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Iggy Pop: World’s forgotten boy just wants to be loved

“Hey! Turn the lights on, I want to see everybody,” shouts Iggy Pop. And he grins that huge, irrepressible grin. Here he is, on the lip of the Concert Hall stage of a sold-out Sydney Opera House, with thousands of ecstatic fans cheering back at him. And he can’t get enough: he extends his hands, accepting everyone’s love and joy, touching that famously bare, Florida-tanned and now ever so slightly pot-bellied torso, as if to smear it upon himself.

“You’ve made me very happy,” he says, in all sincerity. But he’s no happier than anyone else in the room, after 21 of the greatest songs of all time that were never hits. Well, Lust For Life almost was, after its immortal tom-tom rhythm jump-started the film of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting. But that was in 1996, 19 years after its original release. Nothing else, other than Candy (not played this evening) ever came close.

I’ve started this review at the end of the show for the sake of some context. How could Lust For Life not have been a major hit in 1977, the year punk broke? The answer is that the death of Elvis Presley meant that Iggy’s label at the time, RCA, poured its resources into reissuing the King’s catalogue at the expense of promoting what should have been the biggest success of the World’s Forgotten Boy’s career, just when he thought his Chinese rug was at hand.… Read more..

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Phil Collins: How I learned to love the Dad of Dad-rock

This is the story of how, against all odds, I learned to love Phil Collins, the Dad of Dad-Rock and the Norm of Normcore. Alternatively: how I found myself dancing like a loon to Su-Su-sudio, one of the most evil earworms of its benighted era – a song which I had valiantly tried to purge from my memory shortly after its release in 1985, now stuck in my head again, this time for all eternity. Oh no!

Whether you missed Collins or not during his brief retirement, one thing is for sure: it’s quite a shock to see him. His first Australian show in more than 20 years, in Brisbane, sees him near the end of his wryly titled Not Dead Yet tour, named after his 2016 autobiography. He hobbles slowly on stage with the aid of a cane. It’s no act. Collins is 68, and frankly he looks in rougher shape than several older rock & rollers who are far more fortunate to still be walking among us.

In conditions somewhere between steamy and equatorial (definitely no jacket required), Collins is dressed in a half-zipped-up sweater over a crew-necked shirt. He sits down awkwardly on an ordinary swivel desk chair, next to a side table carrying a bottle of water and a folder full of lyrics.… Read more..

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