Updated: Friday, 22nd May 2020 @ 2:15pm

Gig preview: Legendary Sex Pistol John Lydon to return to Manchester with Public Image Ltd

Gig preview: Legendary Sex Pistol John Lydon to return to Manchester with Public Image Ltd

By Glen Keogh

There’s no doubt about it, Manchester is a city accustomed to musicians of huge cultural and historical importance playing its venues.

Arguably, it started with Joy Division, leading to The Smiths, the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays etc etc…the music history of the city is world-renowned.

For a while Manchester was the epicentre of ground-breaking new music in the UK, with its own sound, style and global influence.

There are many theories as to what started this phenomenon, but if reliable sources are to be believed then many bands, Joy Division included, formed after seeing the Sex Pistols live in Manchester at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976.

Now, in a career that has had more ups and downs than a Sid Vicious acid trip, former Sex Pistols anarchist and Public Image Ltd front-man John Lydon is coming back to Manchester to teach aspiring rockstars a lesson for the second time in less than a year.

A triumphant 2012 re-formation following a 17-year hiatus saw the release of a new album, This Is PiL, and a world tour.

Now they're band back to traverse the globe and prove just why they are one of the most successful post-punk acts of all time.

With only four UK dates currently announced, Manchester is extremely lucky to have PiL coming to the Ritz, the venue they thrilled last year, on Friday June 28.

Their first album for 20 years was a surprising return to everything that made them so great – dripping post-punk rhythms and moody bass made famous by Jah Wobble and now more than capably maintained and explored by Scott Firth.

I say surprisingly, because we all saw the Country Life ads and wondered what had happened to the nation’s favourite anti-monarchist punk Johnny Rotten.

But the self-funded record released on PiL’s own label ‘PiL Official’ signalled their intent to make music for the sake of making music, rather than to cash in on a tour featuring music first heard over 30 years ago.

To put it simply, when tickets come on general sale this Friday (February 22) at 9am, you could well be sealing your place in an audience who will go on to do great things.

This Is PiL showed Lydon still has that influence.

Public Image Ltd will play the Ritz, Whitworth Street West, Manchester on Friday June 28. Tickets are on advanced pre-sale now here.

Tickets will go on general sale on Friday February 22 at 9am and are priced at £26.50.

Picture courtesy of p_a_h, with thanks.

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