Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

WE'RE OUT TO FEEL CLUBS' BUZZ; MICK BURGESS Chats to Joe Elliott, Whose Down 'n'Outz Play Newcastle's Riverside on Sunday

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

WE'RE OUT TO FEEL CLUBS' BUZZ; MICK BURGESS Chats to Joe Elliott, Whose Down 'n'Outz Play Newcastle's Riverside on Sunday

Article excerpt

Are you looking forward to getting started? Very much so. It's going to be a chalkand-cheese moment for me as we've just done a huge tour of the States with Kiss in 25,000-seater stadiums, and with the Down 'n' Outz we'll be playing tiny little clubs with the crowd right in our faces and I can't wait for it to start.

Does it feel strange playing in these smaller venues this time? Def Leppard never really played the clubs, even in our early days, although we did do a special warm-up show at the Academy in Islington just before the Sparkle Lounge Tour. The Down 'n' Outz have done a few up to now. In many respects it works to your advantage being in such a small venue so close to the crowd as you really get to work off the energy of the audience. It'll be a lot of fun.

On Sunday you'll be playing at the Riverside in Newcastle. Do you remember the early days of your career when you played at The Mayfair? I can tell you a funny story about The Mayfair. Paul Guerin, our guitarist, said: "You know we've met before. Remember when you opened for AC/DC at the Mayfair and it nearly didn't happen as there was a fire? Well I was in the auditorium during sound check and I was standing next to you talking to you." He was a 16-year-old kid at the time and little did I know that one day we'd work together. These gigs we're doing soon aren't as big as The Mayfair.

You've got a pretty hectic schedule with Def Leppard. Was there a temptation just to take a few weeks off and put your feet up? I'll sleep when I'm dead. I think the older I get, the more I want to do as the time that's gone never comes back and the time in front is getting less so I want to do as much with my time as possible. I'm 55 now and I look at McCartney and Jagger and think they have given us a yardstick to aim at. I have put my feet up many times but I get restless after a day or two. There's too many cogs in my head going round and I'm always looking for the next thing to do. There was no way I was going to say: "Let's not bother." I've got the new record out and it's a duty to go out and play it live.

What sort of people come to your shows? Do you get Def Leppard fans coming to check you out or do you get a bunch of Mott fans wanting some nostalgia? We get a lot of Def Leppard fans coming along who are curious and want to check us out. We also get a lot of Quireboys fans coming along too, because of Paul, Guy and Keith. We also get a lot of people who love Mott The Hoople who are very happy that a bunch of guys like us are keeping the music alive.

Down 'n' Outz basically covers Mott The Hoople and related bands' material. This must be a real labour of love for you as you have been a huge fan of Mott from back in the 70s.

To go out and play these songs live is no effort at all as they are fantastic songs and it's such a pleasure to be able to go out and play them. …

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