Monday, May 24, 2010

On being rotten

It must be hard to be John Lydon all the time. People have their expectations of you, and what you'll do, and you always have to deliver. If someone catches you playing with a puppy or kissing a baby, your career's over.

So Lydon has to always act in character, whether he's reliving past glories on a Sex Pistols reunion tour (with Glen Matlock, inasmuch as Sid Vicious was unavailable) or reliving past glories on a Public Image Ltd. reunion tour.

“For your dubious pleasure!” John Lydon proclaimed as Public Image Ltd. started its set on Tuesday night at Terminal 5. That was Mr. Lydon’s famous cynicism.

Jon Pareles of the New York Times goes on to describe Lydon's history, then reviews the set.

Mr. Lydon sings the old songs with all their taunts, injuries, fury and sarcasm in a voice that’s as cutting as ever. And this lineup of PiL — with two members who joined the band in 1986, the guitarist Lu Edmonds and the drummer Bruce Smith, along with Scott Firth on bass and keyboards — finds its own way to make the songs bristle and churn.

Yet Pareles notes that this isn't a slavish copy of the original. See the review here.
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