Jah Wobble @Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto 2018 🇨🇦

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Where? – The Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When?  – 24th of October 2018
Why? –  Part of two North American one-off shows

Attendance: 100+



Line-Up

Jah WobbleBass, Percussion, Vocals

The Invaders of the Heart:
Martin Chung – Guitar
George King – Keyboards
Marc Layton-Bennett – Drums

 

During my recent trip to Canada I was lucky enough to see both Public Image Ltd. AND The Invaders of the Heart perform live. Earlier in the week we attended the PiL show at Lee’s Palace, Toronto (click HERE to read our review) and now it was time to see one of the original founding members of PiL –  bassist and notorious “geezer” Jah Wobble. He was in Toronto to satiate the fans’ desire for him to play in Canada (he’d not done so for donkey’s years apparently) and to promote new album Dream World.

 

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Earlier that day Wobble had rather ominously pleaded to his social media followers  for a “line” of an Ovation Magnum bass guitar for the show. We were a little worried at this point and were left wondering – What’s happened to his bass? Has anybody come forward to save the day? Will the show be cancelled? We decided to calm our nerves by breaking into the bag of cannabis kindly donated to us by PiL’s road crew earlier in the week. A few hours passed and doors would now be open.  After a few drinks at home we made the 5 minute walk across Queen and Spadina from our flat to the venue, tightly clutching our copy of Metal Box and a tote bag of Wobble records – as we knew there was a likely chance of meeting him given the small size of the venue. When we arrived at the venue, the floor was still empty so we secured a spot at the front of the stage underneath Wobble’s cocktail drums. The first thing we noticed was the instruments – tuned and ready for the band – but no Ovation Magnum in sight – just a bog-standard Fender P-Bass.

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Wobble’s Ovation Magnum Bass @TheGuitarRepairWorshop, Manchester

 

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Wobble has remained faithful to his trusty Ovation since the 80s

We’re knocking back some local pale ale while we wait for Wobble and the Invaders to come on. While we’re waiting I’ll introduce you to the band. Most readers of this blog will of course know Jah Wobble – seminal dub bassist, world music composer and an original member and founder of PiL. Although his time in PiL was actually very brief, the 2 studio albums he featured on are considered the pinnacle of their entire discography. Since leaving PiL in 1980, he has released many studio albums and collaborated with a plethora of musicians from pop-stars such as Sinead O’Connor, rock icons such as U2’s The Edge, respected producers such as Brian Eno & Bill Laswell and an endless list of world artists injecting eclecticism and ethnic variety across a vast back-catalogue of indefatigable work. Then there’s the new-look Invaders who featured most recently on albums such as ‘The Usual Suspects‘ and ‘Everything is No Thing‘ (click for reviews). On guitar is youthful-looking virtuoso Martin Chung (click here – he’s on WordPress!). On keyboards is pianist and composer George King (click here to visit his site!). Last but not least – in charge of beats – Marc Layton-Bennett (click here for more information!).

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Our shot of the stage from the soundboard (Also in shot is local celebrity Kayvon Zahedi, former star of MTV’s KayvonTV.)

This is where it starts to get a bit hazy. We feel like he came on around 9:15 but we can’t be exact. The band walks on stage and there’s a big cheer when Wobble appears sporting a smart brown suit-jacket and trilby combo. He manages to keep the crowd engaged as he talks for around 5 minutes. He shames drummer Marc for almost failing to travel with the band after forgetting to sort his ETA out – something I can very much relate to as I myself only found out what an ETA was a few days before I came over to Toronto from Leeds. Wobble officiates the gig by performing a handshake with guitarist Martin Chung in the style of a business agreement! Wobble then talks the audience through the taster menu – “We’re going to start with a track from PiL’s Metal Box album – but we’re gonna do it in a ‘drum & bass’ style to make it more ‘contemporary’. Then we’re going to go into middle of the road (but done in an extremely classy way) cocktail jazz of John Barry – Classic! Then we’ll go into a sort of electric Miles period and then we’ll go into dub… [audience cheers] – and that’s just for starters – that’s the taster menu!”. After talking for so long and building it up, the crowd are taken by surprise when Wobble suddenly starts playing Socialist out of nowhere – a somewhat hilarious anti-climax and most likely intended as such. As soon as he plays the first note, the audio on our phone is destroyed and we stop recording. This is probably the loudest bass I have ever heard in my life.

Wobble likes to start each show like a business transaction as seen below in the publicity handshake between himself and Chungy.

 

 

 

We’re right next to Wobble’s amp and instantly people start to move away from the area to avoid their eardrums blowing out. Suddenly my partner dives into her bag to retrieve some noise-cancelling earplugs. Unfortunately there’s only two,  leaving me precariously at risk of permanent fat-bass induced hearing loss. The band steadily make their way through three or four tracks – including John Barry’s theme from Midnight Cowboy and Roy Budd’s theme from Get Carter. We can’t be more than 15 minutes in and Wobble is seemingly overheating under the lights as he strips down to a wife-beater for the rest of the show. We believe Wobble’s bass actually got pushed down by the sound guy at some point during these first songs. He introduces the next song – “this is the Liquidizer[sic]” – it’s a cover of the Harry J All Stars 1969 hit The Liquidator (also previously released by former PiL band-mate Keith Levene on his 1989 LP ‘Violent Opposition‘).  George – “Gorgeous” George King on keyboards does a great job on this one. Halfway through the song and it’s easy to forget who you’re there to see as guitarist Martin Chung momentarily steals the show and the hearts of the guitarists in the crowd such as myself. His virtuoso solo was technically brilliant and deviated from the song so much that eventually when they returned to the Liquidator riff it felt more like a reprise as we’d forgotten we were still listening to The Liquidator. The vibrations from the bass actually caused one of the monitors to slowly shift and fall off the stage halfway into the song – that’s how loud it was!

