Sex Pistols - "Live: The Broadcast Archives" DVD Review (IMV Blueline) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sex Pistols - "Live: The Broadcast Archives" DVD Review (IMV Blueline)

Sex Pistols - 'Live: The Broadcast Archives' DVD Review (IMV Blueline)As dozens of poorly labeled or incorrectly labeled Sex Pistols' archival releases have hit the market over the last twenty years, it always takes a bit of detective work to figure out exactly what material is covered on any new archival release.

This new DVD from the Sex Pistols, “Live: The Broadcast Archives” (how’s that for a descriptive name?) is a great addition to the band’s catalogue as it captures a full concert from the band on their 1996 Filthy Lucre reunion tour. The show was filmed toward the end of the tour (as opposed to the Filthy Lucre Live CD which captures the band at the start of the tour) at Budokan Hall in Japan on 11/16/1996. This concert was originally released on VHS in Japan and this is a pro-shot, crystal-clear show that is MTV/TV-broadcast quality.

To be honest, I thought we'd be playing to empty halls. I didn't care if no one even came. The aim was to resolve certain issues within the band, which we did. All the old animosities came out. By the end of a nine-month world tour, we knew we really did despise each other." - John Lydon (The Times UK)

For anyone who missed the band’s 1996 tour, this disc captures the experience perfectly. There is no comparison in how the band’s musicianship had improved since their 1978 show at Winterland (the band’s previous concert video). Appearance-wise, Glen Matlock and Paul Cook have aged well but Steve Jones looks like he got lost somewhere on the Sunset Strip and ended up in Tracii Gun’s wardrobe closet. As for Mr Lydon…he has a red and green Mohawk and comes on stage dressed in a Swiss mountain climber’s outfit. While he slips in the occasional zinger (i.e., he pulls a banana out of his trousers during one song and later hands it to the audience, has "A Load of Sex" written on his thigh in what appears to be magic marker and briefly plays with his nipples during the later part of the show), Johnny is actually fairly restrained with his audience baiting as compared to some of the PiL shows that I saw in the 80’s. All-in-all, the Sex Pistols have become a ‘serious’ musical outfit and Matlock and Cook are particularly outstanding.

As the Sex Pistols have just one studio album along with a handful of non-LP singles, the set list on the 1996 tour was 90%+ same each night. At Budokan, the band played:

01. “Bodies”
02. “Seventeen”
03. “New York”
04. “No Feelings”
05. “Did You No Wrong”
06. “God Save the Queen”
07. “Liar”
08. “Satellite”
09. “Steppin Stone”
10. “Submission”
11. “Holidays in the Sun”
12. “Pretty Vacant”
13. “EMI”
14. “Anarchy in the UK”
15. “Problems”

John Lydon closed the Pistols’ final show in 1978 with the now immortal phrase “Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?". In the case of this DVD, I rather enjoyed it.

Sex Pistols