lust for life at the ritz


Back to the o2 Ritz albeit for the 1st time this year, hard to believe we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the year and this is my 1st visit across the Pennines to Manchester in 2024.

….I think.

Walking up to the Ritz I wandered past Glen Matlock saying “Evening Glen” , him looking bewildered as to how I could have possibly recognised him in his pork pie hat and glasses. Well truth be told I’ve seen him more times in the last 6 months than I have my own mother, this being 1, I’m a terrible son and 2, tonight is the 3rd time in that period I’ve come to see him perform somewhere up north.

Fifteen Lions

Opening tonight, looking like Tom Selleck during his Magnum era and that’s not only bit thats very 80’s going on here, the opener Throw It Away hints heavily at Aztec Camera and as the set progressed it’s all a bit strange to have a rather easy going artist opening for what is essentially a punk icons headliner but it then becomes clear as the set closes with Waveney Wilcox joining him on stage to perform his 1977 song Sociology.

Suzi  Ronson

Author, songwriter and former Hairdresser came on to talk about the late 60’s down in London as she became an hairdresser and about one of her clients Mrs Jones and her son David.

That son turned out to be David Bowie and she spoke about how she joined his entourage and then went on to marry one of the Spiders From Mars,  the legend that was Mick Ronson.

Lust For Life

Playing the iconic Iggy Pop album are Blonde Drummer Clem Burke, Original Sex Pistol’s (and many other bands) bassist Glen Matlock and TV Presenter Katie Puckrik amongst some “lesser” known musicians but of mass importance, Kevin Armstrong (Iggy Pop, David Bowie), Luis Carreia (Earl Slick) and Florence Sabeva (Heaven 17).

Playing the album in order they kick off with Lust For Life, a song that was introduced to a whole new generation through the Danny Boyle film Trainspotting’s opening moments as the cast are chased through Glasgow, it’s a fine opener and and now 61, shows she’s lost none of her wild side in her advancing years, indeed it’s hard to believe she’s entered retirement age as she still looks stunning. The album is given full justice, it’s clear everyone on stage loves the record as they fly through the list of tracks barely stopping for breath.

Now as Fall In Love With Me comes to a close I’m wandering if this is going to be a short set given the age of those on stage but not a chance, they’ve only just got warmed up and the best was still to come as we got a mix of more Iggy as well as songs from Bowie, starting off with Nightclubing, Funtime and I Wanna Be Your Dog that then introduces the Bowie in to the mix as they perform Iggy’s version of China Girl a song written together to which after Kevin takes over on the vocals for the night with a cracking version of Absolute Beginners.

Bored comes next and I don’t think anyone in the building is yet as it comes to Katie picking a song she loves and goes with a lesser known track from Bowie s Heroes album Joe The Lion before jumping back to Iggy to finish the main set with Swedish Magazines and Down On The Streets.

 It’s the Encore where as good as the night has been, the finale was really something else. Opening with Bowies’ and Earl Slicks Stay we then hear Katie Puckriks finest moment of the night as she absolutely nails Blondies Hanging On The Telephone. It’s as snarling and vibrant as Debbie herself could perform and Puckriks beaming afterwards as she knows it and is fulfilling her dream to perform with Clem Burke.

Now obviously you can’t have a Pistol on the stage and him not get some of the limelight so it was the turn for Glen Matlock to come to the fore to sing a song and from the opening bar the crowd knew instantly and were fired up for Pretty Vacant. It was then back to The stooges for the final song of the night as Katie returns to the mic for Search And Destroy and it’s all over, they do the final bow together and walk off stage.

Considering there was well over 2 centuries worth of Musicians on stage tonight, the energy from them was incredible, certainly would show up quite a few newer bands doing the rounds. As “tribute” bands go tonight was bar far the greatest I’ve seen and why wouldn’t it be, the pinnacle of punk is still rocking away as good as ever and I’ll admit back in the 90’s watching The Word I had a crush on Katie Puckrik.

That crush certainly didn’t diminish tonight!