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Review: Public Image Limited

Marcus Carter 2011-06-23

Image:Marcus Carter

Trädgårn - June 22. I met my friend Joe outside the gig and as we stood and chatted a spiky haired figure caught our attention. "John!" My feeble hungover voice shouted, but it was not enough to catch the attention of the Punk superstar. Damn it. 10 seconds away from getting my photo taken with Johnny Rotten. I'll never forgive myself.

That disappointment soon disappeared when PIL took the stage. This was no lame come-back. No comedy punk cabaret. This was a band re-energised and impassioned. Kicking off with "This is not a love song" all the (non) hits were present. "Disappointed" "Death Disco" and "Public Image" were highlights but best was the closing "Rise" followed by an unexpected, and stupidly excellent version of the Leftfield/Lydon hit "Open Up".

PIL these days are Lu Edmonds (guitar) and Bruce Smith (drums) - both PIL veterans joined by new boy Scott Firth, who Lydon introduces as "the best bass player PIL has ever had." High praise indeed when you consider Jah Wobble was PIL's original bassist. Difficult to argue with though after a 15 minute version of "Religion" which prominently features a bass riff that Lydon assures us (will) "cleanse us of all religion!"

Worst? The room was half empty. Where were all the kids who half filled Ullevi when punk pretenders Green Day played here? Shame on you Swedes!

A great gig that should have been a sell out. One can only hope they come back soon.

Rating: 5/5

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