Live Music + Gig Reviews

Iggy Pop @ Reading Festival, Reading

24 August 2001

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop allegedly gave up hard drugs and alcohol abuse in the ’90s. But watching him, it was hard to believe. He moved as if his pants were on fire. Something volatile, feral and mutinous was in those veins.

Defying time, convention and the laws of physics, Mr Pop looked ravaged but youthful. He displayed more agility and power than any baby-faced nu-metaller. He leaped about the stage like a rabid beast, uncaged and untamed. Part man, part wildcat, Iggy twisted, pranced and scowled.

Long yellow hair straggled across Iggy’s hollow, jagged features. His crazed eyes stared intensely as he hollered and snarled. The voice of sleaze belted out stark rhymes with ferocity and biting sarcasm.

Songs from the new album Beat ‘Em Up raised a collective smirk from Iggy veterans and virgins alike. The better known numbers brought on mosh pit mania. After the mayhem of Real Wild Child, Iggy grinned puckishly, dived into the crowd and surfed for miles. Security went into red alert and the crowd went insane.

Iggy sprung back behind the mic for renditions of Home and The Passenger. “Security is bullshit”, he growled, freeing a bloke in a sarong to clamber up on stage. The lad mooned the audience and ran off, to riotous applause.

Anything less than carnal exhibitionism and lewd antics would not have done Iggy justice. A girl with pink hair obliged by flashing her boobs.

The chaotic display was punk etiquette at its finest: lawless, primitive and blatant. The mob of revellers howled with delight, loving every savage minute.

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