WHEN John Lydon fronted the Sex Pistols he was seen by many “grown ups” as simply a bolshy, sweary young man driven purely by hatred of the establishment.
With PiL the icon found an arguably more refined way to issue his views and demonstrate it wasn’t bluster without knowledge.
In 2011 there seems to be as much “grown up” passion for PiL either side of the stage, 18 months after the proceeds of ‘that butter advert’ finally put the band back on the road.
Lydon is these days as likely to grumble about the attitude of Arsenal stewards as he is politicians, but the timelocks that are the likes of Flowers Of Romance and Death Disco continue to speak volumes to many.
Musically the punky Acid Drops still has more connection with Lydon’s Rotten days, but the continued absence of Jah Wobble’s distinctive live bass input means much of the set has a blunter, tougher edge, the chug of Albatross and the slinky bounce of This Is Not A Love Song proving highlights.
Last time PiL performed in Sheffield Lydon walked off when someone lobbed a snooker ball at him. This time he surely felt nothing but middle-aged warmth as début hit Public Image Limited kicked Milton Street into life.
With Open Up – the Leftfield classic to which the spiky one now with blond barnet contributed vocals – concluding the encore and a near two-hour set, there can have been few here not having had their PiL fill.