It was around this time in the evening that the band performed a track from 1991’s ‘Rising Above Bedlam’ – Everyman’s an Island – and marked round 1 for Wobble’s new sparring partner – A pair of cowbells! His “cowbell solo” seemed to go on indefinitely, and he needed a little breather between the next song.

 

Below is a clip of Jah Wobble performing a cowbell solo during Everyman’s An Island.

 

 

We’re really not sure of the ordering of the set, but we believe 90s Invaders hit ‘Visions of You’ came next. We really weren’t sure how it was going to sound but Sinead’s parts were covered by some playback – and it sounded great! For the record, we believe this to be Wobble’s finest bassline, ever EVER!  Click here to watch an unbelievable performance featuring Sinead, live on The Word back in 1991. Straight after Visions of You came another 90s Invaders hit –  ‘Becoming More Like God‘ from 1994’s ‘Take Me To God‘ album. This is another one of my favourites, and as confusing as the line “impossibly funicular” is – the melody of it is gorgeous! At this point I’d like to praise the drumming of Marc Layton-Bennett, who is actually obscured completely from our view the entire show because of Wobble’s positioning on stage – but this only heightens our senses to his sharp beat! I think I’m right in saying they played fan favourite ‘How Much Are They?’ during this section of set – an early Wobble song featured on the collaborative album ‘Full Circle‘ featuring Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit of krautrock band Can. Suddenly, another perilously positioned monitor falls from the stage as a result of the bass vibrations – we’re starting to worry about the roof blowing off!

The crowd suddenly become very excited as Wobble introduces ‘Poptones’ – The much loved Metal Box cornerstone and as Jah Wobble himself once said “The jewel in PiL’s crown”. This was one of the first songs I learnt to play on bass and I studied a lot of clips of Wobble playing it, most notably when PiL played on the Old Grey Whistle Test back in ’80 (watch it here)

 

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PiL’s 1979 3xLP Metal Box is a career-defining work and universally acclaimed avant-garde masterpiece

 

It’s during this song that I closely observe both Wobble and Chungy. Wobble still plays Poptones as he did back in 1980 and the descending octave (that apparently took Wobble months to work out back when he was still a novice) is simple but so effective! Chungy looks to be playing everything right but isn’t very audible during this song due to distortion so I’ll have to check out ‘Usual Suspects’ again to hear how he’s approaching this one! The original guitarist Keith Levene was known (from my observation at least) for playing his notes against open B and Es which is what gave his playing that orchestral/shrapnel sound.

The highlight of the set for me was when the band played satirical album closer ‘Fodderstompf’ from PiL’s ‘First Issue‘ LP. As soon as George King started tinkering on the piano I instantly recognized it to be the strange chain like sound at the start of Fodderstompf. Wobble sounds exactly as he did back in 1978 as he petulantly screams “We only wanted to be looooooooooooooooved”. The crowd find it hilarious and it turns into a contest of who can scream it the most annoyingly! Anyway, speaking of chains, somewhere around this point in the set the band covered Fleetwood Mac’s song ‘The Chain‘, a song associated with racing cars over here in the UK due to a long-standing ad campaign that finds the song to be thematically appropriate for Formula 1 montages. This is the only song of the night I’d rather forget. They actually made a really good job of it but I’ve just never been very fond of this song OR Fleetwood Mac.

The final song before the encore is Public Image’s first ever single – the eponymous ‘Public Image‘. We’re kinda mixed on this one. Yes, it’s one of Wobble’s most recognised basslines but we fail to see how Wobble can relate to the lyrics – lyrics written by John Lydon about his days in the Sex Pistols and the media attention he received. Perhaps this is a song best left as an instrumental piece in Wobble’s set, as I believe Martin Chung can do a good enough job with Keith Levene’s guitar line to keep the song afloat.

The band exit the stage to cheers and applause. The clapping continues for a few minutes and the band return on stage for one final song – Invaders of the Heart’s ‘So Many Years’ from the 1989 LP ‘Without Judgement‘. The audience applauds one last time and the band take a bow while Wobble thanks everybody for coming!

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SETLIST

 

1. Socialist (From PiL’s Metal Box album)
2. Midnight Cowboy Theme
3. Seven
4. Get Carter
5. Liquidator
6. Everyman’s an Island
7. Visions of You
8. Becoming More Like God
9. How Much Are They?
10. Poptones (From PiL’s Metal Box album)
11. Fodderstompf (From PiL’s First Issue album)
12. The Chain
13. Public Image (From PiL’s Metal Box album)
[Encore]
14. So Many Years
*We’re not sure how accurate this setlist is as we can’t remember and Jah Wobble doesn’t use setlists. We’re positive these are all the songs, but we can’t remember the order. If you were there and would like to contribute to this setlist please comment below. Thankyou.

