Public Image Limited
Manchester Academy 1
Saturday, September 19
The world of music is littered with one-hit wonders and new flavours of the month, but there is always one constant — John Lydon and Public Image Limited will be making their uncompromising, unrelenting brand of post-punk.
The former Sex Pistols frontman has been part of the vanguard of rock music since the mid 1970s, and now aged 59, he shows no sign of stopping.
The spirit and attitude of the punk years has certainly not left him, with PiL continuing to create epic, politically charged anthems without paying any attention to the current trends or fads.
The four-piece's latest and tenth album, What the World Needs Now..., has been widely critically acclaimed.
PiL, who were set up by Lydon after the demise of the Sex Pistols, reformed in 2009 and used the money he had earned as the face of an advertising campaign by Country Life butter, returning with 2012's This Is PiL, the group's first record in 20 years.
The album was well received and What the World Needs Now... continues where its predecessor left off.
The former Johnny Rotten and co start their near two hour set by tearing into album opener and lead single Double Trouble, with its spiky riff setting the scene for Lydon to showcase his impressive vocal versatility.
The track opens with a expletive laden rant about a broken toilet, which is not exactly you would expect from one of the leaders of the punk movement, but still continues to catch the zeitgeist and sounds like Nottingham based noiseniks Sleaford Mods.
The album's second track Know Now quickly follows, and the packed Manchester Academy are treated to a showcase of the group's back catalogue, including number five hit This Is Not A Love Song, the eerie Death Disco, written by Lydon after the death of his mother, and his anti-sermon Religion.
PiL boasts what is surely one of their strongest line-ups at present, with the eccentrically styled guitarist Lu Edmonds, who looks like Abraham Lincoln, and the strong rhythm section of bassist Scott Firth and drummer Bruce Smith.
The set is brought to a close with crowd favourites Public Image and Rise, and Lydon, who appeared on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2004, promises his faithful that the band will "never let them down".
I don't think there is any danger of that any time soon.