Iggy Pop and David Bowie The Idiot Newcastle City Hall 2 March Tour 1977

This was a strange one this. Looking back this gig was pretty important historically, and yet at the time (as is often the case) it didn’t seem so. Iggy wasn’t that well known in the UK at the time. I’d seen him on the TV (was it on the Whistle Test?) throwing himself into the crowd and spreading peanut butter all over his torso at a late 60s gig in the USA. I’d also read the reviews of his seminal, wild gig at the Kings Cross cinema (and regretted not going). I’d seen the Sex Pistols play the Stooges’ No Fun the year before, so knew a little about the Iggy legend and his impact on punk. Generally however little was known about Iggy, and ticket sales for this gig were apparently not going well. A few days before the gig the local paper, the Evening Chronicle, ran an article hinting that David Bowie might be guesting at the gig, presumably to try and boost ticket sales. So a few of us went along to the gig, partly out of curiosity to see if Iggy was as crazy as we’d heard, and partly to see if Bowie really did appear. Still, on the night the City Hall was barely half full. Support came from The Vibrators who were, as I recall, pretty hot at the time, and will have played tracks like We Vibrate and London Girls. Iggy took to the stage and was followed by his band, that included David Bowie, who walked up to a keyboard at the right of the stage without any acknowledgement to the crowd at all. It was very clear that this was Iggy’s show and Bowie was a sideman. The set was a mix of old Stooges classics and tracks from the Idiot lp, and was something like: Raw power; Tv eye; Dirt; 1969; Turn blue; Funtime; Gimme danger; No fun; Sister midnight; I need somebody; search & destroy; I wanna be your dog; Tonight; Some weird sin; China girl. As I recall Iggy was good, but not as wild as usual. He was back to play to a packed City Hall later in the year and went totally crazy, climbing all over the amps, rolling around the stage, with his trousers coming open. A few years later I caught him at Redcar Coatham Bowl (Glen Matlcock on bass, I think), he was smoking on stage and flicking lit cigarettes into the crowd (how times change…). Bowie stayed in the background all night and didn’t speak to the crowd. It was good to see him back on the City Hall stage, but I was hoping that they would perform some Bowie classics. I remember shouting for Moonage Daydream…..Anyway he came back to the City Hall as part of the Low tour the following year. Will report on that tomorrow.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by chris meehan on October 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Went to this tour at Birmingham Hippodrome Fri 4th March,on second row ,excellent gig with Bowie on piano too.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Rob J on May 23, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Saw the Ig at the now defunct Rainbow venue at Finsbury Park, March 1977.
    A dream come true. He sang like prime time Jim Morrison and moved like
    James Brown. Bowie was playing keyboards. What a memorable night!

    Seen Iggy many times. A true original.

    The Stooges at Hammersmith Apollo on Tuesday August 30th 2005, still
    remains the greatest concert I’ve attended.

    Reply

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