The recent Lust For Life tour brought together Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop), Clem Burke (Blondie, Iggy Pop), Katie Puckrik (Pet Shop Boys, Sparks), Kevin Armstrong (Iggy Pop, David Bowie), Luis Correia (Earl Slick) and Florence Sabeva (Heaven 17).
Having had the immense privilege of spending the past few months working on the PR campaign for the tour it was a joy to finally witness the band live, not just in a professional capacity but most importantly as a fan, of both that glorious Iggy Pop album and of the individual players in the band, too.
Why Lust For Life? In the run-up to the tour and following a last-minute change in personnel, Kevin Armstrong explained the thinking behind celebrating the album in this way:
“Well, it’s 45 years since the release of Lust For Life and it just seemed like a great way to celebrate these fantastic landmarks in music with some of the people who were there and some of us who have an Iggy connection. So that was the initial idea and Tony Sales, who played on Lust For Life, was up for it initially. But due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control he’s unable to complete the process. But luckily for us we’ve got Glen Matlock who’s similarly imbued with a connection to Iggy.”
By any criteria this was going to be an impressively strong line-up of musicians but the key test was always going to be how it would all gel together on stage. And what of Katie Puckrik? Many of us seeing this tour would know her from her impressive broadcasting career and would have some very fond memories of Katie bringing some all-American sass to the offbeat and very British irreverence of The Word back in the 1990s. But what would she bring as lead vocalist fronting such an esteemed collection of musical egos?
Both of those questions would be answered pretty conclusively by pretty much everyone witnessing the tour within the opening minutes of the first song (track one, side one of the original album, of course): an absolute triumph. Puckrik instantly proved herself as a compelling, energetic and gloriously charismatic frontwoman. Surely, a late career surge now beckons as an uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll goddess? As Clem Burke told his Twitter followers ahead of the final date on the tour:
“Katie is fantastic and it’s just occurred to me she has joined the ranks of the other brilliant women I’ve been fortunate to play with: Debbie, Annie, Nancy, Wanda, The Go Go’s , & Joan!”
For the first part of the performance the band powered through the Lust For Life album from start to finish. Clem Burke’s rhythmic powerhouse drumming and Glen Matlock’s mean and dirty bass, a joy to witness. Seeing legends like this up on small stages in tiny, intimate venues just a few meters away is a real ‘pinch-me’ experience for many of us. Kevin Armstrong and Luis Correia are both exceptional guitarists and classically-trained Florence Sabeva is an incredibly versatile player as she takes on Bowie’s keyboard parts on the original album. After we’ve all sung along with them to anthems like ‘Some Weird Sin’, The Passenger’ and ‘Success’ before we know it we’re on to the band’s rendition of album’s final track, ‘Fall In Love With Me’, and it’s time for some introductions.
Underlining the gold standard of the musical CVs of the musicians standing in front of us we have filmed segments, both old and new, introducing each member in turn, courtesy of Glen Gregory, Sparks, Steve Norman, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry.
Then it’s on to an extended ‘career highlights’ package with a brilliantly chosen set of songs from across the individual band members’ careers: Iggy Pop covers like ‘Nightclubbing’ and ‘Ambition’ (the latter with Matlock on vocals); Stooges covers like ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and ‘No Fun’, Blondie’s ‘Rip Her To Shreds’ and a truly life-affirming version of the Pistol’s ‘Pretty Vacant’. Unforgettable performances from an unforgettable tour.
Although a number of those performing had worked with one another in various guises prior to this, both the tour and the band was initially conceived a one-off project, but let’s just hope this is the start rather than the end of something bigger. It truly deserves to be. A brilliant way to celebrate one of the truly iconic albums of the past fifty years with an incredible cast of musicians who more than do it justice and then some.
Photo credits: all live images taken at Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh courtesy of John Scott, Upstage Photography
4 thoughts on “Notes from the Lust For Life Tour – Feb/Mar 2023”
Very cool you organized the PR around this tour, Darren – congrats! I recall your previous post to preview the tour but didn’t realize your close involvement. Sounds like these gigs were really fun. What a great experience!
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Yes a great experience and a real honour to work on this. Thank you.
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it was incredible night after night
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