at the Evolution Festival, Newcastle, U.K., May 28, 2011

IGGY AND THE STOOGES (Live at the Evolution Festival, Newcastle, U.K., May 28, 2011)
Photo: Mick Burgess

To the average Joe in the street, Iggy Pop is the gangly dude from the Swift Cover car insurance advertisement who is featured alongside his rather creepy puppet sidekick, Little Iggy. But, to those in the know, Iggy Pop fronts one of the most influential Garage/Punk Rock ‘n’ Roll acts of all time. In their day, The Stooges shook the foundations of the musical establishment to the very core, much in the same way as their prodigies the Sex Pistols did some years later.

With a band featuring three-quarters of the Raw Power lineup of Pop, Scott Asheton and James Williams, along with saxophonist Steve Mackay from the Fun House album, this was as close as dammit to the classic lineup following the premature death of Ron Asheton in 2009. With ex-Minutemen/Firehose bassist Mike Watt joining them, Iggy and The Stooges were primed to steal the show.

The Evolution Festival organizers managed quite a coup when they enticed The Stooges onto the bill of what is rapidly becoming THE festival in the North of England, with an estimated 60,000 music fans clamouring to see a diverse selection of bands including the chart-slaying Plan B and The Kills, but it was Iggy and The Stooges, who had not played the UK in decades, that were the most hotly anticipated act of the weekend.


There’s always the fear that the reality of a legendary band shatters the myth that has grown over the years, but thankfully that’s not so here. Even after 40 odd years, the spit and fury of “Raw Power” and the gutter sleaze of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” hit the mark with venom, while “Search And Destroy” remained as the epitome of Punk.

He may be nearing that time when a free bus pass comes plopping through the letter box, but Iggy certainly doesn’t let a little thing like age hold him back. Right from the get-go, Iggy was bouncing and leaping around like an electrified ballerina, jumping down into the crowd at every opportunity and never stopping for anything as inconvenient as a breath. Maybe his energy should be bottled and issued on the NHS.


Although shambolic and chaotic at times, Rock’n’Roll was never meant to be perfect. Iggy and The Stooges’ high energy packed performance swept away all those who went before them. What the kids who were there to see the Indie and Hip Hop acts made of all this is anyone’s guess, but Iggy and The Stooges certainly gave everyone a lesson in Rock ‘n’ Roll mayhem.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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