I go to a lot of gigs, usually several a week. It keeps me sane, but even though I am not the biggest Stooges fan here tonight's gig is very special, although expensive if one considers the limited time the band are actually on stage.

The Stooges last played London back in 1973, and this 32 years later is only their second gig here. The Stooges only released two albums,'The Stooges' (1969) and 'Fun House' (1972), in their original lifetime and then a reunion record, 'Raw Power', in 1973 which is the most powerful and extreme album that I have ever heard.

From the moment that they hit the stage, this was a tour de force,with Iggy Pop prowling the stage like an escaped tiger, and the Asheton brothers, Ron on guitar and Scott on drums, kicking out on their instruments as if their lives depended on it.

It is easy to see how the Stooges became punk icons. Iggy was as usual topless in tight jeans. Later on he flashed his small ass but for once kept his penis in his trousers.

They are there tonight as the first of the Don't Look Now series of gigs in London, organised by the organisers of the All Tomorrow's Parties gigs, in which favoured artists, others including Patti Smith, Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr, are invited to play one of their most famous albums in their entirety.

The main set consisted of 'Funhouse', which, with the odd bit of jamming here and there, lasted, as the record does, for about 35 minutes.

On Iggy's return to the stage for the encore he announced "We are the motherfucking Stooges. We are thrilled and fucking amazed to be here. We are amazed to be anywhere." The Stooges then kicked into playing the bulk of their debut album.

The encore was better for me as I prefer their first record. The tracks that were played were '1969', 'I Wanna Be Your Dog', 'Real Cool Time' in which Iggy encouraged a stage invasion, and 'No Fun.' For the second encore they played 'Little Doll', 'Not Right' and new number 'Dead Rock Star'.

An ace gig !

The photographs that accompany this article originally appeared on www.virtual-festivals.com

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