With Iggy & The Stooges, Hercules And Love Affair
Iggy Pop live at Evolution Festival 2011 by Idene Roozbayani

North Eastern pulses raced on Saturday as Sunderland and Newcastle respectively played host to the competing attractions of Take That and The Evolution Festival. Given the demographics this condition was likely to alert paramedics only in Sunderland as an audience seemingly of the pubescent, or prepubescent, brought searing energy and intensity to Newcastle and Gateshead’s Quayside.

The Evolution Festival, spanning two days, features pop powerhouses and icons rubbing shoulders with emerging talent. My personal Saturday evolution experience was kicked off by a local band, Mammal Club. Their music combining atmospheric synths with sometime coruscating percussion and distinctive vocals. The finished product is multi-layered, complex and occasionally brilliant as in the case of their standout number 'Otter'. The band clearly does know the difference between elbows and arses.

After a lengthy walk to the main stage a drink was much in need and well received, perhaps a little too well as the makeshift VIP tent proved a less temporary than intended distraction as London and Brighton-based Flashguns regrettably were only ‘worshipped from afar’.

Amid the high quality performances my clear standout set came from New York-based Hercules and Love affair. Incorporating U.S. dance in a disco framework, brilliant harmonies and opera-standard solo delivery, their penchant for the outré much in evidence but underscored by the T-shirt banner ‘Butch Queen Mode Femme’, exhibited proudly. This is a band made for live shows.

The bar had been raised and The Kills followed with perfect front woman material provided by the effortlessly cool Alison Mosshart. Teenage ticket-buyers were rewarded by Two Door Cinema Club, who rejuvenated a flagging crowd as girls scrambled on shoulders to fully experience the synth-happy, indie-party sound of the Northern Irish three-piece. Set highlight being delivered in the form of the infectious ‘Something Good Can Work’.

Legendary headliner, Iggy Pop (plus Stooges) arrived, stripped and ready to perform. A night to boast of, "I saw Iggy Pop live". Search and Destroy was performed relentlessly early, and what was missed with the oversight of ‘Lust For Life’ and ‘Passenger’, was compensated with an electrifying lecture in the art of ‘front man’. A demanding audience was up and baying for anything the ageing rockers could offer, and Iggy satiated by inciting a mid-set stage invasion. The youngsters that made it up there may not have known the words, and may have moved rather convulsively, but in Iggy’s words, “they just danced with the fucking Stooges”.

Words by Louise Brown
Photo by Idene Roozbayani

View a full photo gallery from Saturday at Evolution Festival 2011 HERE.

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