“I’M DEAD, Yorkshire you’ve been alive” enthuses a sweaty John Lydon. I’m all for hot and sweaty gigs, but It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, in here tonight.
“Where do you think you are, on a cruise liner!” chuckles John after the punky stabs of Double Trouble and Know Now. The former, the first new punk anthem about a broken toilet seat, but whilst John can’t flush, this song works so well.
P.I.L’s performance is testament to the crowd, who keep taking the tablets and don’t jump off board the H.M.S Fibbers. The cooler, dubby, Deeper Waters is some relief and one of many great moments.
Bells clang above Scotty’s deep bass groove , the always brilliant Lu Edmonds creates an apocalyptic layer of guitar textures, whilst we’re held steady in the swelling expanse of sound by no nonsense drummer Bruce Smith. Although their are little bits of keyboard backing, instrumentally P.I.L. are a brilliant sounding trio, with deep walls of sound.
It’s a shame the lighting (or lack of) does little to help keep our mind off the heat which reaches boiling point during the hypnotic Corporate. It’s an angry, murderous moment from new album What The World Needs Now, but P.I.L. also show their pop side during One, a lighter cousin of Rise , which is also aired.
Lydon looks healthy but is clearly struggling with the heat, his braced bouncer “Rambo” announces that the band will be back on stage once they have cooled off and they do one encore. Lydon leaves the crowd to sing “Public Image”, a number nine single from 1978. Like the majority of P.I.L’s catalogue , it still sounds as relevant today, their major influence intact, the hypnotic Warrior with it’s heroic guitar riff could have lasted for ever, whilst we melted into the venue’s sticky floor.
“P.I.L. supporting strippers” laughs Lydon, in reference to the strip club above the venue, one wonders if scantily clad dancers were wondering why men were becoming hot and bothered a floor beneath them tonight.
Took a while to sell out, but despite the heat, I’m glad it was full. Mainly blokes and the odd old punk mingling with Guardian readers, Social Workers, seventies looking teachers, styled scruffy look.
It made me think..
Fibbers really need to address the ventilation in their newish venue, or it may put punters and bands off. I saw The Fall here about a year ago and whilst it wasn’t full, was still bloody hot. Lighting guy needs a kick up the rear as well, but maybe he was to lethargic to work in the heat.