Archive for the ‘Linton Kwesi Johnson’ Category

Siouxsie and the Banshees Newcastle City Hall 18th August 1981

Siouxsie and the Banshees Newcastle City Hall 18th August 1981
siouxsietixaug81Five months later and the Banshees were back at the City Hall again, this time with a new album “JuJu”. “JuJu” was one of their most successful releases, receiving positive reviews in the music press, and a favourite with fans. Siouxise, interviewed in Sounds magazine at the time: “I rate Aretha Franklin, Nico, really like Yoko Ono’s voice…I have to hark back. Still think Jim Morrison’s got the best ’singing corpse’ voice. I want our gigs, records or whatever – to stand out as an event, to be remembered, talked about – or affect somebody after they’ve heard or seen us…You can’t listen to it as background music…it needs involvement from the listener to work properly, and that involvement sometimes brings out good things in people.” siouxsieprogoct81
1981 was another successful year for the Banshees in terms of singles, with “Spellbound” and “Arabian Knights” both making the UK charts. Siouxsie had transformed from the cold “ice queen of punk” into the “Mother of Goth” and the “The Woman Of A Thousand Costumes” and wild hair.
In concert the band were as impressive and stunning as ever.
I think the support for the City Hall concert may have been Linton Kwesi Johnson?
Setlist: Israel; Halloween; Spellbound; Placebo Effect; Pulled to Bits; Tenant; Night Shift; Sin in My Heart; So Unreal; Voodoo Dolly; Christine; Head Cut; Arabian Knights; Eve White/Eve Black. Encore: Happy House; Monitor
I loved the new material, you could lose yourself in the mad, swirling, trance-like madness of it all. But I also longed to see them play some of the older songs; Metal Postcard, Helter Skelter or Love in a Void; any of them would have made the show just perfect for me.

Public Image Ltd, Creation for Liberation Benefit Gig, Manchester Belle Vue, 23rd February 1979

Public Image Ltd, Creation for Liberation Benefit Gig, Manchester Belle Vue, 23rd February 1979
pil79This was Public Image Ltds 5th gig, and their first in the North of England. I’d been a massive Pistols fan, having seen them twice in 1976 and 1977, so I was looking forward to this one. I’d bought their first album, and found it quite strange and rather disconcerting, it was so different to the Sex Pistols. Marie and I went to the concert which was in the massive Kings Hall our at Belle Vue Manchester. We drove down and stayed at a hotel in the city centre (the Portland I think).
The concert was entitled ‘Creation for Liberation’ and was a benefit gig in aid of the ‘Race Today Friendly Society’. Also on the bill were Bristol’s The Pop Group (punky/jazzy/art-rock), Merger (a great reggae band), and poets Linton Kwesi Johnson and John Cooper Clarke. We arrived early to see all the bands. I remember seeing a lot of people from the Manchester punk scene; a couple of members of the Buzzcocks were in the crowd. Everyone had turned out to see what John’s new band was like. I remember both dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (“England is a bitch’ was a stand-out) and local hero John Cooper Clarke (super fast) going down well, and then there was a long wait for PIL. Pil_ButtonThe line-up of PIL was: John Lydon (vocals), Keith Levene (guitar); Jah Wobble (bass) and Eddie Edwards (from the Vibrators sitting in on drums for this one gig). There was a long, cold, ait before PIL came on stage. When they did, they wandered on and Lydon famously said to the waiting crowd, “No gimmicks, no theatre, just us. Take it or leave it”. They then launched into ‘Theme’ and played a set which featured songs from their first album, and the controversial Pistols songs ‘Belsen Was A Gas’ (this was the last time that PIL would ever perform the song, and the last time that it was performed live until the Pistols played it again during their reunion tour in 2002). The sound was poor and murky and you couldn’t hear Lydon’s vocals very well at all. John was as scary and engaging as ever, but overall the band’s performance was a little shaky, and lacking the power and depth that PIL can achieve on a good night. I was hoping we would get a Pistols hit for the encore (I should have known that was never going to happen), but they simply played ‘Annalisa’ again. It was great to see Lydon on stage again, and in a strange way, this was a memorable concert. It represented everything that PIL was about at the time: challenging, strange, not quite what you would expect, noisy and discordant.
Set List: Theme; Annalisa; Low Life; Religion; Attack; Belsen Was A Gas; Public Image; Annalisa
Thanks to Paul B. Toman for allowing the use of his image of the PIL button badge through the Wikimedia Commons licence agreement.