Handmade For Fans #6.
All tracks recorded at the Astoria, London 20th May 2000 except
1 Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh 16th May 2000
2 Robin 2, Bilston 19th May 2000 with Joe Elliott
Ian toured the UK in May 2000 in support of the then recently released Once Bitten Twice Shy compilation. There was no new album of material to promote, so the set mainly consisted of the tried and tested numbers that had comprised the set the last couple of times Ian toured.
Therein lies the problem. Although the set opens with Shades Off (off tape) and Boy (with usual set opener Once Bitten Twice Shy relegated till much later in the set), and rare outings for (I'm The) Teacher and Big Time, there is too little that is new here. Sure we get (guitarist) Darrell's Just Be True and newie Death Of A Nation, but that basically is it.
This is not really the 'Handmade' guys' fault, but the performance just comes across as nothing special, just another gig, with nothing to set it apart as an "event". Part of the problem must lie with the venue, who had double-booked the evening (there was something altogether different on later that evening), so Ian started early and had to get off sharpish as well.
Recordings exist of other gigs from the tour, and suggest this wasn't the best gig of the tour. Bonus tracks are included from the previous night, where Ian was joined on stage by Joe Elliott (Def Leppard vocalist and huge Ian/Mott The Hoople fan), where by all accounts Ian played a blinder.
If you were at the Astoria gig this is a nice souvenir, but I can't help feeling that if Handmade had released the Robin 2 gig instead in its entirety (or even the Bowery gig a couple of weeks later in New York City, of which a recording has surfaced) this would have been so much better.