Post-Show: Meeting Wobble

Before leaving the stage Wobble promised to come to the side and meet people after he’d gotten changed. He warned us that although he’s very confident on stage, off the stage he comes across as a complete weirdo! This was comforting to hear as we’re socially awkward weirdos ourselves. After about 15 minutes had passed he came out from the back and stood behind a table near his merchandise stand. Quite a few people were buying the Dream World album on vinyl from the merch stand and getting him to sign that. We waited back for a little while and let the crowd thin out. It was now our chance to get in on the action. We approached him together and said something like “Hi you were really good tonight” – which seems a little generic but we were kinda “wobbly” legged (if you’ll pardon the pun) from being stood in front of one of our long time heroes. He signed my partner’s stuff first – a CD copy of the expanded re-issue of First Issue on Light In The Attic Records, and the inner booklet of Wobble’s 1995 album ‘Heaven and Earth‘. It was now my time. I always get caught up in the moment and just roll with it, so I just handed him my Metal Box assuming he had my partner’s fine-tip sharpie pen to hand – However, for some inexplicable reason he had a MASSIVE paint marker. We did a bit of research prior to the show and were aware that Wobble’s signature can be rather abstract but my heart sank when I saw how big he’d committed to doing it.  “Oh my god he’s going to scrawl over Johnny Rotten’s signature“. He handed it back and I said “thanks so much“. He was looking down at my hand curiously until I realised I was also holding a 7” copy of Visions of You. “Oh yeah there’s this too“. I thought he’d adjust his signature for the smaller surface area of a 7” single but no – he just scribbled over the image with the most obnoxious signature you’ve ever seen! We put the records into our tote bag and to the back of our minds for now. As I’m doing it he points out my shirt. “Oh nice retro England shirt“. I said “oh thanks“. I usually get too shy but I thought no I’ll try have some banter with him as it might be my only chance. I said “Well I’m from England actually, I’m from Leeds”. He said “Oh right yeah the band’s from up north as it happens“. I responded by saying “well yeah I could tell they were northerners on account of them being good“. It took him a moment but then I think he realised my joke. I find it hilarious that we’re both so far from home but there’s still room for northern vs southern banter. He actually seemed very shy and overwhelmed which is surprising as he always comes across as a larger than life character – but then again he did confess he’s a weirdo off-stage! Nonetheless I found it quite humbling. I felt like we were taking his time up as there were other people around us so we asked him for a photograph and then shook his hand and everything and then that was that. It’s a shame really because I’d like to have a beer with the guy and talk without the pressure! There’s a lot that I wanted to tell him.

When we got home we looked at each other nervously as we were about to take our records out of the bag and discover whether he’d destroyed our Metal Box or not – “WHO handed him that fat marker pen?” we joked simultaneously. Of course, we only really care about owning something he has held and marked, but we did see the funny side of it! As you can see below, it actually looks pretty good –  albeit people keep telling us it overshadows Johnny Rotten’s autograph! We also came into the possession of his drumsticks (though we can’t remember how).

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Jah Wobble’s drumsticks that he used during the show (See video)

 

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Our Metal Box ~ Signed by both Johnny Rotten & Jah Wobble

 

You’d think he’d have some spatial awareness when it came to the smaller paraphernalia such as 7″s and CD sleeves but no. He signed my copy of Visions of You just as big but compressed it smaller – which I find hilarious but maybe that’s just me!

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In summary, we thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The band were fantastic, the venue was great, the ale was nice and we came home with a bag full of goodies – but of course, the highlight was getting to meet Mr Wobble in person!

For those of you who haven’t heard it yet, check out his latest album Dream World (which features the same Invaders of the Heart that performed on the night). You can purchase the album following the link below. Thanks for reading!

 

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Jah Wobble’s latest album Dream World is out now (2018) – Buy it here

 

Public Image Ltd. @Lee’s Palace Toronto 2018 🇨🇦

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Where? – Lee’s Palace – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When?  – 19th of October 2018
Why? – The Public Image is Rotten Tour North America

𝖠𝗍𝗍𝖾𝗇𝖽𝖺𝗇𝖼𝖾: 𝟧𝟧𝟢 (𝖲𝗈𝗅𝖽 𝖮𝗎𝗍)


Line-Up


John Lydon – Vocals
Lu Edmonds –
Guitar, Saz
Scott Firth –
Bass
Bruce Smith –
Drums
&
John ‘Rambo’ Stevens

 

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This October we had the pleasure of seeing PiL a few times on their tour of North America. The first show we attended was at Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, New York City. Although we were naturally excited to see Public Image Ltd. perform live for our first time in 2 years, we walked away after the show feeling a little underwhelmed. John didn’t seem himself. He seemed nervous, his voice was breaking and he didn’t talk much. On top of that the sound just wasn’t right, and Lu Edmond’s guitar tech has a lot to answer for. On the upside, we kinda figured former bassist Allan Dias might attend as he lives in the area. Sure, he might be in the crowd somewhere but there’s a lot of people so we probably won’t see him. As it happened, he was stood right next to us in the crowd – and I’ve never seen anybody more enthusiastic about the song “Cruel” as Allan – he was relishing singing along to the chorus (of which he originally sung). So that was interesting!

A couple of days later we had tickets to PiL’s second Canadian show of the tour at Lee’s Palace in Toronto (they played Montreal the previous night). Lee’s being a tiny intimate alt-rock club which holds a crowd of around 550 was one of the first to sell out for the North American leg of the “Public Image is Rotten” tour. Throughout the night, John was in a much better mood than he had been at the beginning of the week, and we saw a return to form regarding his booming vocals . At one point he even declared “you’re better than Montreal!” which is rare to hear as usually he winds us Torontonians up by saying the opposite! For the first time this tour John seemed genuinely happy and at ease. The band sounded great in this setting and really filled up the space. As usual, they were joined by Rambo standing guard on the side of the stage but also brought an additional honorary band member into the mix – a parrot! It was refreshing to hear new additions to the setlist – Memories (ironically John doesn’t have Memories memorised and required a lyric sheet, sounded incredible anyway), Flowers of Romance, and Cruel – meaning for the first time the set covers material from all 10 studio albums, fittingly for an anniversary tour. Most of the songs are dragged out in duration, but there’s such an unconventional sonic beauty to them when you’re there in the moment that it doesn’t feel like it. The encore was well played out too with Public Image, Open Up, before ending on Shoom. Once again a good mix of old PiL, new PiL, and…not PiL? During Shoom he engages the crowd in a final rousing singalong of “f*ck YOU!!” in response to his statement “What the world needs now, is another…?”. PiL’s music brings such reflection and an overwhelming burst of energy whenever you have the chance to experience it. It’s a great pleasure to see their 40 year long career being celebrated by the man who once said that he doesn’t care for looking to the past! After the gig had finished there was quite a lot of drama that culminated in around 5 of us watching John piss up a wall around the back of the venue and then eventually getting a photograph with him and signed goods – but I’ll explain all this in my next entry to the blog! It was a case of the gift that kept on giving!

