Friday 29 June 2018

Public Image Limited, Rock City, Nottingham

It's been a while, since the 'Album' tour in 1986 in fact, so this is probably a good time to catch Public Image again. I mean you never know when it might be your last opportunity. Then again John Lydon is only 62, a mere youngster, so he’s not reaching for the zimmer frame just yet.

Although he seems to have brought his own alter, from where he conducts his performance and places his lyric book. Perhaps he is feeling 62 after all and forgetting a few things... This comes in as a very useful prop for the weird spoken-word number 'The Room I Am In'. 

There has been no support tonight, despite doors opening at 6:30. PiL were promised at 8:00 but didn’t arrive until 8:30. Most bands tend to obey stage times these days but not John Lydon, he’s old school.

It’s also a 10:00 curfew, so he won’t be on stage that long. I’ve never been totally clear why bands play Rock City on Fridays and Saturdays. Is it cheaper or do they secretly prefer an early finish?

Lydon is not known for long sets or crowd pleasing ones for that matter but this is a pretty popularist setlist by his standards. In amongst songs from their most recent album 'What The World Needs Now' from 2015 comes some early classics such as ‘Memories’, ‘Flowers of Romance’ and a pulsating ‘Death Disco’ along with tracks from their late eighties renaissance bringing us the likes of ‘Warrior’, ‘The Body’ and the brilliant 'Cruel'.

The really big crowd pleasers bring a close to the main set where ‘This Is Not A Love Song’ tumbles straight into ‘Rise’.

The band return for the not often performed ‘Public Image’ before playing ‘Open Up’ which Lydon recorded with Leftfield. The night ends with ‘Shoom’ which appears to an ode to his late father who was apparently fond of the word 'bollocks' and other choice words, which make up the majority of the lyrics. Lydon ends the night by leading us in a chorus of “fuck you!”. Nice tribute.

Public Image Ltd Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2018

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