Monday, March 31, 2014

Music Monday: Mott the Hoople 'Then we went to Croydon'

I spent Sunday morning running a half marathon round Croydon, or to be more precise the Sandilands/Shirley suburbs of said borough, which got me re-reading Les Back's great appreciation 'So... Fuckin' Croydon', which made me think of  'The Saturday Gigs' by Mott the Hoople...

The glam rock band's 1974 single, like their biggest hit 'All the Young Dudes' (written for them by David Bowie), can be read as a slice of world weary turning away from the fall out of 1960s idealism - 'The tickets for the fantasy were twelve and six a time, A fairy tale on sale'. But there's also a note of hope:

'In Seventy-two we was born to lose
We slipped down snakes into yesterday's news
I was ready to quit
But then we went to Croydon

Do you remember the Saturday gigs?
We do, we do
Do you remember the Saturday gigs?
We do, we do'

According to Songkick, Mott the Hoople played at the Greyhound Hotel in Croydon four times in 1969/70, and twice at Croydon Fairfield Halls: on 13 September 1970 (with Free and Fotheringay) and 20 February 1972. Confusingly all these Mott the Hoople Croydon gigs seem to have been on Sundays rather than Saturdays! What exactly happened in Croydon I'm not sure, but I would interpret the song as affirming the reconnection with the crowd after all the hype and the ups and downs of the music business.  According to wikipedia 'This song was played live during the 1974 European tour as the set's ending but also at the Mott The Hoople Reunion concerts in 2009 with it being the closing song of the final concert'. A recording of the 1970 Fairfield Halls gig has been released.


Unknown said...

They played on Sunday night's at the Greyhound as that was rock night and I was always there and I loved to watch Mott, always got there early to be right down the front great memories of amazing Sundays at the Greyhound. Saw so many great bands,Curved Air, Small faces, Humble Pie, East of Eden,Arthur Brown,Blodwyn Pig,Black Sabbath,Black Widow and loads more, I was their every week in the early seventies and loved it.

Unknown said...

And Croydon loved them