 

 

1. Deeper Water
2. Memories
3. The Body
4. Disappointed
5. Warrior
6. The One
7. Corporate
8. Death Disco
9. Cruel
10. I’m Not Satisfied
11. Flowers of Romance
12. This Is Not A Love
13. Rise
[ENCORE]
14. Public Image
15. Open Up
16. Shoom
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Setlist (Signed by Johnny Rotten & Lu Edmonds)

 

 

 

Helvetia 1986

Recording Quality – ★★★★ Performance – ☆☆☆ [7/10]

Line Up:
John Lydon – Vocals
Lu Edmonds – Guitar, Keyboards
John McGeoch – Guitar
Allan Dias – Bass
Bruce Smith – Drums

 

So following the pattern of uploading 1986 recordings, here’s another bootleg from our collection of shows from the album tour. This bootleg was recorded at the Palladium in Geneva Switzerland. The sound on this one is really loud and clear, the best that a dated audience recording gets really.

Notably, the band opened with an instrumental cover of Kashmir (Led Zeppelin) throughout this tour and this set also saw them revisiting the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant and Holidays in the Sun played with a heavier distinctly PiL edge. Lydon seems like he’s in a better mood with the crowd in general without having to demand people to stop spitting like in the UK gigs earlier that year, and with the band having seen some other unsavoury violence creeping back into their gigs with John McGeoch getting glassed onstage in Vienna the previous month. Rise is obviously the biggest singalong track in the set garnering some audience involvement. They end up playing album almost in its entirety, and only Ease does not make it onto the setlist. 

This gig is also believed to be the one that was referred to in John’s autobiography that was attended by David Bowie. He writes: “PiL were playing a nightclub in Switzerland. In trots Mr. Bowie. He made his way backstage. It’s two minutes before we go on’. Hi, I’m Dave Bowie, and this is my son. He’d like to meet you’. I don’t know anyone who could deal with that shit two minutes before going on. We’re just going up the stairs,and I had to cope with this. I wasn’t rude to his son. His son had never do me any harm. But to him – blank. ‘Now if this was your gig and I came back, would you have me thrown out?’ I walked away and left it at that. And I’ll bet he would have. Again and again.”

Track listing

NO. TITLE
1. Kashmir
2. FFF
3. Low Life
4. Fishing
5. Poptones
6. Pretty Vacant
7. Religion
8. Flowers of Romance
9. Bags
10. Round
11. Home
12. Public Image
13. Order of Death / Rise
14. Holidays in the Sun
15. Annalisa

this is a 1986 recording

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Rare Commercial Zone 1983 Vinyl

Not a live recording this time, but I recently acquired this rare vinyl copy of Commercial Zone which seems to be worth sharing as surprisingly there is hardly any other information about it available online. This record has the same serial number (XYZ-007) and track listing as the other 1st edition copies of Commercial Zone, (‘Love Song’ as track 1 instead of ‘Mad Max’, and ‘Solitaire’ before it was re-titled ‘Young Brits’ ) the release of which was initiated by Keith Levene in 1983 for the US market, shortly following his departure from the rest of the band.

While the vast majority of these copies came in just a plain white card sleeve with a cutout in the middle revealing the label, this one also includes an additional newsprint black and white collage-style fold-over cover titled “The Keith Levene Guide to Being Rotten”. The label and the record itself though is identical to others from the original batch with the slightly off “PIL” logo on the B-side (notably drawn with a different font than the official PiL logo and with an uppercase I).

The back cover features what looks like a cut & paste excerpt from an interview with Keith Levene and John Lydon describing the status of the then unreleased PiL album (see photo below), though it’s unclear what the source was. As with all 1st edition copies, it credits production and music entirely to Keith Levene with words by “Jon [sic] Lydon”, leaving out the other members, which was most likely a purposely cheeky move at the time.

 

 

This is a public service announcement

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Hey guys. We’ve been having a lot of people emailing and messaging us saying they are encountering problems with downloading. While we don’t mind helping you troobleshoot, this is becoming a regular happening. We give these albums away for free, taking time out to distribute them and aren’t obligated to help you with basic problems.

We would like to ask people who are using phones to download our recordings, to first learn how to use the technology before downloading from us. These are compressed .zip files and must be unzipped. This is how all music albums are formatted online. Please install Winzip on your phone from Google Play Store, and learn how to extract the files before downloading from us. If you google ‘how to extract compressed files on phone’ it will tell you in 3 easy steps.

Thanks for visiting and may the road rise!

