LIVE FROM BRIXTON ACADEMY
There'll Always Be An England
Running Time: 77 minutes Extra footage 97 minutes
Released 4th July 2005
I really didn't want to watch this dvd with its bad cover graphics (bring back
Jamie Reid ) but as usual curiosity got the better off me. The Pistols these
days bear no ressemblence to the young sexy assassins of yore, just another
retro punk band cashing in on their infamy ( Infamy, they've all got it in for me)
without any of the threat or danger that made them counter culture
figureheads of a disaffected generation X and targets of the establishment all
those years ago .
Lets not fool ourselves here, musically the Pistols were never the best live band in the world. In
fact they were quite ropey at times, so to be totally honest I really wasn't expecting big things of
this recent live document recorded for posterity by Julian Temple and Chris Thomas. However
it turned out to be something of a surprise package!
I'm of the opinion that they are damaging the reputation of the Sex Pistols by carrying on and I
still believe they should call it a day once and for all. But I'd say that a very large majority of this
audience at these shows never saw the Pistols live in their prime (I didn't) and
that has always been the enduring attraction of the band, so I can understand
the once high demand to see a piece of history in the flesh.
It's good to see John Lydon has set his sights on other pastures old and began
to focus his recent press attention seeking on reforming Public Image Limited
in the future. His voice these days is sometimes irratating beyond belief and is
better suited to PIL's experimental sonic soundwave anyway.
He's obviously not gonna go away in a hurry, but at least the Sex Pistols cash
in/decline will have ended. Its also good timing on his part as the novelty value
of the Pistols continuous worldwide. The 'Combine Harvester' live experience is
wearing off as they seem to have hit the wall on home turf and are struggling to
sell out the Hammersmith Apollo in London this September.
Anyway less of the grumpy waffling from me, I got a few bottles of ice cold Bud
lined up and Spikey Steve has loaded the dvd player and the entertainment
began with a horrifying start .
The intro music Vera Lyn's nationalistic 'There'll Always Be An England' was
wafting along to frightening scenes from the foyer of the Brixton Academy.
Clive Dunn's 'Grandad' would have been more appropriate as
one by one like the night of the living dead they shuffled into
My heart sank as I watched. Is this what we look like at the punk
gigs these days? A a shiver ran down my spine, my god it was a
really sad sight and time to call it a day I thought, now very
depressed, we're fucking ancient.
If theres one thing I hate about recently recorded punk footage
is wrinkly beer bellied 40/50 + OAPs (Old Age Punks) in ill fitting
retro punk t-shirts with their last few remaining tufts of hair
spiked out and coloured in rainbow shades ...it looks desperate!
And why do old punk punters think.that just because a camera
points at them they have to start trying to jump around
dementedly bringing on a cardiac arrest or the ugly gurning and
giving the V-sign fingers like they're in some grotesque cliched
punk inspired reproduction of Dantes inferno?
Sadly theres quite a few of these relics of a bygone age in this
dvd presentation and that includes the band. Give me the old
stuff its less embarrassing for us old tossers.
Toto we're not in 1977 anymore.
I don't know if it was the drink softening me up but the Sex
Pistols at the Brixton shows filmed over 5 nights were much
better than I expected them to be. They were rock solid and
looked like they were really enjoying themselves as they bulldozed their
way through the 'Bollocks' LP plus those iconic 45's and their b sides.
They were pretty damn good y'all, no compliants from me at all.
For all the techno buffs reading, the sound and vision production is top
quality real state of the art it can't be faulted.
But better was still to come with the dvd extras 'The Knowledge' featuring
the Sex Pistols London documentary in the form of a trip around the
seedy underbelly of the capital in 2008 with the individual Pistols as your
tour guides to places relevant in the bands life story. Its a real laugh and
shows the band in a whole new light as really down to earth guys with a
self depreciating sense of humour, Jonesy, Cookie, Glen and Johnny do
enjoy a laugh at their own expense and deliver here in spades. John as
always whines a bit but you would'nt expect anything else from the
repetitive Mr Rotten would you?
The whole dvd package is great (apart from the dodgey cover) and I would
reccomend it to anyone, its class!
I was getting increasingly jaded regarding the modern day Pistols but I
now have a new found respect and more time for them in July 08 than I've
had for many years prior to watching this excellent dvd last weekend.
DONT MISS! Buy it without hessitation!!!
Joe Donnelly (Belfast) 7th July 2008