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Thursday, 12th December 2014

Wolverhampton, England - Media Reviews

Joe Elliotts Down ‘n’ Outz at The Slade Rooms By Lisa Billingham<

On a bitterly cold night I arrived at the Wolver Slade Rooms for what was promising to be a cracking night of rock music, UK style. The Further Adventures of Down ‘n’ Outz were to be played, to what was promising to be a decent, but not sell-out crowd. Featuring Def Leppard‘s front man Joe Elliott and three quarters of the Quireboys treading the boards tonight.

I’ve never seen Def Leppard live, but thoroughly enjoyed a two song surprise that Joe sprung at a benefit gig at the Birmingham Roadhouse a couple of years ago. Just my luck then that he appeared to be suffering with “laryngitis, broncho-pneumonia or some fuckin’ shit” as he succinctly put it – When asked to turn the vocals up because “we can’t hear you Joe” by a chap at the back of the room. No matter! What I didn’t see coming was the set opener, a cover of Elton John’s ‘Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding‘ from his iconic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, for which Joe played piano.

Although struggling with some of the higher notes, I thought he came through with flying colours. From then on in it was Mott the Hoople, Mott and Ian Hunter all the way, with a little help from their friends, the Down ‘n Outz! And d’you know what, I thought Joe’s voice got better and stronger as the set went on. With neither a Leppard or Quireboys number having a cat in hells chance of making an appearance in this part of the show this was gonna be a 70’s pop nostalgia party celebrating a band who had a start, stop beginning back in the late 60’s, early 70’s and probably never reached the heights they should have back then. That their music is being brought into the modern day by this band of distinguished musicians is indeed testament to how good some of their stuff actually was.

As well as serving up some great pacey rock and roll, Joe and the guys and gal also showed they could play it mean and moody with a great rendition of Ian Hunters ‘Overnight Angels‘. The gal, by the way, was Vixen bassist Share Ross, whose smooth bass playing style was a delight to see and hear. Some cool keys by Quireboys Keith Weir brought the 1976 Mott release ‘Shouting and Pointing’ well out of retirement and was nice to see included in the set. Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin rose to all the six string challenges set by Joe and drummer Phil Martini kept the whole thing on a tight rein with his excellent stick work.

Quite how Joe made it through the 13-song main set and then found something extra to send the fans home happy with a two-song encore is quite beyond me, but he did and I guess they all will be relishing the thought of a well-earned day off before hitting the north –east, Scotland and Ireland. Now to scrape the ice off my car windscreen and gird the old loins in readiness for my favourite stretch of motorway!

By Ramzine 2014.


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