Concert Review

PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED, All Rise at the 02 Academy Glasgow

22nd June 2022 – 02 Academy Glasgow – Words/ Photo – Martin Bone

PIL -Perform at 02 Academy Glasgow -Photo Credit: Martin Bone

John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd (PiL) their first UK tour in over four years, performed at the O2 Academy Glasgow. The band last toured to sell-out audiences in 2018 celebrating PiL’s 40th anniversary, the release of THE PUBLIC IMAGE IS ROTTEN box set and an acclaimed documentary of the same name. More recently, John also completed a very successful spoken-word tour of the UK.  The original date for Glasgow was rescheduled to the 21st of June to and to a sold-out crowd at Glasgow’s Hard Rock Cafe for An Evening With John Lydon Q&A 2022.

The forthcoming 13-date headline tour included locations covering locations all over the UK and in Ireland and Northern Ireland, at the National Stadium in Dublin (9th June) and, for the first time ever, in Belfast at the Limelight (10th June).

In addition, the band will be appearing at the Sinners Day Special Festival in Ostend, Belgium on the 25th of June. PiL will be performing songs from across their 10 studio album catalogue, and the shows will include some surprises thrown in for good measure. John says, ‘May all the roads rise with you!’ 

Supporting PIL is Brix Smith, formerly of The Fall and The Extricated, who performed along with her new all-girl band The musician, who has been a member of The Fall and a host of other punk bands across her decades in music, will play a series of shows in June alongside John Lydon’s PiL.

Brix Smith – Photo Credit: Martin Bone

For all the shows, she has launched an all-new, all-female band which she has announced recently, including My Bloody Valentine‘s Deb Googe and Jen Macro – on bass and keys/guitar respectively – alongside Vas Antoniadou (drums) and Ros Cairney (guitar who was missing due to Covid).

Brix performed songs, Aphrodite, Fast Net, Black Rainbow Sky, California Smile, Valley Girl, All My Love, Totally Wired(The Fall song), Living Through My Despair, Say I’m Your Number One, and Black Butterfly.

Brix Smith – Photo Credit: Martin Bone

P.I.L, Having to reschedule their tour due to covid pandemic and it was a long time coming as John Lydon, dressed in a long black shirt sporting a small tie and with his new band took to the stage as he was greeted with a loud round of applause and cheers from the awaiting fans who were, at last, seeing this punk legend perform.

PIL -Perform at 02 Academy Glasgow- Photo Credit: Martin Bone

John Lydon as he walked on stage, stood in the middle of the stage standing with tall, arms outreached and looked like he was about to perform a sermon to the crowd standing next to a music stand not unlike a church pulpit with outstretched arms and that iconic grin and his body movements began with the first song of the night “Religion II” and then followed by other songs from a large catalogue of hits over the years celebrating 40 years of Public Image Limited from when they first formed back in 1978 with original band members guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Jah Wobble, and drummer Jim Walker in 1978. The group’s personnel has changed frequently over the years; Lydon has been the sole constant member.

Photo Credit: Martin Bone

P.I.L with a number of Hit tracks from their albums over the years, performed songs that included “Memories”, “Warrior”, “Corporate”, “The Room I Am In , The Body,” “The One”, “Death Disco” “Disappointed”, “U.S.L.S. 1,” “Bags”, “Chant, “This Is Not a Love Song”, “Public Image”, “Shoom” Encore: “Open Up” (Leftfield cover) ending with “Rise” this was a perfect track to end on the night as fans sang along ‘ANGER IS AN ENERGY “ and as the night drew to a close Johnny thanked the crowd for coming along and packing the Glasgow venue to capacity, commenting, ” This is Public Image Limited, We are Completely free of the Shit stem and we will be recording some new songs sometime very soon and I think Glasgow should be the first places to perform them, Good Night from P.I.L. ”

Lydon then introduced all band members and those involved with the band on the night and he is known for his quotes ended with saying ” Good Night, Good Evening you know what to call me I answer to Everything.

A true punk legend who gave a brilliant performance and we at PCN highly recommend catching them live as they continue their tour around the UK. We could be Right we Could be Wrong – go find out for yourself and go to a live gig!.

PIL has taken on many changes in that time and with a new band with John Lydon leading at the front with Bruce Smith – drums, percussion, programming, backing vocals (1986–1990, 2009–present) Lu Edmonds – guitar, keyboards, saz, banjo, backing vocals (1986–1988, 2009–present) Scott Firth – bass, keyboards, synthesisers, backing vocals (2009–present).


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