The last time Mott The Hoople released a live album it proved to be their original swansong 40 years ago. This latest brings closure of a different sort, presenting a show from last year’s tour on a beautifully shot DVD and two CDs.
After the triumph of 2009’s unexpected reunion, Mott’s return last year ruffled some feathers by switching from Hammersmith to the soulless O2, but also gave other UK cities the chance to witness a genuine legend. No intimate warm-up gig or even much rehearsal, but it was still glorious seeing the original line-up (with Martin Chambers guesting for drummer Dale Griffin) powering through the Island years then the hits with ebullient gusto.
The ballads provide the most moving moments, although those goodbyes at the end of Saturday Gigs could be for real this time, making this release both essential souvenir and last shout for this most waywardly special of UK rock pioneers.