Live: piL

Lydon’s road’s still rising.

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Putting punk in punctual, PiL appear at 7:45pm prompt with the former Mr Rotten delivering an aggravated spoken introduction about a broken lavatory.

Nothing is wasted – a domestic with his Mrs is put to good use on opener Double Trouble. A poppy Disappointed follows and you can sense the ghost of former PiL guitarist John McGeoch on home turf. “I can still spot a Scotsman” offers Lydon and “I can spot a fine bottle of brandy too” before taking a gargle.

This Is Not A Love Song is the first of many iconic singles – we are treated to the 12-inch version. It was Lydon’s “rules are for fools” experimental nature that nourished Death Disco, it swells and builds aided by PiL’s engine room of Bruce Smith (drums) and Scott Firth (bass). The pulsating Warrior is defiantly uplifting before a pitch black Religion. Post-encore they go back to the start with Public Image and the same raw urgency remains. During Rise Lu Edmonds’s swaggering riffs and glimmering hooks fill the house while Lydon holds the mike over the front row snarling “Anger is an energy”. The rapport with this capacity Glaswegian crowd is undeniable with arms ascending as high as the steam off sweaty bodies.

One of the most polarising cultural figures of the 1970s might be “getting old” but his vitality and ability to open up new channels musically and emotionally remain. There are precious few like him left and there is no equivalent – on this form PiL should not be missed.