He’s still got it – original Sex Pistols’ bass guitarist, Glen Matlock, provided an engaging performance at The Deaf Institute to conclude his UK Winter Tour.
Forty years on from playing at ‘The Gig That Changed the World’ at the Free Trade Hall, Matlock returned to Manchester to give a funny and spellbinding acoustic set.
After some light-hearted fun with the crowd, the maestro batched a set of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blues”, which, whether it was intentional or not, matched the diversity of the venue’s crowd: varying from old punk rockers to the youths of today.
Matlock began by flawlessly performing acoustically-adapted versions of Sex Pistol classic God Save The Queen and Iggy Pop hit Ambition, which he originally played bass on.
Between songs, Matlock rekindled stories of the past including how his former band, the Rich Kids got their unusual name for the hit Ghosts of Princes in Towers, while also giving a hilarious anecdote involving a friend and a mistaken kidnapping in the Bahamas.
CRACKING VENUE! Matlock thanked The Deaf Institute fans on his best night on tour
After giving his take on the days of witnessing scraps and brawls between Teddy Boys, Punks and Mods, Matlock asked the crowd to clap a constant beat because, in his words, “I couldn’t be arsed paying for a drummer.”
With the crowd now instrumentally joining in and the gig at full swing, Matlock played more fan favourites, including a riveting cover of On Something.
Teasing the crowd with two encores, the night’s finale came with a venue-rocking version of The Smiling Faces’ All or Nothing.
Speaking to MM after the show Matlock gave his overall view of the Winter Tour and what’s been the best venue to play at.
“I just want to have a laugh you know, and play the guitar and get people involved.
“But the tour’s been pretty good. I’ve had people laughing, crying, I’ve even had people making sandwiches for me, so yeah – win, win.
“As for the best venue over the tour? Manchester, of course. The vibe here tonight’s been fantastic, and it’s a cracking venue, isn’t it?!”
Matlock then gave his verdict on the acoustic sound within a smaller venue compared to a large one.
“Well I did Glastonbury this summer, just me and my acoustic, and 2,000 people turned up.
“The gig was in a tent, which helped somewhat drown out the background racket and let the songs breath, but with smaller venues like this [The Deaf Institute], the crowd can hear the lyrics more, which is important because it’s the lyrics that artists sweat over.”
With Manchester closing the curtain on Matlock’s Winter Tour, he was asked, what’s next?
“I’ve done an album, but it needs to be ‘topped-and-tailed’, you know mastered with final production and all that.
“I’ll be strumming the acoustic, it’s got Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats on drums and Bowie’s guitarist Earl Slick.
“We’ve worked hard and I’m happy with it – it’s different.”
IN A SWEAT: Matlock told MM that lyrics are what artists worry about the most
As the buoyant revellers swarmed out the venue with a new-found fondness for the acoustic sound, it was obvious the night had been a huge success.
Here’s hoping there’s a lot more to come from the punk-rock pioneer and his guitar.