Part of an extensive UK tour, the Academy venue was not full – balconies draped in curtains, masking the fact that we were at maybe half of the 2500 plus capacity, but given Covid, transport issues and the like it was still a decent turnout.
Brix Smith played with a band comprising ex MBV member Debbie Goodge (bass) and les Deux Furieuses (spelling a bit off!) on guitar and drums. BS strode around the stage and her vocals were pretty strong, playing tracks mainly from a forthcoming record, i.e. not the “Extricated” thing at all. Her still rather striking good looks got a few of the ageing punks going and she did a cover of The Fall’s ‘Totally Wired’ for good measure, but the sound struggled to fill this old barn of a place – however, it was a decent shift and respect due to her for persistence, she clearly still loves doing live music.
It took a wee while for PiL to come on but when they did the noise levels were ratcheted up and they did fill the old barn with a true cacophony of throbbing noise, sheer sheets of molten shards just crashing between the walls. This was due in some part to Lydon’s vocal attack – despite the years (and this is the first time BM had seen him perform live) if anything he has got louder and better as a vocalist, and he bellowed his heart out tonight for a good 90 minutes, no easy feat.
The set covered their entire career, from early singles to a couple of tracks from ‘Metal Box’ which for BM were the highlight. It was a glorious noise throughout and BM got involved in a lively moshpit towards the end. Lydon’s between-song chat was peppered with negative references to the Sex Pistols recent dramatisation among with other choice subjects. Like him or loathe him, he is a unique character which made for a very interesting night.