1. She’s Real Gone
New Release on 1st September 2017. Item will be sent as soon as stock is available.
OVEREND WATTS who died early this year was a bass player, record producer, songwriter, author and founder member of MOTT THE HOOPLE and was the driving force behind the MTH reunion shows of 2009 and 2013.
Before his death after a long illness he finally completed his solo album that he had been promising to deliver to his legion of fans for the past decade plus, and in keeping with his legendary witty humour, he decreed that as the album would be released after his passing it would not be called “She’s Real Gone” as planned but changed to “He’s Real Gone”!
As a bonus track for fans Overend provided his own demo of his song “Born Late 58” which he sang on the seventh and final album from Mott The Hoople back in 1974.
OVEREND WATTS, PHIL HENDRIKS
Overend Watts' solo album has been a long time coming. Something like eighteen years by my reckoning - he first talked about recording an album in issue 2 of Two Miles From Heaven magazine in November 1999...
Many of the songs are inspired by Overend's varied life experiences, either from running his own shop (The Dinosaw Market, Belle Of The Boot) or pursuing his hobby of carp fishing (The Legend Of Redmire Pool). Overend plays all the instruments himself - normally my heart sinks when I read this, but here Overend acquits himself well. Even the drums are inventive rather than perfunctory, as are the keyboards. A true solo album but which sounds like a band - others should take note...
...Overend has said that when he started writing in earnest (for MOTT's Drive On) he didn't really know about hooks and choruses. I'm pleased to say he has got everything right here, with Rise Up being another strong track with a great hook and chorus. Rise up - before they shoot you down!
There's a lot to like here. It took me two or three listens to "get it", but get it I have. Recommended.
Hunter-mott .com (August 2017)
Recorded towards the end of his days, it would be lovely to report that He's Real Gone captures everything that made Watts so unique, from the towering platforms and the silver hair, to the humor, artistry and vision that characterized his work way-back-when. Lovely, and true.
From start to finish, He's Real Gone is a delight; lyrically light-hearted, buoyant as a balloon, and so determined not to take anything seriously that you almost overlook how magnificently constructed and exquisitely played the thirteen new tracks are.
The titles give a lot away - "The Legend of Redmire Pool", "Prawn Fire on Uncle Sheep Funnel," "There's Berkeley Power Station"...there are few ruminations on life, the universe and everything here, and who'd have wanted them if they were? Watts's onstage persona was almost cartoonish (how could it have been much else with that tailor?), and alone in the studio with a broad array of instruments, that's the side that he indulges.
Yet it's not an album you put on just for laughs. The songs are genuinely powerful ("Caribbean Hate Song" might be the best, but I've changed my time six times already), and the playing and production are spot on. Yes, there are certainly echoes of past friends and peers on display, including a touch of Roy Harper around the vocals, but it's Watts's album all the way through, still jammed with all the pleasures that were so much a part of his writing "back in the day," and occasionally allowing them to shine through even louder than before.
"He'd Be a Diamond" has a hook and harmonies that the mid-sixties would have given their last pair of Beatle boots for; "Magic Garden" feels like a lost John Otway classic; "Belle of the Boot" is unadulterated punk rock. And the only regret, as the album comes to an end, is that Watts waited so long to make it. If this is the music he spent forty years bottling up, we lost out on some of the most extraordinarily enjoyable albums in history.
Goldmine Magazine (August 2017)
Bass player Pete "Overend" Watts is best remembered these days for his sterling exploits with glam rockers Mott the Hoople during the early seventies, and the Birmingham born musician did his best to keep the band's name alive after creative mainstays Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs left the fold in 1974. His efforts were sadly doomed to failure however, and Watts took a back seat from performing to concentrate on record production, only completing "He's Real Gone," his first solo album shortly before his untimely death from throat cancer earlier this year. His musical epitaph is a typically quirky and unpredictable affair which should be required listening for MTH devotees everywhere.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (August 2017)
"He's Real Gone" is the long-awaited CD by the much loved Overend Watts, the bassist and founding member of the mighty Mott The Hoople who sadly passed away earlier this year. The CD contains eleven brand new compositions by Overend together with two cover versions plus the original demo of "Born Late '58" which dates back to "The Hoople" LP.
Imbued with Overend's eccentric, warm hearted personality, "He's Real Gone" is by turn quirky, amusing and, at times, it must be said, somewhat slightly odd. But beneath all that is a fascinating collection of songs that give you an insight into the World of Watts with wry, humorous tales of Herefordshire life, Car Boot Sales, ghosts, fishing, cups of tea in Acton and attractive young ladies in Tesco.
Musically, the album covers a wide range of styles from psychedelia ("Prawn Fire on Uncle Sheep Funnel") to pop, rock and folk. There's even a bit of faux jazz (Nice!) thrown in on "The Dinosaw Market." There's a distinct Sixties vibe to some of the songs especially on the harmonies and the jangling Byrds-like guitars. "Caribbean Hate Song" recalls Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd while "Belle of the Boot" somehow manages to sound like the love child of The Who and The Kinks.
The two cover versions included here also reflect Overend's wide ranging love of music and his championing of less well-known acts. "Endless Night" was originally recorded by one of Overend's favourites, the US psychedelic rock outfit the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, while "He'd Be A Diamond" written by Nick Saloman from The Bevis Frond, was covered by Teenage Fanclub, another band on who Watts was particularly keen.
Keith Smith, editor TMFH (July 2017)