People Who Are Addicted To Music
“Before I die, which may be very soon,” says Iggy Pop as Fun House grinds into life, “I want every single ass in here on stage dancing with the Stooges.” Cue the world’s politest stage invasion. There are few shows at the Royal Festival Hall – bastion of the reverential hush, the impeccable acoustic and politely shuffled programme – that feature a topless 66-year-old miming masturbation, crucifixion and heroin injections while people in the front row try to pull his jeans off. And fewer still where half the stalls’ audience is crammed on stage within 30 minutes, bopping wildly and throwing their best sleazy sex-lizard writhes. But then, there are few like Iggy Pop. More than four decades into his career, he is still a frantic ball of quivering, stage-diving energy whose Raw Power instantly turns his gig at Yoko Ono’s Meltdown festival into the closest you’ll ever get to a 1970s East Village punk club with a royal box.
With an awkward gait borne of a spine permanently twisted from a combination of on-stage injuries and touring in economy class, Pop is one of the last remaining totems of authentic, inclusive punk-mania in our don’t-touch-the-talent culture, the last great rock’n’roll wildman. As his revivified Stooges power through a breathless hour of volcanic garage rock without pause, Pop prowls and convulses through nihilist anthem Beyond the Law and the bubblegum biker-rock desperation of Gun with a rabid, and only slightly fogeyish, conviction. Punk is rooted in the primal powerhouses of Search and Destroy, 1970 and goth incubated beneath the skin of Open Up and Bleed, but Iggy is more concerned with lust than legacy, driving I Wanna Be Your Dog and No Fun to such frantic extremes that the crowd throw bras. “Rebels come and rebels go,” he yelps on Sex and Money, from the Stooges’ pessimistically titled new album, Ready to Die. There’ll be no replacing this one.