The P-word

REWIND MAY: POP LEGENDS AND POP’S LEGEND

The Music You Leave Behind – that’s P-music, right? But eventually, you become old enough to know better, to know that everything comes right back around anyway, and so it is with the P-word – and no, we’re not even talking Prog. We’re talking about music’s other Big P … POP. Because when there’s a pop star – OK, the pop star – from your yoof, the one you first really got in to, on tour playing THAT album, do you go? Dunno dunno ditto dunno, so to delay things further we’ll hop to another kind of pop: Iggy.

He was on these shores the other week and if you’ve seen any clips from his current tour, you’ll see a man who looks like he’s fighting the limitations of his own body and yet, when he’s let loose near a stage, he still can’t fucking stop himself, even at this late hour in life. Crowd surf at the Albert Hall, was it? His gigs are one-man war zones, yet the reason Iggy’s out there at all – maybe for the last time, who knows? – is Post Pop Depression, and now that we’ve had two whole months to live with it, we can say for sure how great a record it is. When he hooked up with Homme last year, he can’t have known about Bowie’s accelerating endtime – not really – but in a Blackstar world, Post Pop Depression seems to know, seems to tell, seems to share. Something. About finality? Perhaps. PPD is ghostly, though deserted rather than haunted…a slow erosion, a fading print. Still got an edge though, and what makes it work is a band who feel the space (desert influence?) and play with and around it with a richness that Iggy’s solo voice – the post-confrontation, post-exposure, post-Stooges voice – finally deserves.

Anyway, back to that other kind of pop: music. Not because Duran Duran hit Oxford for the Common People festival on Saturday (even though they did), but because ADAM ANT is in town next week, playing Kings of the Wild Frontier. To go or not to go?

Sir Adam of Ant is my pop idol #1, much like it sounds like he was for Alexis Petridis in this feature,  though surely the headline overstates things a bit – if Adam Ant redefined pop, where were the colonies of Ant-alikes? However, he did own the charts and he did it with a style and a soundclash that was all his own, as did Frankie Goes to Hollywood a couple of years later. They put out albums that STILL sound brash, brave and brilliantly flawed today.

(for the record: have just put Kings of the Wild Frontier on – side 2, track 1. Completely proves the point. Now going full white-stripe for Ants Invasion, Killer in the Home, Dog Eat Dog…).

Can Adam Ant 2016 enhance the perfection trapped in those records, tapes and childhood memories? Or is it a gig best left alone?

’til next time!

Status update, Friday 3rd: ticket bought. Who am I to resist? CAN. NOT. WAIT.

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