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.LOU?S! MARVEL; Legendary Reed is ready to prove he's still got it at 70 Rock.

Byline: ALAN POOLE

LOU Reed did his best work before most people had heard of him and, let's be honest, he hasn't produced anything close for 40 years.

That's an awfully long time to be living on past glories and it's not as if he's grown old gracefully.

Even when presented with an embarrassingly simpering interviewer serving up the most reverential of soft-centred questions, the 70-year-old growls and snipes like some truculent teenager desperate to establish his street-punk credentials.

But - and this is a fairly hefty but - legends can get away with things that would seem perversely self-destructive from mere stars or even megastars.

And as the living legacy of the Velvet Underground, by common consent one of the three or four most influential bands in rock history, Reed is indisputably a member of that ultra-exclusive hall of fame. Leamington Assembly can certainly count it as a major coup when he drops in next Thursday (the concert was originally scheduled for Wednesday and tickets for that date will be valid) as part of his From VU To Lulu tour.

He will be accompanied by a band featuring Aram Bajakian (guitar), Tony Smith (drums), Rob Wasserman (bass), Sarth Calhoun (keyboards) and Ulrich Krieger (saxophone).

And, as the title suggests, he will be performing material dating back to the Velvets' 1967 debut - when Andy Warhol's banana-sticker sleeve was the intriguing invitation to revolutionary delights like I'm Waiting For The Man, Venus In Furs, Heroin and Sunday Morning - to last year's unexpected and surprisingly successful collaboration with Metallica.

That's a lot of material to condense into a couple of hours so one would like to think that, having got that Metal Machine Music malarky out of his system, he will concentrate on the VU favourites along with songs from his first three solo albums.

But whatever he decides to dish up, and however he decides to re-work that familiar material, it's an opportunity to catch an artist who should feature on the bucket list of any self-respecting rock fan.

CAPTION(S):

POINT TO PROVE: The Leamington Assembly is in for a treat as Lou Reed arrives
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 3, 2012
Words:353
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