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Mott’s CD review
Book Review: Thailand’s Best Restaurants 2006
annual publication has just hit the streets, and has continued to expand its
ambit from just Bangkok to now also include Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin,
Phuket and Koh Samui.
Thailand’s Best Restaurants 2006 is published by Thailand Tatler (ISBN
974-93913-7-3) and has over 300 pages of information on not just the
restaurants, but also articles on wine, wines, more wines and general tips
on being an epicure. At the beginning of each featured region there is an
interesting section on the trends in the areas, and all without exception
very up-beat on the future of the better restaurants.
Stylish new restaurants are appearing every day in Thailand, with the
FarangSes restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort in Chiang
Mai being one of the few in Thailand to receive 10 out of 10 for both its
food and its service. You do pay for the pleasure, however, but when only
the best will do!
Another restaurant to gain a 10 rating is in Pattaya, with the Grill Room’s
wine cellar with its 825 labels and 36,000 bottles getting the accolades it
deserves. The Normandie and the D’Sens in Bangkok also received a 10 for
their cellars, but neither has the breadth or scope of the Grill Room.
It is also very interesting to see just what bargains there are to be had in
the country regions, compared to Bangkok, and whilst the Bangkok restaurants
do take the major slice of the listings, the up-country restaurants would
appear to give the better value. For example, at The House in Chiang Mai, or
Casa Pascal in Pattaya, you can have dinner for two for 2,000 baht
(excluding wines), in a restaurant scoring significantly higher in the food,
wine and service categories than the same price range generally found in the
capital. However, it is always fun trying them out!
In addition to the very readable articles in the front of the book
(including one of which advises the reader to tip the Maitre d’hotel $US20,
“Fold it into a square, held between your thumb and palm, and pass it while
gently shaking hands”). Fortunately I looked and saw the writer was from New
York’s Astoria Waldorf Hotel, and I relaxed, happy in the knowledge that we
are truly pampered in Thailand as far as dining is concerned. We have some
world class restaurants, for which we do not have to pay world class prices.
If you wish to impress the ‘folks back home’, send them a copy of this
The book continues to expand, and if it has a down-side, I would like to see
even more of the regional listings getting in to the publication. When a
certain percentage of listings must be “new”, this does mean that some well
established ones may have to be dropped, but the publishers have my
sympathy. A line must be drawn somewhere.
At B. 395, this publication will probably pay for itself many times over if
you dine wisely, especially if using the American Express discount offers
being given by many of the listed restaurants.
Mott's CD Reviews: Mott The Hoople Live
30th Anniversary Edition
Mott the Dog
At last; a proper release for this masterpiece of a
live album in tribute to one of the great rock ‘n’ roll bands of the
mid-seventies. Mott the Hoople “Live” was originally released in 1974, but
because of time restraints, only part of two concerts were put out as the
first vinyl bound release. This consisted of five songs from a concert of
their week long residency at the Uris theatre Broadway May 1974, and three
songs from their end of tour Christmas gigs 1973, at London’s Hammersmith
Odeon; hardly satisfactory.
As none of the songs ran in order, there were two songs midway through each
side, “Rose” and “Rest In Peace”, which were used in the sets to give the
members of the band a bit of a breather from all the leaping about, neither
side had an opening number, and side one ended with a truncated version of
the final encore, whilst side two closed with the end of the set proper, so
although there were plenty of flashes of excitement, nothing like the full
Here you get both concerts in their proper running order. Unfortunately
there were recording glitches at Hammersmith and we lose “Hymn For The
Dudes” and “All The Way From Memphis”; time constraints meant one song had
to be culled from the Broadway show, and Ariel Bender’s solo track “Here
Comes The Queen’’ was left off which is a shame, but not really a Mott The
Hoople number anyway. But the results are simply devastating.
At this time (late ‘73 to early ‘74) Mott The Hoople was probably the number
one live act in the world. Led Zeppelin was having their troubles, the
Beatles had long gone, the Rolling Stones were going through their “Black
and Blue” period, Black Sabbath was doing their Los Angeles thing, David
Bowie had split up the Spiders from Mars, Deep Purple were not sure who was
in the band and who wasn’t. So the field was wide open and Mott grabbed it
with both hands.
Touring both the Britain and America with a fledgling Queen in support, they
took no prisoners. Their last album ,”The Hoople”, had just smashed its way
into the top twenty on both sides of the Atlantic, whilst their fifth hit
single, “The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, was firmly entrenched in the top
ten of the singles charts worldwide.
