in America and sprinkle a healthy amount of Mott classics like “All the Young Dudes” and “All the Way from Memphis” into his sets.
After finishing up in the U.S., Mott the Hoople ’74 will head directly to England for a run of dates starting April 19 in Manchester and concluding with a pair of shows at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London April 26-27.
Mott the Hoople ’74 U.S. Tour dates:
4/1 – Milwaukee, WI, Miller High Life Theatre
4/2 – Minneapolis, MN, First Avenue
4/3 – Chicago, IL, Chicago Theatre
4/5 – Detroit, MI, The Fillmore
4/6 – Cleveland, OH, Masonic
4/8 – Glenside, PA, Keswick Theatre
4/9 – Boston, MA, Orpheum Theatre
4/10 – New York, NY, Beacon Theatre