Thursday, November 1, 2012
PiL IN LOS ANGELES
A bonus prize was made available the night before my departure when PiL’s October 27, 2012 show in Reno was broadcast live, allowing me to begin the party a day early. Even though the quality of the audio and video was not the greatest, it was a free show and I watched the livecast from beginning to end, pretending as though I were right there in the audience.
After the show I had a late night meal at The Pantry up the block on Figueroa Street followed by a cigar on the roof of the hotel, accessed via the outdoor fire escape. I was savoring the experience of the last few hours.
Lydon, one of the more compelling singers in rock history, was a fireball of energy and hyper-kinetic movements as the synthesizer stabs of “This Is Not a Love Song” kicked off the main set. Filled with wild gesticulating and altered pitch, Lydon’s vocals for “Deeper Water” (one of four selections from the current disc) resonated throughout the room, the overall mix perfect for this sometimes spotty sound trap.
Read it all here:
Sunday's concert came near the end of the band's three-year touring journey, which included the release this year of This Is PiL, the band's first new album in two decades and a return to form, as Lydon demonstrated in L.A. "We come from chaos/ You cannot change us, " he shouted during the album's "One Drop" against sharply echoing guitar lines of Lu Edmonds. "Cannot explain us/ And that's what makes us."
Dressed in a two-toned shirt, bright orange suspenders hanging behind him, Lydon comfortably mixed his past and present, with song choices stretching back to PiL's 1978 debut, First Issue, recorded shortly after he left the Sex Pistols. The sides of his head were cropped short, leaving a blond tuft of hair on top, and earrings dangled from both sides. Between songs, he soothed his throat by lifting a liquor bottle to his mouth, taking a swig, gargling and spitting it out.
The new album's "Reggie Song" shook from searing guitar with an Arabic flavor as Lydon sang, his hand raised. He grunted his words through a stretched-out "Bags" (from 1986's generically titled Album) over a deep bass rumble with slices of guitar. When a fan slurred back a lyric between songs, Lydon turned with a wicked grin. "With a voice like that, that why I'm up here and you're down there."
The concert was filmed as part of an ongoing documentary project on the band, which Lydon unexpectedly reconvened in 2009 after a long hibernation with the lineup of Edmonds, drummer Bruce Smith and bassist Scott Firth (who also operates the laptop). It was a homecoming for Lydon, who has lived in Los Angeles and Malibu since the Eighties, and he teased locals for cheering not quite loudly enough: "Laid back as usual? That's OK, la la. I live in la la."
Lydon has spent many of the last 20 years working on television, and reunited first with the Sex Pistols in 1996, but he has been unwilling or unable to create new songs with the groundbreaking punk act. His history with PiL is much longer, and it was the outfit in which he expanded and experimented with his voice. The PiL reunion inspired him to write again, and he is already making plans for another album with them
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/public-image-ltd-lead-a-fiery-sermon-in-los-angeles-20121029#ixzz2BJgOgR00
Although the Pistols were gone within 3 years of their formation, they changed the world. Some would say for the better, and some would say for the worse. The Sex Pistols were a drunken, heroin influenced train wreck. Their front man couldn’t carry a tune, and didn’t care to try, their Bass Player, well he wasn’t really a Bass Player at all, offed himself on heroin and the band was dead and gone by 1978. But make no mistake, they were one of the single biggest influences on music and culture of the past 40 years. That, to me, was worth a trip to see Johnny and PIL on Sunday Night.
Read it here:
Busy ants crawl to and fro
The rim of their world
Mountains that rose from the sea
Watch the city grow
Seen through trains scratched windows
Broken people sit
Refuge in the buildings shadow
Cool oasis of green
Their ignorance and hatred
In the name of God
Download the flac show here, parts one and two: