Having never seen well-known butter salesman, John Lydon live, and with Public Image Ltd. in town, I felt it would be remiss of me to let the opportunity pass me by. Despite only knowing a handful of songs, I really felt that Lydon is the sort of guy you need to see live at least once.
And, as it happens, I was right. Kicking of with ‘Double Trouble’ from their new album, the band and their frontman were on blistering form from the off despite this being the opening night of the tour. This meant that, as well as the opener, we got live premieres of ‘Know Now’, ‘The One’ and the quirky ‘Corporate’.
The real highlightsl for me though were the big tunes. ‘This Is Not a Love Song’ was wheeled out early in the set and I was utterly blown away. Quite apart from the song itself, Lydon’s stage presence – despite not actually seeming to do much – was really something to behold.
The undoubted treats came in the encore. Whilst the decision to close with ‘Rise’ was sensational, they opened the encore with ‘Public Image’ which sounded as vibrant and vitriolic as ever. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t seem to date at all; lyrically or musically. Mr Lydon’s delivery was what can only be desribed as no holds barred.
It appears that age has not mellowed the man formerly known as Rotten.
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