LIVE REVIEW: Public Image Ltd @ O2 Academy (12.6.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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You’d be forgiven for wondering why we should care for the whisky-swilling, snot-hawking rage machine prowling the ever-muckier boards, but that man is John Lydon – aka Jonny Rotten – and lest we forget, this is the stone cold shitkicker who not only fronted the band responsible for kicking off the UK punk movement (look it up Gen Z’ers), but also helped create the post-punk sound itself, landing one of the most important albums of the era with 1979’s Metal Box.

An album of course brought to you by Public Image Limited, the experimental anti-rock project forged the former Mr. Rotten at the rude end of the seventies. With the latest incarnation of the group aligned behind immovable object Lydon to churn out a relentless wall of abrasive – and pure eighties – sound, the old punks saw Warrior kick off the night, The Body, Corporate and Rise peppered in before a genuinely ethereal soliloquy on drug use gave way to all-round crackers Open Up, This is Not a Love Song and the preternaturally sweary Shoom.

The world, of course, is a better place for having a sheer bottled energy beam like Lydon in it, the sound and fury no less dulled as the years go on, his place in the pantheon of rock and roll greats assured, even if he – rightly – wouldn’t accept it. The world has changed, but the filth and the fury burns strong as ever.

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