Metal Box On Your Telly Box

pil tyne tees 79 2

Recording Quality – ★★★★ Performance – ☆☆☆☆☆ [9/10]

Hey followers! This time we’re pleased to bring you the holy grail of PiL, the legendary ‘Check it Out’ interview tape originally aired on Tyne Tees in 1979. What’s so special about this upload? We have the full fucking thing! That means the full performance of Chant followed by the entire interview, revealing what it was that angered the band so much. Funny how they only ever showed PiL kicking off, and not the absolute twoddle and aggravation that they had thrown at John just minutes before…

Tracklist:

NO. TITLE
1. Chant ~ Live Tyne Tees 1979
2. Interview part 1
3. Interview part 2 [band walks out]

 

This is a 1979 recording

– We’ve ended this limited time download. For those offering a trade, please email publicimagelive@gmail.com –

Renovations…

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Recording Quality – ★★★★★ Performance – ☆☆☆☆ [9/10 overall]

Hey followers! Today we’ve decided to upload Renovations for you. Here’s a little backstory for those unfamiliar with its conception:


At some point in 1987 the band (consisted at the time of Lu Edmonds, John McGeoch, Allan Dias and Bruce Smith) realised that in the last year or so of playing with John Lydon they had essentially been covering his songs from the early PiL era. The band decided it would be worthwhile to re-record these songs in the studio, calling them Renovations since they were to be a redux of older PiL songs with the new lineup and a fresh take. A full LP was planned and thought to be included as a bonus disc for the album that would become Happy?. However this was scrapped altogether, with The Suit and Religion being the only tracks that ended up surfacing as b-sides for Seattle and The Body.

Here we bring you a compilation of some early PiL songs originally from the First Issue, Metal Box, and Flowers of Romance catalogue played and recorded by PiL 2. Included in this compilation are the two studio versions of Religion and The Suit from 1987 which both sound excellent, along with the live versions of the rest of the songs taken from various gigs throughout 1986. A great example of the versatility of a band like PiL and how the same classic songs evolve and adapt throughout the years along with the band.

 

Tracklist:

1 Public Image
2 Low Life
3 Religion
4 Annalisa
5 Poptones
6 The Suit
7 Four Enclosed Walls
8 Flowers of Romance
9 Banging the Door

This is a 1987 compilation

Download your copy of Renovations HERE
To find the password to unlock this download, join the This Is PiL group on facebook.

 

Amsterdam Paradiso 1986

amsterdam paradiso 86

 

Recording Quality – ★★★★★ Performance – ☆☆ [7/10 overall]

Line Up:
John Lydon – Vocals
Lu Edmonds – Guitar, Keyboards
John McGeoch – Guitar
Allan Dias – Bass

Bruce Smith – Drums

Hey guys. Today we bring you an excellent recording from the European leg of the 1986 tour of album/cassette/compact disc. These gigs are very interesting as it’s the first time we hear PiL mk II performing.

The recording itself is excellent, a crystal clear soundboard. The performance and setlist however is rather odd and stilted. Having never recorded in the studio since being put together by John, the band of Lu Edmonds, John McGeoch, Bruce Smith and Allan Dias have non of their own material to work with, and the result is a very unsure sounding band trying their hardest to cover old PiL songs. The musicianship is good, but it’s just not very genuine sounding at this point. That said, there is a very interesting take on Banging The Door that’s worth hearing. Aside from that, this record is more of a thing of curiosity for fans, and anybody wanting to hear powerful live music should download our bootlegs of 1987 and 1988.

Once again this one is dedicated to members of This Is PiL facebook group. Enjoy

NO. TITLE
1. Public Image
2. Banging the Door
3. Four Enclosed Walls
4. Flowers of Romance
5. Annalisa
6. Order of Death
7. Rise
public image album

this is a 1986 recording

Download HERE

London Hammersmith Odeon 1989

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Recording Quality – ★★★★ Performance – ☆☆☆☆ [8/10 overall]

Line Up:
John Lydon – Vocals
Ted Chau – Guitar, Keyboards
John McGeoch – Guitar
Allan Dias – Bass
Bruce Smith – Drums

 

Hey PiL fans! Welcome back to our updated site. To kick off our return, we’ve brought you a rare gig from the Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK, 1989. This is pretty special as it’s the only PiL gig in England from 1987 to 1992 (surprising trivia, doesn’t sound right does it?)

This one is dedicated to our friends from This Is PiL Facebook group. Any followers who are unaware of this group, go check it out and join, it’s a very large (3000+ members) and very active PiL fan base.

Anyway, the sound quality of this one is quite decent but not anything special. As for the performance, after extensively touring Australasia and Asia, PiL seem to have got it together for this, their homecoming show. The setlist is filled with Happy? and 9 material, and also their biggest tracks from previous albums. This is also the first time Ted Chau had played with PiL in the UK. An excellent gig with decent sound, reflecting a great era in PiL’s history! Below you will find the tracklisting, personnel and download link! Enjoy

Track listing

NO. TITLE
1. Warrior
2. Happy
3. This is not a love song
4. Home
5. Brave New World
6. Seattle
7. Open & Revolving
8. Fishing
9. Round
10. The Body
11. Same Old Story
12. Rise
13. Disappointed
14. Worry
15. Public Image
16. World Destruction
9

this is a 1989 recording

Download HERE

 

 

What the World Needs Now LIVE – Setlist + Shoom

I had the huge pleasure of seeing PiL on a Sunday night at The Opera House in Toronto, and the band never disappoints (a few people)! John’s vocals have been sounding louder, stronger and more powerful than it has in years, repeatedly prompting howls from the crowd. On top of that, an incredible performance from Lu, Bruce, and Scott from start to finish. What The World Needs Now… tour has been quite heavy with a sinister edge to many of the songs they’ve already been doing. I was lucky enough to grab a setlist at the end of the show as well:

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Highlights for me were: Bettie Page, Corporate, The Body, Warrior, Open Up/Shoom

And yes, they played Shoom live for the second time ever! (Psst link to audio recording at the bottom of this post) But first some of the more decent photos I managed to get:

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Death Disco Ball

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Open Up has been condensed from previous live versions of it, but the band still owns it and it is completely captivating. Merges right into Shoom which has been one of the strongest tracks from the new album and a perfect killer to end on before the Encore- Public Image followed by Rise.

