Glasgow, ABC, Scotland, UK
July 26th 2010
Lu Edmonds: Guitar / Misc
Bruce Smith: Drums
Scott Firth: Bass / Keyboards
This is Not a Love Song / Poptones / Memories / Tie me to the Length of That /
Albatross / Four Enclosed Walls / Flowers of Romance / Psychopath / Warrior /
USLS1 / Death Disco / Disappointed / Bags / Chant / Religion / Public Image /
Rise / Open Up
Audio bootleg recorded
review by Mick Condy, March 2011
© 2011 Fodderstompf.com / Mick Condy
"Words cannot express... words are useless!" ... This quote from PiL's Death Disco sums up the bands gig tonight at the ABC in Glasgow pretty well. Words truly cannot express how amazing this performance was! Easily the best gig I've ever attended.
The salubrious ABC in Sauchiehall Street is a fucking killer venue. It has fantastic acoustics and has a modern (ish) and punter-friendly atmosphere. The bouncers never search you and you don't feel as harassed as at other venues. The hall also boasts Europe's largest suspended disco ball! No' bad, eh? I've seen loads of great gigs at the ABC over the years, in fact I saw my favourite ever gig there last year when Julian Casablancas played a mind blowing sold out gig in December which despite only lasting for about 55 minutes was still an unforgettable night. That is to say it was my all-time favourite gig until PiL played there last night which has just pipped it I am afraid.
The protesters were outside with their leaflets, trying to preach to the unconvertable, trying to convince us all that the Palestinian people would be a lot happier under brutal Sharia law imposed by an extreme right-wing fanatical Muslim government. However, politics aside...
A bloke in punk garb showed up to have a bit of a barney with the protesters. Mohawk, nazi insignia - a dedicated non-thinker! I thought there was going to be violence (especially when he grabbed their leaflets and cast them to the winds) but after a brief rant about true anarchy he fucked off to the back of the queue.
Once indoors I had a few pints with a bloke from Easterhouse whose name I can't quite recall (sorry mate!) and one of the bouncers informed us that there would be no support, which was fine by me. The December gig at the Academy (a concrete shit stain on the south side!) was much better attended though, no doubt about it. If only that gig had been at the ABC too!
PiL appeared just before 9:00pm and launched into This is Not a Love Song. Before the gig I had been lamenting the strict and unvarying setlist but when the band launched into numbers like Memories, Albatross and Flowers of Romance I didn't really give a fuck! It just sounded perfect! They could have played the same song all night and it would have sounded great!
I was situated quite near the bass stack and fuck me was it loud! Scott Firth really can get quite a sound out of that thing! The classic Wobble lines such as on Poptones, Memories, Albatross sounded incredible! Not to mention Religion which was of course the highlight of the night!
During Albatross Lydon had a pop at McLaren and even more surprisingly had a go at Wobble, calling him a "fucking idiot!" - (Incidentally, Wobble played live at the smaller hall at the ABC the following night)
During Death Disco there was a bit of a stooshie (a scrum down!) no doubt someone had stepped on someone else's wifes toes or something. Needless to say 4 or 5 bouncers came rushing and hurriedly diffused the situation. Apart from that it was a very good natured gig from where I was standing, apart from some daft effort who kept launching half full pint pots at Lydon. I really don't understand such wankers! Why pay £25 to see a man whom you so obviously dislike?
Why pay nearly 4 quid for a pint that you don't even drink? Incidentally, near to where I was standing there was a guy whom seemed to relish the breaks between songs to bellow; "Aye, ya fuckin' wanka!" ~ "Ya fat fuckin' wanka!" at Lydon... What's that? Who let the Clash fans into the building, eh?
Special mention has to go to their version of USLS1 which sounded very different from the version on the last tour. Much more haunting, enhanced greatly by Lydon's own special effects, namely the ticking of a time-bomb and the eerie rumble of jet engines through the still night sky. Spectacular interpretation...
One of the best moments of the night for me was Bags. I've always liked the song, but the band really nail it on this tour. So fucking funky and irresistable and played at a much slower pace than when PiL used to play the song during the late 80's. Check out the live version from the Jimmy Fallon show and you'll see what I mean.
A very brief encore break ensued before the band returned and delivered stunning versions of Public image, Rise & Open Up! I had forgotten how incredible Open Up sounds live, the majority of the crowd couldn't help but dance like epileptics! Then it was over... Except Lydon kept singing, so the band struck up again and went on for another few minutes! Then it was really over... Two and a quarter hours had passed that seemed like no more than half an hour!
Lydon, having introduced the band then introduced Rambo as "The fucking best manager ever!" to which Rambo looked a might humbled, although he acknowledged the crowds cheer with a wave before leaving the stage.
PiL have improved so much as a working unit since I saw them in December and last night was the first time that I actually got excited about the prospect of a new album! If these blokes can capture the passion, energy and emotion of a single live song onto disc then it will probably top Metal Box (strong words, I know!) and anything else that PiL released pre-reunion!
I cannot wait for the next UK tour. It would be nice to see a few more Scottish dates. Edinburgh perhaps, maybe up to Aberdeen or Dundee. I'd happily travel to all if they played them!
Many have said that PiL are at their peak just now, but I disagree. I think we have still to see their zenith. They seem to be finding their own individual style now and therefore the songs are taking on a completely new dimension and evolving in new ways which is fascinating to witness. I think they can and will get even better. There is certainly no band in Britain at the moment who can deliver such performances. And don't rely on the bootlegs (or dodgy quality youtube videos!) to give you an impression, because they don't! I mean, have you read a bad review yet? Yet despite this they only half fill the ABC! It's a joke! Because people are underestimating PiL. They are not bothering their arse to go and see them because they assume that it wont live up to pre-concieved expectations...
Do yourself a favour and go and see them live, you will NOT regret it!
Thank you PiL, and until the next time...
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