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Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Thursday, 22 July 2010 11:37 UK
Public Image Ltd play O2 Academy 21 July 10
By Mick Conmy
BBC Oxford contributor

John Lydon
John Lydon's stage presence made up for the lack of tunes

Johnny Rotten on Cowley Road, you just had to be there.

Bog brush hair, bog brush face, the man's reputation lived up to the hype.

Shrill voiced sneering and whining diatribe spouted from the stage - he still has his mojo. Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. He means it maaaaannnnn.

It's a measure of John Lydon's stature that Public Image's sometimes banal and discordant tunes, a poor mans Fall, remain nevertheless hypnotic.

It's all about the rhythm; melody is nowhere in sight. John's sheer stage presence fosters a venue full of affection.

There was no buttering up of the audience; he ranted anti-religion, anti-war, anti-education, pro-Israel but not as many jokes as expected. Anarchy in OX4.

This was a serious event, levity was spread thin. It's all about the voice, still as ferocious and penetrating as we remember, it cuts you to the bone.

The two hour set was a mix what might be expected, "This Is Not a Love Song", "Death Disco" and "Albatross", and others, such as "Psychopath" "Warrior " and "Religion".

The encore was mighty, "Open Up" finishing the evening. The bass guitar was turned up to number 11 and many of the butter-kissed beer-bellied and balding audience were pogoing stage front reliving their youth.

Perhaps they were pretty vacant as there were no Sex Pistols songs aired.

Anger remains his energy.




SEE ALSO
Public Image star said no to tour
11 Feb 10 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Malcolm McLaren
09 Apr 10 |  UK
Rotten to Lydon: What's in a name?
07 Jul 10 |  Entertainment & Arts

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