Archive for the ‘The Cribs’ Category

The Sex Pistols Brixton Academy London 10th November 2007

Sex Pistols Brixton Academy London 10th November 2007
pistolstixSupport from The Cribs
John Lydon: “It started out as one night at Brixton….We thought maybe 5,000 will want to see us, but it’s turned into a bigger monster than any of us had any concept of.” In fact, the Sex Pistols ended up playing to 60,000 fans during their brief 2007 reunion tour, camping for five nights at Brixton Academy and then adding two massive arena shows in Manchester and Glasgow.
I’ve already blogged on the two occasions which I was lucky enough to see The Sex Pistols in their prime, once in 1976 and once in 1977. I passed on their 1996 “Filty Lucre” and 2002 Golden Jubilee reunion gigs. I figured it was never going to be the same. Well of course, it wasn’t going to be the same, but it could still be bloody great! When I saw that they were reuniting again in 2007 for a few dates at Brixton I relented and bought tickets. The dates were to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s seminal album Never Mind The Bollocks.
David and I arrived early for the gig, and watched support band The Cribs, who seemed very much out of the punk mould. By the time the Pistols were due on stage, the place was completely ram packed, almost dangerously so. The audience was, as you would expect, largely aging punks; lots of mohican haircuts and studded leather jackets. Before the Pistols came on stage, the hall was filled with the sound of Vera Lynn’s “There’s Always Be An England” which prompted mass singalong (and sadly quite a few right arm salutes). I’m not sure it was the most appropriate song to open the concert with, but it certainly got the crowd going.
The band walked on stage Rotten as wide-eyed as ever. pistolsmag
They hurling themselves into “Pretty Vacant” and the place went completely bananas. An atmosphere, a band, a crowd, and a punk anthem like no other. There never was, never has been, and never will be anyone who can touch these guys. Rotten was sneering, his snarling vocal as thrilling and powerful as ever. Flanked, as in 1976, by Steve Jones, ever the guitar hero, and Glen Matlock looking ever the cool guy.
All the hits and most of the “Bollocks” album are played; an immense crashing version of “Holidays In The Sun” with Paul Cock slamming the drums, Rotten spitting out the lyrics to The Stooge’s “No Fun”, and a backdrop of our safety-pin-sporting queen is lowered behind them for “God Save The Queen”. Half way through the set David and I make our way towards the back of the hall, its juts too full and too hot down near the front. Then there is the inevitable encore of “Anarchy In The UK”, at which point I swear every single person in the venue is singing at the top of their voice. They return again to play a cover of Jonathan Richman’s “Roadrunner”.
We walked out in the cold London air, stunned; knowing that we had experienced something special. I bought a bootleg programme for £1 (pictured).
Well, of course, no it wasn’t the same. We were older, and so were the Pistols. The crowd was bigger than those they played to in their heyday (when I saw them in 1976 there were 50 to 100 people there, a few hundred in 1977). We knew all the songs this time. But these old guys could still sneer at society, and play some of the best rock’n’roll produced by any band. Amazing. Scary. Stunning.
I have the DVD and play it every now and then to remind myself of that night.
Setlist: Pretty Vacant; Seventeen; No Feelings; New York; Did You No Wrong; Liar; Holidays in the Sun; Submission; (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone; No Fun; Problems; God Save the Queen; E.M.I.
Encore 1: Bodies; Anarchy in the U.K.
Encore 2: Roadrunner (Jonathan Richman cover)

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