REVIEW: John Lydon loves his job, but was this a bad day at the office?

Public Image Ltd
Public Image Ltd

Public Image Ltd, Concorde 2, Brighton, June 15, 2016

Finally, the long-anticipated day had arrived and I was off to see Public Image Ltd (PiL) – and the lovable character that is John Lydon – at their sold-out show at the wonderful Concorde 2.

I own four PiL albums, so you see I’m rather partial to the wit and wisdom of the former Johnny Rotten. He always brings a smile to my face, whether it be for fending off ostriches, promoting butter or simply sneering at the camera.

He’s a real-life cartoon character!

On June 15 the Concorde 2 was really buzzing and packed to the rafters. Punters were waiting excitedly to be in the presence of this 60-year-old, modern-day British institution.

First up was ‘Albatross’ from PiL’s second album, Metal Box, which was a promising start.

Then it was straight into ‘Double Trouble’ and onto ‘Know How’, both from the latest album, What The World Needs Now.

After that was PiL’s highest charting UK single ‘This Is Not A Love Song’ and ‘Deeper Water’ from their 2012 album.

But hold on a minute, I thought to myself, where’s that infamous John Lydon sarcastic banter and crowd mockery gone? This is very strange, this doesn’t normally happen. Lydon must have picked up on this from the crowd reaction and stated that he loved his job of playing music and that’s what they were there for.

Okay, fair enough, carry on.

Standing right by the speakers, we were loudly treated to ‘Corporate’, ‘Death Disco’, ‘The One’, ‘The Order Of Death’, ‘The Body’ and ‘Warrior’.

Then the opening notes of ‘Religion’ from their debut album rang out. On vinyl it lasts nearly seven-and-a-half minutes and is brilliant, but tonight’s live version sadly dragged on to what felt like twenty minutes.

Next up was the 1986 ‘Rise’ single, which (thankfully) was good. There were only a couple of numbers left after that, the second of which being a medley of ‘Open Up’ and ‘Shoom’.

But I can sum up the evening, for me, in the title of the penultimate track – ‘I’m Not Satisfied’.

My mate I was with really enjoyed it, though.

However, another of my friends, who’s a lover of all things punk, left early as it was just too slow for him.

Possibly not John’s best day at the office?

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