Live at Bookies - Iggy Pop (Easy Action)
Despite an increasing lack of consistency with his official album releases, it's fair to say Iggy Pop continued to reign supreme in the live setting throughout the eighties. You could always guarantee he wouldn't actually sound like the horror that was "Blah, Blah, Blah" in the flesh.
This disc emerges from around the period of the equally undigestable "Party" LP. Fortunately, despite sharing two guitarists, it sounds nothing like that.
Along with other companies, Easy Action has recently all but flooded the market with a seemingly endless slew of concert releases from this period. The "Where the Faces Shine" box sets proved more than worthy but they alone bought us more than 12 hours of live Pop music.
The question this begs is obvious Does the world need another live Iggy Pop album?
The two major lines of thought aren't going to be swayed either way, so this review is for fence sitters. Is this a slice of Iggy you want in your life?
An immaculate dose of double vinyl will prove a great attraction for many. Extensive liner notes by our very own Barman may prove equally attractive. The package is undeniably handsome.
It is a splendid live performance as well. Bookies club was essentially a tiny room that housed 250 people in a sardine tin configuration. They probably slipped in a few extra heads on the night when the fire warden wasn't looking.
The band cooks. They are right up there with the subsonic Rendezvous version and the Steve Jones versions. The Barman's more than adequate notes will tell you where individual members went to high school.
Located in Detroit, the Bookies shows marked a coming home of sorts for the Popmeister. He varies between being overjoyed to maximum crowd baiting as the album proceeds. He clearly seems right at home.
Side three is particularly exhilarating, balancing the croon of "One for my Baby" and its poor reception with the roar of "Search and Destroy". I'm guessing nobody reading this would have any problem making blood sacrifice to Satan for a chance to time travel back to this show.
So... audio quality. Bad news is it's not as pristine as some Pop radio broadcasts have been. On the other hand, the sound quality is probably better than "Metallic KO" and no-one complained about that one.
I'm not sure what the story is with the recording. The vocals sound like they were taken off the stage mic but the audience noise is very loud. The kind of loud that suggests a recorder placed at the back of the room. Maybe the audience were really just very loud.
There's excellent separation. I guess the how is not important when the results are this keen.
The audio has been "speed corrected" which suggests part of the recording process involved flat batteries. The audio has a bit of speed adjusted compression but nothing that will hinder your enjoyment.
So... Five bottles from me. Unless you have Live Pop album fatigue. No excuses for anyone else.