PiL, Bristol

Enter Johnny.

Opening remark: “Bristol . . . country life . . . (leering) do you want to see my knob of butter?”

So, in a good mood from the off, makes a change. Definitely the least angry performance of the five times I’ve seen him in two-and-a-half years, Mr Lydon showed us fleeting glimpses of occasional serenity, pleased that the mission to show PiL at their best and create new songs (which I’ve not heard) has paid off.

But he’ll never be a pussycat. The line from Coriolan/us the other night comes to mind – ‘Anger is my meat’.

He snarled bullyingly at a security guard for walking in front of the stage, pretty unfairly and nastily I thought, but that was about it.

Set was pretty similar to the shows from late 2009 onwards – starting with This is not a Love Song, Albatross heading to Flowers of Romance, and all the usual suspects. Back in 2010 here he was riled about the pro-Palestinian protest outside the venue and it showed and he was red with rage to the extent that it seemed his concentration was affected (next night at Oxford they played the same set only better).

This time we got a more settled performance, mature even. Very similar to the previous shows of the past couple of years so fewer surprises and peaks. Still very worthwhile though.

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