MP3 recording of Open Up/Shoom download HERE

Tavastia Klubi Helsinki 1988

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Sleeve for Tavastia Klubi

[7/10]  Recording Quality – ★★★ Performance – ☆☆☆☆

Ultra rare recording from 1988 at the Tavastia Club in Helsinki. You’ll probably not see this one again so download it, it’s fantastic!

Line Up:
John Lydon – Vocals
Lu Edmonds – Guitar, Keyboards
John McGeoch – Lead Guitar
Allan Dias – Bass Guitar
Bruce Smith – Drums/Percussion

 

Track listing

NO. TITLE
1. Public Image
2. Friend
3. Seattle
4. Home
5. Bags
6. Rise
7. Hard Times
8. Religion
9. Rules & Regulations
10. Angry
11. Open & Revolving
12. Holidays In The Sun
13. This Is Not A Love Song
14. The Body
15. World Destruction
0

This Is A 1988 Live Recording

Download your copy here – [Download] 

London Astoria 1987 Volume 2

astoria2

Here is the second Astoria show from the Happy? tour, big thanks to PiL Head for sharing this one. Setlist was pretty much identical to the previous night’s, just with Holidays In The Sun and This Is Not A Love Song switched around during the encore.

[6/10] 
Recording Quality – ★★★
Performance – ☆☆☆

Track listing

NO. TITLE
1. Save Me
2. Rise
3. Seattle
4. Four Enclosed Walls
5. FFF
6. Open and Revolving
7. Low Life
8. Home
9. Rules and Regulations
10. Hard Times
11. Fat Chance Hotel
12. Timezone (World Destruction)
13. Angry
14. The Body
15. Round
16. Public Image
[Encore]
17. This Is Not A Love Song
18. Holidays in the Sun
20. Religion
pil-happy1

This Is A 1987 Recording

Download Here – [Link Removed By Us, Email Us With Propositions]

New Addition To The Collection…

I’m very excited to post about a special item I received in the post today – A sealed mint factory pressing of a well circulated bootleg “Rotten To The Core”.

IMG_20150606_012547IMG_20150606_012646 IMG_20150606_012825IMG_20150606_012755IMG_20150606_012857

Taken from a Finnish radio broadcast, it was recorded live at Provinssi Rock Festival, Finland 6/6/1992 and was packaged and distributed by Italian label Big Music in 1993.

For those of you not lucky enough to own a copy, I have included a link to download the album below.

Tracklist:

1 This Is Not A Love Song 6:06
2 Criminal 5:56
3 Love Hope 4:31
4 Think Tank 5:25
5 Rules And Regulations 5:33
6 Acid Drops 7:13
7 Cruel 6:09
8 Don’t Ask Me 5:05
9 Body 6:32
10 Disappointed 5:15

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A COPY

Elää Tavastia Klubi Helsinki Suomi 88

Sleeve for Tavastia Klubi

Sleeve for Tavastia Klubi

Ultra rare recording from 1988 at the Tavastia Club in Helsinki.
You’ll probably not see this one again so download it, it’s fantastic!

[7/10] 
Recording Quality – ★★★
Performance – ☆☆☆☆

John Lydon
John McGeoch – Lead Guitar
Lu Edmonds – Guitar/ Keyboards
Allan Dias – Bass Guitar
Bruce Smith – Percussion

Track listing

No. Title
1. Public Image
2. Friend
3. Seattle
4. Home
5. Bags
6. Rise
7. Hard Times
8. Religion
9. Rules & Regulations
10. Angry
11. Open & Revolving
12. Holidays In The Sun
13. This Is Not A Love Song
14. The Body
15. World Destruction
88 tavastia alt Back

Back Cover for Tavastia Klubi

0

This Is A 1988 Live Recording

Download Here – [Link Removed]

Very Best Of Compilations…?

So our little PiL repository seems to be attracting the interest of quite a few fanatics. We’ve come across quite a few obscure recordings now, from each era in PiLs history and we’re thinking of using our acquired knowledge on these aurally damaging shows to help us bring you only the best from those eras, a nice little collection showcasing the best the tours had to offer? Maybe you don’t want to run around scavenging rare shows on old cassettes just to find the best version of a song performed live? We’re taking the best performances, best audio quality and obscurities and putting them all in one place. Flagship albums to start off your collection of a particular era.

These best of compilations have been mastered by us to ensure quality, and are only available by request at Publicimagelive@gmail.com. 

*Of course, we do not charge – but we do trade. Do you have an offer for us?

Edit:

Currently we have compiled the following albums –

The Best Of Metal Box Live [1979-1980]                                                                           A collection of the best Metal Box live performances and interviews between 1979 and 1980.
You Are Now Entering A Commercial Zone…                                                                 Commercial Zone live and obscure performances 1982-1983 with additional studio demos & interviews.

You’ll receive a zipped folder containing a quantity of Mp3 recordings, source information for each recording, pictures from the shows features, interviews, and high quality sleeve artwork.

May the road rise!

London Astoria [2/2] 29/09/1987

astoria2

Here is the second Astoria show from the Happy? tour, big thanks to PiL Head for sharing this one. Setlist was pretty much identical to the previous night’s, just with Holidays In The Sun and This Is Not A Love Song switched around during the encore.

