Public Image Limited
The O2 Academy, Bournemouth
31 July 2012
The Public Image Limited tour rumbles on and Lydon and Co continue to thrill – best live act of 2012?ÃÂ
PiL Bournemouth: in which Johnny brings them all out of the woodwork – every nutter from within a 30-mile radius!
Lydon seems to be a magnet for every conspiracy theorist, grinning weirdo and ”Ënature’s anarchist’ from Bournemouth and beyond. One such throwback (a nice bloke when he’s sober) is unceremoniously ejected for spitting (classed as attempted murder in the States, assault in the UK). Another, determined to attempt a one-man stage invasion, is bundled away by Showsec during Death Disco.
Permanently on watch stage left is Lydons minder/manager Rambo. “If he’d got on to the stage Rambo would have annihilated him”Â a bouncer told me “ We aren’t even allowed on the stage; that’s Rambo’s territory. We did that bloke a huge favour not letting him get up there”Â.
The behaviour of some other audience members amazes me. It’s a standing only auditorium but they act as if, once they’ve secured their spot, that it is their personal space and god forbid anyone squeezing thru and obscuring their view. A polite but aggressive, “I was here mate, d’you mind?”Â is said through gritted teeth and a look that says ”Ëcome on then’. I wasn’t alone in thinking this as I overheard someone in the toilets with the exact same complaint.
Ray Burke’s Dublin review says it all really, but this was yet another superb PiL gig.
Opening with Deeper Water and closing with a stupendous Rise and Open Up ”â this was a mighty juggernaut of a gig. Every song an extended mix full of bowel-quaking bass ”â solid rhythm and scorching guitar.
PiL now are a true band of four musicians totally in-tune with each other and a solid foundation over which Lydon and Lu can improvise to glorious effect. Its not just Johns show and this no ”Ëbacking band’.
The man is on form though, his singing voice more powerful than it’s ever been. He gives 110 per cent, he bellows, veins bulging in his neck. I can’t think of any other band that could play a set full of 10-minute songs and it still keep you riveted.
PiL live are even better than I imagined. Lydon manages the impossible, to make songs like Albatross and Chant sound anthemic and life affirming despite the dark content. Religion is a highpoint, the bass driven up to max and the delivery astonishing.
Even This Is Not A Love song sounded great. Who would have thought that PIL would be one of the country’s best live acts in 2012?
PiL play Rebellion Festival, Blackpool today (4 August) and then the tour continues:
- Newcastle, O2 Academy, UK, August 6 2012 ÃÂ (ticketsÃÂ on sale now)
- Manchester,ÃÂ HMV Ritz, UK, August 7 2012ÃÂ (ticketsÃÂ on sale now)ÃÂ
- Lokerse Feesten, Lokeren, Belgium, August 9 2012ÃÂ (tickets on sale now)ÃÂ
- London, HMV Forum, UK, August 11 2012ÃÂ (ticketsÃÂ on sale now)
- Hertfordshire, Forum, Hatfield University, UK August 12 2012ÃÂ (ticketsÃÂ on sale now)
- Bristol, O2 Academy, UK, August 13 2012ÃÂ (ticketsÃÂ on sale now)
- Leicester, De Montfort Hall and Gardens, UK, August 19 2012ÃÂ (ticketsÃÂ on sale now)
All words by Ged Babey. You can read more from Ged on LTW here.
All pictures by Bubba.