Guest Review – Public Image Limited – Shepherd’s Bush Empire 2nd October 2015.

Public Image Limited played at The Shepherd’s Bush Empire Last Friday…
The Legendary Pigeon flew in with this report


I am somewhat of a late comer to the band that is Public image Limited…

Before I was a fan, i knew of the hit singles, but not really the albums. It wasn’t until 2009’s album “This is P.I.L” that I really started to get into them, as I thought and still think it is a very good album.


A few years passed, of missing them live, so at the start of the year I made them on the top of my list to finally see live. With the news at the end of last year, that a new album was underway, I thought I would await the news. And it slowly arrived midway through the year, that they will be doing a UK tour, and a concert at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire at the start of October, I immediately snapped up a ticket during the pre-sale. With the albums release of “What the world needs now”, we were treated to an instore signing session, at London’s Rough Trade Records. Johnny was in great spirits with his tour manager and best friend Rambo, and duly signed everything. A few listens to the new album it does take a while to get into but as I learnt over the years what PIL album doesn’t?. The opener “double trouble” is very good and funny. So the countdown the gig begins…


And the day finally arrives. Plans are made to meet fellow gig attendees, Matt, Graham, Kate, and Marcus. Tonight’s gig is being recorded for future release.

We get into the venue and support band are on a reggae band. I watch the rest of their set, though I haven’t heard of them and not a fan of Reggae music. (EiTC note: Dear Pidge, it was a set of upbeat Reggae and Ska from the delightful Rhoda Dakar (ex of The Bodysnatchers) and her amazing band culminating in the wonderful – Do Rock Steady! Yours sincerely EiTC… )


We get to the front of the barrier and wait for Public Image Limited. Eventually the band members come onstage, Drummer Bruce Smith, Bassist Scott Firth, the former member of the Damned on Guitar Lu Edmonds, and finally Mr John Lydon himself. Dressed all in black!!!


Lydon addresses the crowed “What you fucking nagging again???, about What? What?, the toilets fucking broken again, I told ya I repaired that, get the plumber in Again Again, Again, & Again” this is “Double trouble” the opening song from the new album, and it’s very catchy and a great way to start the gig. Most know the song by now, there are not that many people that don’t know it. A good start, up next is track two from the new album “Know Now”, you can see in the crowd not that many people own the new album yet so they didn’t know this song.


Now it is time to hit the crowd with something everyone knows and “This is not a love Song” is up next, the place is rocking for this song. And they follow it up with the superb “Poptones” YES!!!,Lydon’s voice is always so powerful on this song. Two songs I really wanted to see them play and they did. From then they started to play a varied set list with “Disappointed”, songs from the new album and older albums.

Before “The one” Lydon announces “These are my best Mates say hello to them”, whilst this is not one of my favorites on the album, I think this will become a part of the set in years to come. Up next a very long version of “Deeper Waters” from the “This is PIL” album which I like a lot, so I am glad they played a song from it, however it wasn’t well received as it was too long, and people started talking amongst themselves.

Death Disco
Death Disco

Time for the band to rapture up the set a bit and the massive song “Death Disco”, to which a lighting effect. As Lydon yells “I can see it in your Eyes, you can see it my eyes”. With its grooving beat had the crowd rocking once again. Up next a song from the new album “Corporate” which I thought would go down well with its chorus “MURDERER,NICK A WALLET,YOU FUDAWADA,MURDERER,NICK A WALLET,COPORATE MURDERER”. Up next a song i must admit i didn’t know “The Body”, but i have heard it now. “Warrior”, and “Bags/chant” follow. Then the band close the main set with the fantastic “Religion” which was an extended version of the song tonight, with its thunderous bassline as Lydon shouts “TURN UP THE BASS”.


The band go off “We want more, We want more”, and they duly come back on, now it’s time to get crushed I think to myself as they launch into “Public image”, the first song I heard by them as Johnny’s “Ellos” deafened the halls, The place erupted into a frenzy. I am surprised I didn’t lose my glasses but they stayed on. And they finished off with of course “Rise” with everyone singing “ANGER IS AN ENERGY”. Lydon finishes of by saying “So what do you think Rambo 10/10?” My conclusion is that it was a very good concert and I don’t know why it took me so long to see them, but I definitely won’t be waiting as long to see them for the next time.

Words: Pigeon.
Photos: EiTC.
Spellcheck: Microsoft.


g1 B1 km GP

4 thoughts on “Guest Review – Public Image Limited – Shepherd’s Bush Empire 2nd October 2015.”

  1. Thanks for this good read – I saw PIL just yesterday in Amsterdam and it was very very good, alas no Poptones which I suppose is my fave of theirs.
    What I would have given to see Rhoda Dakar though ….. 😀

    1. Cheers Eric 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the review and Amsterdam Gig…
      Shame about Poptones great track and Rhoda was very very good indeed!

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