[6/10] 
Recording Quality – ★★★
Performance – ☆☆☆

Track listing

No. Title
1. Save Me
2. Rise
3. Seattle
4. Four Enclosed Walls
5. FFF
6. Open and Revolving
7. Low Life
8. Home
9. Rules and Regulations
10. Hard Times
11. Fat Chance Hotel
12. Timezone (World Destruction)
13. Angry
14. The Body
15. Round
16. Public Image
[Encore]
17. This Is Not A Love Song
18. Holidays in the Sun
20. Religion
pil-happy1

This Is A 1987 Recording

Download Here – [Link Removed By Us]

First Avenue/Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis 1982

PiL~LiveInMinneapolis Cover2

[7/10]

Recording Quality – ★★★
Performance – ☆☆☆☆

Track listing

No. Title
1. Lou Reed II (Where Are You?)
2. Annalisa
3. Bad Baby
4. Careering
5. Religion
6. Attack
7. Chant
8. Mad Max
9. Public Image
10. Swan Lake
11. Low Life
12. Public Image
13. Under The House

Download Here

Remember to check our list, if you have something we don’t have we’d really appreciate you getting in contact at Publicimagelive@gmail.com or leave a comment for us. Thanks

Reading Festival, August 28th 1992

                      pilreading cover

P.I.L.+-+That+What+Is+Not+-+SHM+CD-546541

This Is A 1992 Live Recording

That What Is Not European Tour (1992)
John Lydon
John McGeoch: Guitar
Ted Chau: Keyboards & Guitars
Mike Joyce: Drums
Russell Webb: Bass

Good sound quality on this bootleg of a great set. The band over-ran their allotted time slot and were heavily fined, reportedly.

A seminal gig for PiL collectors, this is a must have.

[8/10] 
Recording Quality – ★★★★
Performance – ☆☆☆☆

Track listing

No. Title
1. Kashmir
2. Criminal
3. Love Hope
4. This Is Not A Love Song
5. Think Tank
6. Rules & Regulations
7. Seattle
8. Don’t Ask Me
9. Acid Drops
10. Cruel
11. The Body
12. Disappointed
13. Rise
14. Public Image
15. EMI

Download Mp3 HERE 

[Password required download – Request password at PublicImagelive@gmail.com]

We are still on the look out for more recordings, please help us build an archive.

If you happen to have a copy of this gig on video, please let us know as we are currently missing a source (2 video recordings of this show are known to exist).

London Astoria [1/2] 28/09/1987

astoria cd

PiL played at the Astoria for two consecutive nights on the 28th and 29th of September 1987 after a string of UK tour dates scheduled directly following the release of Happy? earlier in the month were cancelled. This is a bootleg of the first of those two. It is not the most favourable of the Happy? tour nor the best quality recording or performance but the setlist includes a lot of Happy? songs which didn’t really see the light of day. I have seen a number of requests on Youtube for songs like Fat Chance Hotel and Angry live – Only to be told by misinformed fans that they weren’t performed live or released. Well, hopefully if you found this post, we have granted your wishes. Fat Chance Hotel did not make it through to 1988, being played rarely and then scrapped. Get it while you can!

[6/10] 
Recording Quality – ★★★
Performance – ☆☆☆

Track listing

No. Title
1. Save Me
2. Rise
3. Seattle
4. ‘Allah’ (Four Enclosed Walls)
5. FFF
6. Open and Revolving
7. Low Life
8. Home
9. Rules and Regulations
10. Rules and Regulations (cont’d)
11. Hard Times
12. Fat Chance Hotel
13. Timezone (World Destruction)
14. Angry
15. The Body
16. Round
17. Public Image
18. Holidays in the Sun
19. This is Not a Love Song
20. Religion

Download HERE

“John Lydon on Everything” Loud and Quiet, May 2012

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Press clipping front page issue that we’ve kept of John Lydon on the cover of Loud And Quiet [Volume 03 Issue 37] from 2012. Includes several colour photographs by Phil Sharp as well as cover story/interview discussing PiL and other opinions.

I’ll also include a zip folder to download which will include large resolution images of the pages for anyone interested in reading the article. There probably is a more easily accessible digital version of this on the web, but this is for the odd people like myself who just have an affinity for seeing physical, tangible media anyway.

IMG_0013

IMG_0014  IMG_0016

-Download the folder HERE

LIVE VIDEO – Rio De Janeiro, Canecão, August 21st, 1987

Nice to see this footage from PiL’s first ever tour in South America. This was the second of only two dates in Brazil, the first being São Paulo three days prior. They played at a venue called Canecão, described as an “indoor arena”.

Rio 7

Oversized suit rainbow dreads Johnny doing his thing

Was requested by PiL Head to post this one. If you don’t already follow him, he’s a fellow obsessive and long time disseminator of all things PiL.

What we have to share is an incomplete video of the show, which seems to have been broadcasted on a station or program called “Realce” seeing as it appears in the corner of the screen at some point near the end of the video. The quality is decent given the year and the fact that it was ripped from a videotaped copy of the broadcast.

This 6:45 clip includes cuts from Rise, Hard Times, Home, This Is Not A Love Song, ending with John telling off an audience member for spitting. Seeing as there aren’t many other videos circulating from his underrepresented rainbow-dreads-massively-oversized-colourful-suit phase, this one is worth checking out. (I’m going to continue calling it that until someone comes up with a catchier name for this era!)

Rio 5 Rio 2 Rio 6 Rio 4

Full setlist and just more information in general

Note: We’re still on the lookout for the complete footage of this show which is definitely lurking somewhere in the world. As always, please leave us a comment or send an email to publicimagelive@gmail.com if you have anything you’d be kind enough to contribute, or even just for requests, flattering compliments, friendly greetings, verbal abuse (don’t do that, it’s rude), and the like. May the road rise…

-Watch and download the video HERE (mp4 format)-

Metal Box in Dub at Village Underground

Thought I’d pass along this nice recording of the first ever Metal Box in Dub show at London’s Village Underground on Friday 25 May 2012.

Keith and Wobble doing their take of good ol’ Metal Box songs with some free-form brass accompaniment.

