John Lydon is famous for saying (as Johnny Rotten), “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”, but tonight in Wolverhampton we were treated. Treated to a sensational experience from a true British legend.
PiL were reformed by Lydon for much acclaimed shows back in 2009, and the recent album release ‘This is PiL’ showcases some of their best work in a career spanning over 20 years.
With no support the band enter the stage at just after half eight, and then proceed to dazzle and delight for just short of two hours.
The set draws on the huge back catalogue, as well as the recent album, but standout tracks are ‘Albatross’, ‘Rise’ and set closer ‘Open Up’ proving that with the immense rhythm section of Bruce Smith and Scott Firth the electronic backing of Leftfield aren’t needed.
A simple stage, a large net backdrop with the PiL logo, the sound is immense, pulsating and powerful.
The only Lydon comment of note comes prior to the encore when he tells us he’s been for a smoke break and that he feels if smoking in public is a crime, what a nonsense the country has become; but refuses to take any blame for the decision as “I wasn’t here.”
I had huge expectations for tonight and wasn’t disappointed. There’s no-one like John Lydon and centre-stage it’s difficult to take your eyes off him. Yes he may have been criticised for doing TV ads for butter but if that revenue has been ploughed into the reformed PiL then we should all be thankful. ‘This is PiL’ is a great album but live, their raw power takes things to a completely new level.
This Is Not a Love Song
Flowers of Romance
Out of The Woods
Reviewer: Glen Raybone
Photographer: Andy Watson www.drw-images.co.uk/