Gore Vidal once described the superannuated Ronald Reagan as a “triumph of the embalmers’ art”, but seasoned punk warrior Iggy Pop – herein captured Live At The Avenue B venue in Belgium in 2000 – is cheating the ageing process without recourse to formaldehyde, though doubtless he’d probably like to give it a try in a different context. Naked to the waist like the rock ‘n’ roll berserker he’s always been and with his lithe torso resembling artexed leather, Iggy is growing old disgracefully. Even in his advanced years, armed with nothing more hazardous than an acoustic guitar, he professes to take “no shit”. What follows – and which could have occurred at any Iggy gig anywhere in the world at any time over the last 25 years – is a source of much age-defying re-assurance; lasso tricks with the mic lead, surfing the crowd, getting stroked by the audience in an interestingly pertinent preamble to “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and dishing out “Raw Power” like Jerry Lee Lewis strapped to an electric chair. Long may this real wild child remain an untamed beast. –Kevin Maidment
18 July 2005
Virgin Records Ltd.