When Josh met Iggy: American Valhalla DVD review

The King of Queens of the Stone Age and the Godfather of Punk come together in joyous, noisy harmony in this documentary about the recording of their album Post Pop Depression

American Valhall

★★★★

Not many albums are worthy of the feature documentary treatment, but the making of Iggy Pop’s 2016 late-career landmark Post Pop Depression is a notable exception.

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Iggy entrusted the project to Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, who brought in Queens guitarist Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and began writing the album at his studio in the Joshua Tree desert, in seclusion and under strict secrecy.

Not one to take his responsibilities likely, Homme also co-directs this thoughtful but never self-indulgent record of events, and he crams its short running time with photographs taken during the sessions, as well as band rehearsals and live performances – all captured in a swirl of jittery cameras and punchy, quick-fire editing.

TV chef and Homme chum Anthony Bourdain takes on interview duties, with band members also sharing entries from their personal journals (albeit a bit self-consciously), while Iggy opens up about the death of his friend David Bowie, which happened just as the group prepared to go on tour.

The documentary culminates in a raucously triumphant gig at the Royal Albert Hall, with Iggy stripping off, surfing the crowd and swearing like a trooper – proving he’s still the godfather of punk despite pushing 70.

As well as playing tracks from the new album, fans are also treated other classics from the Iggy solo back catalogue (no Stooges-era tracks here), launching into Lust for Life and encoring with the seldom performed Success – a fitting finale.

Homme reflects that this was a once in a lifetime collaboration, and its significance – and fleeting nature – is not lost on him nor his co-conspirators; their love, appreciation and mutual respect is all up there on the screen.

American Valhalla is released on DVD and iTunes on Friday 9 March

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Don’t miss your chance to see Queens of the Stone Age and Iggy Pop (in a UK exclusive) play live on 30 June 2018 in London. For more information and to buy tickets for the show, visit our event page.