Iggy Pop, The Humming Bird, Birmingham 17th January 1991

This was the first gig I went to after the birth of my eldest daughter. I hadn’t planned to go but I was working away from home at the Birmingham Metropole for a week and the opportunity to go out one night cropped up. As I said we were there for a week and it was the first time I’d left the wife and daughter to go away for work. The other memory of that week was that one night we were in the bar and the Producer said he was of to bed. He returned about 10 minutes later and said “I thought I’d come and let you know that we just started bombing Baghdad!” – the first Gulf war had just got real!

Anyway I think it was the following day that the lighting man from the job asked if I fancied going to see Iggy Pop that night in Birmingham. I said sure why not although I wasn’t a great fan you know when you should probably go and see someone of that status! So after we finished for the day we jumped on the hotel shuttle bus and headed for the station. When we got there all the trains into Birmingham had been cancelled due to a bomb scare at the station so we walked back to the hotel arriving there at the same time as the shuttle bus much to the drivers amusement! We realised that our only option was to get a cab into town so that’s what we did!

The cab dropped us outside the venue and as we paid the driver picked up a wrench from the floor and asked us if we’d like to borrow it! I said is it that bad in there and he just grinned. I assume we paid on the door and went in! If I’m honest I don’t remember the support group That Petrol Emotion and what I remember of Iggy Pop is probably a bit vague too. I do remember he was just wearing see through trousers that for some inexplicable reason just kept coming open and sliding down his legs!

Mercifully we were a respectable distance from the stage! Looking back I probably knew more of the set that I would have expected but at the end of the show my companion, who was now very very drunk, was very agitated! He wasn’t happy about the performance, Iggy had been ok he said but the band were shit! He wanted to go backstage and tell Iggy that he deserved a better band! Somehow I managed to talk him out of this odd course of action!

Setlist

Raw Power
Five Foot One
Dirt
Loose
Lust for Life
China Girl
I Got a Right
Butt Town
Real Wild Child (Wild One)
The Passenger
My Baby Wants to Rock & Roll
Neon Forest
Home
Brick by Brick
1969
Candy
I Wanna Be Your Dog
No Fun
Search and Destroy

We wandered out into the Birmingham night and headed back to the railway station to catch a train back to the hotel. On the way we passed the Birmingham Odeon where I had seen Echo and the Bunnymen about ten years previously. I pointed this out to him and he suddenly came out with a statement that took me by surprise he said “I supported Echo and the Bunnymen there!” So somewhat taken aback I asked which band he’d been in and knocking me even further back he replied “The Sound”

I then asked “the Sound as in Who the Hell makes those missiles, The Sound” to which he replied yes. Wow thought I and proceeded to tell him about the time I’d been out with some friends in Manchester and just happened to be passing Rafters and saw the Sound were playing. I ended up not convincing any of my mates to go and see the band and went in on my own. To my surprise he seemed to recall the gig and even went as far as saying that they’d never got paid that night as the promoter (and at this point he mentioned a name that I recognised) had done the dirty on them.

Now since that night the internet has of course opened the world of useless information up for everyone. I googled about this and to be honest I still don’t know if he was telling the truth about being a member of the group. I couldn’t remember his name or the instrument he said he played and none of the post band stories ring true for someone I was working with but I did find out that the Sound did support Echo and the Bunnymen at the Birmingham Odeon so I guess I’ll never know!