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Mr Big: Bitter Streets

The original Mr Big also make a comeback.

As Billy Sheehan and his former bandmates patch things up with a new album, the ‘other’ Mr Big, who first tasted fleeting fame with their 1977 single Romeo, have also decided to attempt to rekindle the kind of interest they garnered in the days when they shared management with Mott The Hoople and opened for Queen.

They tried once before, in the 90s, with their Rainbow Bridge album, to quiet indifference, and it’s difficult to see how Bitter Streets will fare any better.

Underwhelming in tone and approach, it’s a gentle meander through music that sounds like it was written to impress a would-be publisher; the marching It’s Over, the overblown Georgia, the grand weepy I Am Here For You. The latter could quite easily earn a boy band a holdall full of gold discs if the band so chose to farm it out.

The ubiquitous Romeo even makes a re-appearance; a dim memory of a better past polished up for the present day.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.