MetalBoxDubDennisMorrisweb_550

Tracklist:

  1. [Intro]
  2. Graveyard – Instrumental
  3. Memories – Instrumental
  4. Poptones – Instrumental
  5. No Birds Do Sing
  6. Death Disco
  7. Albatross
  8. [Encore]
  9. Careering
  10. Bad Baby – Instrumental
  11. Public Image [+exit]

Most but not all of the gig also uploaded in video by Nathan

Related Interview

Event Page

-Download your copy HERE

Homage to KeeF

Time for some art now – here’s one of my sketches of Keith from a while back. The reference image was a still from the Snyder interview. I was experimenting with a technique to separate colours in black ink and felt it would be perfect to use on this image. Unfortunately, there aren’t any Keith bootlegs so it’s pretty much useless as a cover. Dark enough for ya?

Keith Levene by J.Warner

Keith Levene by J.Warner

Vampire…

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For those of you who don’t know, Vampire was a track recorded during the Flowers Of Romance sessions at The Manor Studio.  It was once believed to be mythical, a thing of Folklore. Many talked about it, but nobody had it. It was thought to be lost, until recent years when it surfaced online in a collection of demo recordings from 1981-82. The song was always said to feature heavy drums, and strange other worldly noises at the beginning of the track. This actually turned out to be a recording of some water being poured from a bottle and slowed down, creating a noise that could easily be compared to a dinosaurs mating call. In all honesty, it’s not hard to see why it wasn’t included on Flowers Of Romance. It’s nothing special, but the mythical status alone makes it desirable – an essential for PiL collectors.

I will eventually upload the whole Commercial Zone Demo Recordings (the album Vampire was extracted from) and will leave you this little oddity to be going on with. Enjoy.

Download your copy HERE

You Are Now Entering A Commercial Zone…

While we’re all anxiously waiting for the release of Commercial Zone 2014, it would be nice to have a look back at the original Commercial Zone. You should all know it, but for those who don’t – or simply don’t have a copy, here it is for you to download.

fronst

Tracklist

1 Love Song
2 Mad Max
3 Bad Night
4 Solitaire
5 The Slab
6 Lou Reed (Pt.1)
7 Lou Reed (Pt.2)
8 Blue Water
9 Miller Hi-Life

Download your copy HERE

26 Years ago…

1988cover John 1987 10703625_4848341703138_8034345685847777666_n

26 years ago, PiL were coming to the end of their US tour promoting 1987 studio album Happy?

The tour fell into notoriety for John sporting rainbow dreadlocks with various hair accessories, surreal stage sets and those over-sized tacky suits. I’m always fascinated to find things from this era, with hardly any material being recorded, and hardly anything in the media, it’s an extremely scarce and mysterious period. If you have any recordings or media circa 87-88, I welcome you to contribute to the blog. Contact me at Publicimagelive@gmail.com

Bootleg Cassette  Tavastia Club Finland 1988

Bootleg Cassette
Tavastia Club Finland
1988

Here’s Johnny sporting “rainbow worm” dreads on Late Night Chat in 1988, along side Dennis Morris.

Rotten To The Core – Provinssi Rock Festival, Finland 1992

R-2595316-1292584080R-2595316-1292584247

Ok, so this is a fairly common bootleg to start with – but one of my favourites none the less.
Recorded in Europe in 1992, this is one of the best quality recordings of the That What Is Not tour, an essential for PiL collectors. Although the recording is incomplete, it features all of the regular numbers that featured throughout the European tour.

This era is definitely my favourite live post-Levene, with all of the songs played with an aggressive approach, a favourable heavy sound and a transmogrified This Is Not A Love Song, which had previously sounded drab live. This sound is achieved through a combination of heavy bass courtesy of Allan Dias, and the harmonious guitar duo of John McGeoch and touring guitarist Ted Chau.
Also worth noting is Mike Joyce of The Smiths on drums, who became an official touring member after Bruce Smiths dismissal.

Taken from a Finnish radio broadcast, it was recorded live at Provinssi Rock Festival, Finland 6/6/1992 and was packaged and distributed by Italian label Big Music in 1993.

Over the years, the recording of This Is Not A Love Song taken from this bootleg has been mistakenly identified as a Sex Pistols cover of the song, even though you can clearly hear the stage introduction – an instrumental of ‘Cruel’ at the beginning.

Tracklist:

1 This Is Not A Love Song 6:06
2 Criminal 5:56
3 Love Hope 4:31
4 Think Tank 5:25
5 Rules And Regulations 5:33
6 Acid Drops 7:13
7 Cruel 6:09
8 Don’t Ask Me 5:05
9 Body 6:32
10 Disappointed 5:15

Click HERE to download your copy.

Enjoy!

Commercial Zone 2014 – Where Are You?

cz20143

After things went quiet regarding new studio materialI’m relieved to hear Keith is currently hard at work in the studio producing his new album Commercial Zone 2014 to mark the 30th anniversary of Commercial Zone which was unofficially released by Keith in 1984.

Upon setting up a crowdfunding scheme to raise money for the production of the album (in which almost double the target amount was raised), Keith had this to say:

The project endeavors to take the work from ’83. Enhance it with original material and fantastic artwork that will take CZ way past 2014 and be the way it could have been. I picked the right 30years to wait to finish an album.
In 1982-1983 Levene went in the studio to compose what was intended to be PiL’s fourth album  “Commercial Zone”  

However, due to endless complications the project became splintered in spring 1983. This led to Keith going his separate way from PiL resulting in 2 diluted releases neither of which were satisfactory.

I feel my Commercial Zone was the purest version. 

This all sounds very promising, and I’m glad to announce we can expect it’s arrival come late November.

Keith is set to appear on a local US Radio station to promote Commercial Zone 2014 amongst other projects he’s currently working on.

This will air on the 25th of September, and can be streamed live via this link:

http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4258101/events/3395666