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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

•Elusive and reclusive, but Overend Watts of Mott The Hoople was caught on camera in Ross, in search of some stage clothes for the forthcoming tour.

•Elusive and reclusive, but Overend Watts of Mott The Hoople was caught on camera in Ross, in search of some stage clothes for the forthcoming tour.

•The new book, ‘The Man Who Hated Walking’, which is due out on November 14.

•The new book, ‘The Man Who Hated Walking’, which is due out on November 14.

Mott star in stage clothes search

INTERNATIONAL rock legends – due to the proximity of Rockfield recording studios – are rather more likely to be spotted in Monmouth rather than Ross on Wye, but one was indeed sighted last Friday.

Elusive recluse Overend Watts, legendary bass player with Mott The Hoople, was seen scouring the shops and boutiques of the town... And the man who ‘never, ever, gives interviews’ spoke exclusively to the

He told us: “I’m on the hunt for stage kit for the forthcoming Mott The Hoople reunion tour, which is in November. We are doing five dates, all told, with the last one being at the O2 in London. It’s really exciting, actually, because the last reunion we did, four years ago to celebrate 40 years together, was just amazing. So I’m out on the lookout for some clothes I can wear on stage. I’m talking ‘unusual but not weird!’ here. I did manage to find a great shirt last week, but that won’t last a whole tour.”

And how are rehearsals for the tour going? “Well, to tell the truth we haven’t actually started that sort of thing yet. What will happen is that about a fortnight before the start of the tour the band will get together and start work for a week on the songs we are going to do. Then Ian (Hunter, Mott lead singer), will fly over from his home in the States for the second week. We kind of know the songs...”

Those songs have provided the band with a stream of hit records over the years, from their debut international smash hit ‘All The Young Dudes’, through to ‘The Golden Age Of Rock n’ Roll’ and ‘All The Way To Memphis’. Are they all getting an airing on the tour?

“Oh yes, that’s really important to make sure we get everything covered that the fans would want. Let’s face it, they’ve been supporting us loyally for 45 years - so that’s the least we can do! Just at the moment, the band is sending set lists around to each other with suggestions on the songs we will be doing.

“We have a new face with us this time as Martin Chambers from The Pretenders is drumming with us. He’s replacing our original drummer Buffin (Dale Griffin), who can’t make this tour due to ill health. Martin is great, really enthusiastic about the whole thing.”

Mott The Hoople were formed in the local area and Buffin, Overend and Mr Chambers all have Ross-on-Wye in their backgrounds, the first two meeting up at John Kyrle School in the town after Overend moved to the area when aged 13. The Pretenders also hail from the area.

He added: “The shows are so exciting, for the fans and us. I made the mistake of popping into the main bar at one of the gigs on the last tour, and they nearly ripped my clothes off me! It was absolutely wild.”

Famously, Overend is known for his epic long-distance walks, that have taken him the length and breadth of the UK. It is a hobby has also spawned a book, soon to be published by Wymer Publishing.
“Yes, its called The Man Who Hated Walking and it should be out just in time for the tour. I’m with a great publishers and they’ve made a nice job of it – but talking of walking, I’d better get on.”

And with that, the international rock star scurried off back into Ross search of that elusive shirt.

All content © of Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review unless stated otherwise.

Comments on this news item:

1 comments on this news item

Posted by : Cheryl, United | Sunday 22/Sep/2013 | Report this comment

As you said, we don’t hear much from the reclusive Mr Watts, glad to find this story. I wish I could be there for one of the shows, I’ve been a Mott fan for nearly 40 years, but can’t afford a trip to the UK. I’d love to meet them and thank them for all the joy their music has brought me from my teenage years till now. So Thank you Overend - u were always my favorite. ;) Cheryl

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