They looked “The Business” - they were obviously it, seemingly without
trying. They appeared as an agglomeration of bright colours, bizarre shapes,
scarves, leather, sunglasses, velvet, huge boots, strange felt hats,
blending seamlessly into masses of hair, beer bottles, battered guitar cases
covered with stickers and that added something: swagger. They exuded
attitude, easy humour and the utter confidence borne of knowing you’re the
They had within the last year acquired the services of one of the greatest
rock ‘n’ roll guitarists to ever draw breath, the marvellously monikered
Ariel Bender (previously known as Luther Grosvenor of Spooky Tooth fame) who
could not only play the guitar like a ringin’ the bell, but also threw the
most magnificent shapes, throwing his guitar behind his back, or in the air,
as he did it, being the perfect foil for the menacing leader of the band,
Ian Hunter, who stood centre stage glaring out at the audience behind his
shades, daring them not to get out of their seats and cause a riot.
Also in the line-up was the originator of all the weird and wonderful
clothes worn by all those people who followed in glam rock, bass player
Overend (Pete) Watts. Overend used to daily spray paint his long hair silver
and virtually be winched onto stage, such was the height of his platform
Behind the drums was the mercurial Dale (Buffin) Griffin, who when he wasn’t
hitting his chosen instruments as hard as he could, would be scattering them
across the stage with well aimed kicks.
In total contrast on the piano forte was Mr Morgan Fisher, rockin’ his heart
out, wearing a white piano keyboard suit, with a floppy bow tie, tifter on
his head, and a perfectly groomed handlebar moustache adorning his upper
Then there was the music. Even with Queen as support there was never any
doubt who the headline act was. Mott would swing relentlessly on stage and
go unstoppably into their show every night. The intro from Holtz’s Jupiter
from “The Planets” was the intro theme to prelude the celebration of rock
‘n’ roll that was to follow. On Broadway they did a clever little opening
with Ian Hunter singing the opening bars of Don MacLean’s American Pie,
backed only by Morgan Fisher’s tinkling piano, but when it gets to the line
“The day that music died” Overend Watts steps up to ask the crowd “Or did
it?” whereupon the whole band breaks into a thundering version of “The
Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” complete with over the top sonic guitar solo
from Ariel Bender.
Over both concerts there are too many highlights to mention them all, but
“Hymn for the Dudes’’ and Hunter’s mini Rock Opera about the music business
with the immortal lines “These wires are tight”, “Marionette” are particular
highlights from the Broadway shows, and the final Rock ‘n’ Roll medley from
the Hammersmith Odeon with its pieces of Mott classics alongside snippets
from the Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis and David Bowie are unforgettable, with
Ariel Bender laying down some volcanic guitar over every song, and Ian
Hunter playing ringmaster to the crowd throughout the concerts.
This two CD package comes beautifully encased in a cardboard and plastic
Digi-pack with all the original sleeve notes, plus a new booklet and an
eight hundred word essay by Brian May of Queen, which is worth the price of
the package on its own. If you want to hear how rock ‘n’ roll should be
played, buy this package.
My only regret is that nobody had the sense to film either of these events,
so we could have a visual record of Mott The Hoople live, at the peak of
Mott the Hoople
Ian Hunter: Vocals, Rhythm guitar
Overend Watts: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Ariel Bender: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Morgan Fisher: Piano, Vocals
Dale Griffin: Drums, Vocals
Blue Weaver: Organ (Broadway)
Mick Bolton: (Hammersmith)
Stan Tippins: Vocals (All The Young Dudes)
CD 1 Broadway
Intro - Jupiter from The Planets, The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’
Roll, Sucker, Roll Away The Stone / Sweet Jane, Rest In Peace, All The Way
From Memphis, Born Late ’58, One Of The Boys
Hymn For The Dudes, Marionette, Drivin’ Sister / Crash Street Kids /
Violence, All The Young Dudes, Walking With A Mountain
CD 2 Hammersmith Odeon
Intro - Jupiter from The Planets, Drivin’ Sister, Sucker, Sweet
Jane, Sweet Angeline, Rose, Roll Away The Stone, All The Young Dudes, Rock
‘n’ Roll Medley: Jerkin Crocus / One Of the Boys / Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen / Get
Back / Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On / Violence, Walking With A Mountain
To contact Mott the Dog
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