The music of Def Leppard is iconic. Anyone who has witnessed a rather disturbing scene in the new Family Guy/Simpsons crossover episode involving one of the bands iconic anthems can attest to that. Indeed, it’s something of a miracle how five young British men managed to capture the hearts and minds of the American nation so well, and we’re not talking about One Direction!
But as front man of a such a group, Joe Elliot has often been known to remind people that he hasn’t forgotten a single thing about where he came from, paying inspiration and respect to those who inspired him when he was “on the other side of the barrier, looking this a-ways”
Cue the Down N’ Outz, a somewhat quirky side project that was born out of a desire for Elliot to pay homage to Mott The Hoople and also as an excuse to license his own beer. The band released an initial version of their album “free” with Classic Rock magazine in 2010 and then promptly followed this up, based on audience reaction, with a re-release and UK tour some months later. Their set comprised of obscure Hoople B-Sides and Ian Hunter solo projects and the band comprised of a few members of the Quireboys, in “disguise”, trying to fool anyone not the slightest bit familiar with the British music scene.
But rather than this deception be for some kind of parody or ‘Spinal Tap’ moment, the bands performance was genuinely homely, with audiences the age of those who actually knew what a B-Side was. This was a chance to give lovers of this music a chance to reconnect with the songs they might have forgotten, albeit through age or just because Hunter (in his 70’s) doesn’t manage to get out as much as he used to.
Again, without much of an announcement, the band returned in 2014 with a second studio album; ‘The Further Adventures Of…” which, again, provides music under the same recipe. And why not? Elliot is a multi millionaire musician, he has spent this past Summer in his “day job” touring the US with KISS across stadiums, amphitheatres and baseball arenas. To be quite honest, he deserves a holiday; and he’s taking one, by performing some of his favourite music in a few informal venues across the country he loves. If it’s your scene too, he welcomes the company.
Previewer: Wayne Madden