NME, June 1986

© 1986 NME

London, Brixton Academy, 27th May

Brixton Riot

John Lydon has vowed never to play in London again because of the behaviour of certain members of the audience at Brixton Academy on the final night of the PiL tour. He also intends to limit his appearences elsewhere in Briton.

Lydon was infuriated throughout the tour by a minority of 'fans' who insisted on gobbing and throwing missles at the stage. In Stoke, he was hit by a bottle. And in Sheffeld, someone threw a billiard ball which fortunately missed it's target.

In Brixton last Tuesday, PiL left the stage during the final number 'Public Image', when certain persons ignored Lydons request that they stop gobbing. The punters at the front began to battle with bouncers, and the PA stacks looked perilously close to toppling over until the band reappeared to defuse the situation. Lydon announced onstage that he would not play in London again. He hasn't changed his mind since.

PiL manager Keith Burton said this week: 'There was the usual two per cent of gobbers at the front of the hall who just didn't stop hitting John all night. During the last song of the set, he got gobbed at in the face for about the forth or fifth time that evening. He told the band to stop playing and walked off stage. His trousers were completely covered in gob, and his jacket.

The trouble makers seemed more interested in having a fight with the bouncers - and they didn't seem too fussed about who they hit, either. Rather than just let them have a fight, the group realised the best thing to do was to go back onstage. Things seemed to calm down, but then during 'Rise', somebody got up onstage and took a swing at John. The real shame of it was that 98 per cent of the audience had been really enjoying themselves, and they didn't realise why John had walked off. At the time, he said he wouldn't play in London again and at the moment he means it. He's very pissed off.'

'The way the band feel is that 10 years ago, gobbing at people wasn't a big deal. But gobbing now means that you can kill people. Last week in Edinburgh, a kid who was stopped for shoplifting was going to be charged with attempted murder for threatening to gob in the mouth of the person who had stopped him, because he had AIDS. So gobbing has taken a new perspective now - whatever prompted people to do it 10 years ago doesn't exist now. It doesn't happen to PiL in Europe or America. It only happens in Britain, and it's only done by two per cent. The kids who are still dressed as punks, they remind me of Teddy Boys. You see those twerps walking around with drapes who think it's still the 50s. Punks are the same, like dinosaurs.'

PiL are recording an album late this year.


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