A man leaps onto the stage at Brixton Academy without fanfare. Lightsdim, the crowd screams and Iggy Pop is with us.
The first couple of songs are relatively new, from Mask and Beat ‘EmUp to some contemporary ones I don’t recognise. As it’s a lunge into a more metal arena, with almost prog-rockguitar solos, power chords and much screaming, the crowd seem dubious andthrow quizzical glances at each other.
Predictably, it’s his return to the ’80s classics that gives thisaudience a reason to scream, and surge and reach for this man of talent. Notto mention the primed body that just has no business on a man of hisage.
Passenger and I Wanna Be Your Dog are both tight and heaving, Iggydiving from one end of the stage to another, his attention on everyone, hisvoice powerful, his feet lashing out and connecting with the heads ofvarious security men around the pit.
After I Wanna Be Your Dog, Iggy throws himself into the crowd and likethe rest of these demented fans I reach up for a piece and grab a holdof… HIS COCK!! It is large and I am afraid.
And the show continues in this vein (no pun intended).
Just before the last song, before encore and pretty much the only time hetalks to us he says “I fucking challenge you!!! Get the fuck up here!”, analmost angry look on his face.
Many oblige. One girl, once up on stage, immediately begins to strip. Allthe way. Everything off. She trips over the jeans and knickers wrappedaround her ankles and is pulled up by the guitarist who kisses her and propsher up on the drum podium. Iggy is busy hugging and hand shaking everyonewho wants him to, ignoring the naked waif running up and down the stage.He’s not fucking around. He’s here to rock and give us as good a time as hecan. The girl is quickly carried off stage by security, leaving her clothesin piles around the stage.
Home is beautiful and a respite from the thrusting (almost) metal andthe vintage drug-addled, pubescent, but strangely dark and adult music weall know and love.
But you can see why he chose a band like Pitchshifter as support. Hiscurrent leanings toward Metal are undoubtedly viewed by most as shit, but heknows why we love him and why he has become such an establishment figure withinmusic and I guess he figures we won’t abandon him. So let him delve newavenues and remember: this man has digested enough drugs to kill an averagehuman being. He may have lost a little of what made him but he’s still avalid musician.
So. Crazy man, crazy show. Bending and contorting his body like anepileptic monkey. Bending and contorting simple riffs and hooks intowonderfully melancholic yet fun patterns of music – a manic-depressiveconstruct of sound.
After the show the departing crowd get to watch a fight between amohawked punk and four raggas. The raggas tried to run the punk over. Thepunk punched in their windscreen. They beat the fuck out of him. The punkgets away while they tool up with car-jacks and wrenches from the boot oftheir car. Finding no punk they drive away, knocking another pedestrian tothe ground and leaving burnt rubber tyre tracks in the road.
The pedestrian picks himself up, dusts himself down and buys a beer froma roadside vendor.
It seems a fitting end to the night’s show.