Thursday, May 2, 2019

Like Totally Music Festival spotlight: Public Image Limited

Last year was quite a busy one for Public Image Limited, which is among more than a dozen acts performing at the Like Totally Music Festival in Huntington Beach, Calif. on May 11.

PiL - the influential post-punk band fronted by John Lydon best known for the 1980s and early '90s dance, college and modern rock radio hits "Rise," "Seattle," "Disappointed," "Warrior" and "Don't Ask Me" - put out a career-spanning box set, was the subject of a documentary shown at Tribeca and select theaters and it toured America in 2018. 

I caught a show at the Observatory in Santa Ana and the musicians - Lu Edmonds, Bruce Smith and Scott Firth - sounded tight as ever. That setlist even included "Open Up," Lydon's top 20 UK solo hit from 1993 with electronica outfit Leftfield.

"The Public Image is Rotten" box set is a real treasure trove for diehard fans, available in 5CD/2DVD and 6LP configurations. It encompasses the Singles Collection (1978-2015), B-sides, Rarities and Radio Sessions, 12” Mixes, Unreleased Mixes and Tracks and a Live concert from New York Ritz in July 1989.

The DVD includes PiL promo videos + footage from the BBC’s Top Of The Pops and Old Grey Whistle Test, plus two live concerts. The first is PiL’s appearance at the Tallinn Rock Summer Festival in Estonia 1988 (still part of the USSR at the time) and the second is from 2013’s Enmore Theatre in Australia during the This is PiL tour.

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