“Either the place is filling up or you’re getting fatter” John Lydon said in a low voice to the Club Nokia crowd. The legendary first post-punk band Public Image Ltd (PiL) with its always-engaging commander Lydon brought out a treasure chest of music, starting out with “This is not a Love Song” and winding up towards the end with “Rise”. As its constant member, Lyon was joined by Bruce Smith (drums), Lu Edmonds (aka Jesus Christ on guitar), and Scott Firth (bass guitar).
Later on and in an even deeper voice, Lydon said “Please vote for the right one. And let it not be in the name of religion” as PiL busted out “Religion” from 1978′s First Issue. The set list was a stellar mix of oldies and brand new ones like “One Drop” and “Reggie Song” from 2012′s This is PiL. And the unique voice never wavered.
‘Anger is an Energy!’ Well, some kind of energy was missing as the Sunday night crowd stood there like zombies. Too much Halloween fun? This is PiL! Unlike the crowd, Lydon never stopped moving with arms up, his lip puckered or eyes darting. With his always stylish hair and cheshire grin, Lydon took it in stride, “Laid back as usual? That’s okay, la la. I live in la la.” Even with a little hint that a film crew was there filming a documentary.
But don’t think Lydon’s gone too soft as he looked up at the balcony. “And you – can you close your legs? I’m fucking fed up of looking at your gusset mate.” [applause] “I know you mean well, but really.” Ha! That’s the Lydon I came to see!
Photos and words by Debi Del Grande
This Is Not A Love Song
Flowers of Romance
Out Of The Woods
Open Up (Leftfield cover)