On paper, the prospect of former Mott the Hoople frontman Ian Hunter recombining with erstwhile partner and ex-Bowie axeman Mick Ronson for a tour that would re-cement their reputations for being among the best ‘n’ brightest stars of the ‘70s sounded like an excellent idea, particularly in light of the local glam-rock revival. On Friday at the Palace, however, the Hunter/Ronson Band’s nearly two-hour performance was perfunctory, poorly paced and ultimately disappointing.
If sleepwalking though all the old semi-hits (“All the Young Dudes,” “All the Way From Memphis,” et. al.) wasn’t bad enough, s omebody up there thought ‘twas a good idea to play four consecutive, as-yet-unrecorded songs within the first five numbers.
In fairness, a couple of the new tunes (“Never Too Small to Hit the Big Time” and “The Loner”) were the sort of Dylan/Stones crossbred eggheadbangers that made Mott such hot sauce in the first place. Nevertheless, the set’s highlight came when Ronson stepped into the spotlight for an instrumental rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams” that was as eerie as it was breathtakingly beautiful. Other than that it was just another night--in thought, in spirit, indeed.
Hunter and Ronson also play Bogart’s tonight, the Coach House Tuesday and Thursday and the Bacchanal in San Diego on Wednesday.