Overend Watts - He’s Real Gone album review

Late Mott legend laughs it up

Cover art for Overend Watts - He’s Real Gone album

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Mott The Hoople bassist Overend Watts died in January, but he mocks mortality with a high-spirited posthumous album full of upbeat tunes and silly jokes. He even insisted that its name be changed from She’s Real Gone to He’s Real Gone. Determined to have a good time, he writes and plays almost everything himself, singing in a voice that welds Ray Davies, Syd Barrett and John Otway and penning rhymes that lead you to believe he’s about to say a filthy word, which he then swerves like a guitar-slinging Benny Hill.

SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“de7bda40-0d3c-4434-9f36-1fd879e8c1a7” id=“dc10e665-5f86-4ad9-9ffd-c4cb1d207f2b”>Overend’s just a SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“de7bda40-0d3c-4434-9f36-1fd879e8c1a7” id=“c6184961-794c-46f7-8db5-cad6085db14c”>rock’n’roll star’, Ian Hunter sang in Ballad Of Mott The Hoople, and there’s no arguing with that lore as he rips through cheeky riffs and rhythms. By the time he’s chanting ‘Prawn fire!’ repeatedly, you’re won over by the surrealism and resilient humour. His original demo of Mott’s Born Late ’58 is a bittersweet bonus.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.