Rock 'n' Roll Circus #8.
Mott embarked on their 1973 tour of the USA not knowing whether Mick Ralphs was leaving or not. Very few recordings exist of this stage of their tour; several survive of the second half of the tour (with Bender). However, this recording of Mott at the Felt Forum is a real gem.
Yeah, its an audience recording, but some tidying up has been done, as the result is cleaner than this reviewer's tape copy. The band sound close, and audience noise rarely intrudes. There's some muddiness, which is typical of audience recordings of the time, but that doesn't really detract from what is actually a quite enjoyable performance.
If Mick was on the point of leaving he shows no sign of it here, turning in a solid performance. Like on Sweet Jane which sports a fabulous new intro, and Ready For Love where he turns in a fabulous solo. All The Way From Memphis is buisnesslike, while Rose is beautiful, allowing the band a breather before Dudes and the Jerkin' Crocus medley. The band finish with a storming version of Angeline (the encore track), demonstrating just how much Ralphs contributed to Mott's sound. It's a shame that just two weeks later he decided he'd rather join Bad Company after all.
As always with the Rock 'n' Roll Circus series, you get informative track-by-track details. This isn't the best-sounding Mott The Hoople CD around, but it certainly isn't the worst. If you're interested in hearing one of the last performances Mick Ralphs gave with Mott The Hoople, then consider tracking this one down - you won't be disappointed.