While the Sex Pistols have never been for me personally my favourite band, either back in the 70’s or now, their recent shows at the Brixton Academy were nevertheless the most important and best gigs of the year. The show on Saturday 10th November was especially fantastic, and, while all five shows of their week long residency at the Academy were filmed by the band’s friend and filmmaker Julien Temple for a DVD that will be released next autumn, it is that particular show that will be the main one of the film.

The impact of the band back in 1976 and 1977 was huge. Everyone hated punks. They were thought of as scum, I saw this at first hand as my best friend then and now was one, and, while he has moved on and wouldn’t even think about seeing bands from his past whereas I would, still is in his musical opinions. He played me every new release by every new wave and punk band ever. I thought the Sex Pistols were the best of the lot. Their music wasn’t punk, although their lyrics, attitude and clothes were. The Pistols were just a great rock n roll band.

2007 sees the 30th anniversary of the release of their debut and only studio album, ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.’ That title alone caused an uproar, with shops refusing to stock it. It started the alternative record scene, alternative labels and the birth of indie, although the Pistols never were indie. Nothing by them was ever released on an indie label. Four of their biggest releases have just come out again on thick heavy vinyl, and ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ has also just seen a re-release.

I wasn't going to these shows which ran from Thursday 8th to Wednesday 14th November, as tickets were a pricey £42.50 exclusive of booking fee each night. As the Sex Pistols ended up announcing gradually more dates and playing five nights instead of the original one, many of the touts, who had bought a lot of tickets to make a quick profit out of them, had trouble getting rid of them and got burnt, A friend of mine had a spare ticket for the Friday night and was offered £10 for his by a tout, so I told him that I would have it for that price. Saturday’s ticket was another tenner too but I had to haggle a bit more to get one at that price with a tout, although some friends waited until the very last minute and got tickets for a mere £5 .

The week's shows featured the original line up of Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Glen Matlock. It was the band's third reunion. They had reformed previously in 1996, and then again in 2002. No mention of Sid was mentioned on the nights that I went.

I wanted to meet the whole band and to get stuff signed which I did. I met John at 5.25 a.m. on the Thursday morning after the last gig of the residency, but he stopped signing before he got to me because someone pushed his bouncer. While Glen Matlock and Paul Cook were happy to sign everything, Steve Jones would only sign between four and six signatures before stopping and I missed out on him as well.

The Sex Pistols came on just after 9.30 p.m. on both nights to Vera Lynn singing ‘There Will Always Be an England.’ John told the audience both times that he was proud he was to be English, but there was a Californian flag on the right hand side of the stage and Steve Jones and he both live there now.

Their set on both nights lasted about 70 minutes with the Saturday show being the slightly longer. All of ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ was played in true ballsy manner with John showing some true showmanship, flashing off his belly to the crowd and slagging off original manager Malcolm McClaren whom like him in 2004 had also entered ‘I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, but had got cold feet and dropped out before even going into the jungle.

On Friday the band opened with ‘Pretty Vacant’ after entering the building through the open back doors as if they had come in from the street, where they turned up individually, each in a chauffeur-driven large black car.

John spent most of the night drinking brandy and spitting it out. ‘Seventeen’ and ‘No Feelings’ followed after which John thanked us for coming, and told us he was proud of us all no matter what colour we were and that if we were born here and were working class then that was cool with him.

‘Satellite’, ‘New York’ and ‘Liar’ were followed by an anti Malcolm rant. John then lead the crowd in a sing-a-long of 'Oh, I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside’ before the band launched into the recent reissued ‘Holidays in the Sun’ to which the crowd went mad.

The Pistols then played ‘Submission’, and then their covers of ‘(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone’ and the Stooges’ ‘No Fun’. The only prop of the night of 8 £1 stamps of the queen was screened on a backdrop at the back of the stage as they launched into the now classic ‘God Save the Queen’.

For the first encore we got ‘E.M.I.’ whom dropped the band after ‘Anarchy in the UK’, which they delivered next , and then for the last encore we got ‘Bodies’. It was the perfect sweaty night.

The following night the Sex Pistols played a very similar set, the main difference being the last encore of a made up jam of ‘Roadrunner’, the Jonathan Richman song.

They are the greatest band of the 70’s if you ask me and are still important in any generation.











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