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Public Image Limited tour review - Liverpool

by Shaun McCoy. Published Fri 18 Oct 2013 17:08

Public Image Limited made a very welcome return to Liverpool, along with Two-Tone legends The Selecter and the result was a night full of exhilarating music.

The Selecter’s material is so dance infectious, conjured up from tracks like James Bond, ska version of the movie theme tune – full of the twanging guitar, ska scatting and flute interventions.

While Too Much Pressure integrates Toots & the Maytals classic song Pressure Drop. The Selecter provide more resounding tracks before their departure – On My Radio and Three Minute Hero, both full of jinking keys, rasping vocals and bulging brass.

What happens when you leave a highly influential band? Answer – start another one. PIL were formed by John Lydon, back in 1978, and they were far removed from his former band the Sex Pistols.

This gig saw PIL perform so many mesmerising tracks from the band’s inception through to their recent 2012 album This is PIL.

A track off that last album Deeper Water opened the show with John Lydon unleashing his own alternative style of operatic singing we all know and love.

Sounding intense and immense as ever over music that is equally atmospheric with synth effects, jangling guitar, booming bass and concrete drumming.

PIL have fused together so many musical genres into their material – reggae, ska, electro-synth, classical and rock that enhance Mr Lydon’s highly emotive and poetic lyrics. This is why the band were such a major influence on a lot of acts in the late 70s, 80s and beyond.

PIL’s set is filled with many blistering tracks like This is Not a Love Song a massive singles chart hit back in 1983 which a is great one for the fans to sing along to.

There are also the darker tracks like Death Disco which is an amalgamation of Swan Lake, reggae and withering lyrics which are very personal to the iconic frontman.

One of the many songs I really liked off the last album was Reggie Song, which sees Lu Edmonds bashing away on a Saz backed by a synth track and a rock solid rhythm section.

The O2 turns in to a rave for PIL’s last song Open Up, a song Lydon originally collaborated on with Leftfield, featuring those anthemic lyrics ‘Burn Hollywood burn!’ This time it was the O2 on fire – burning with admiration after witnessing a magnificent performance.


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"Saz?" John, NJ around 5 years, 6 months ago