Home Live Review Snapshots: Public Image Ltd. @ Black Cat — 10/12/18

Snapshots: Public Image Ltd. @ Black Cat — 10/12/18


John Lydon fronts PiL at Black Cat on Oct. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

Public Image Ltd., or PiL, released a career-spanning box set, The Public Image Is Rotten (Songs from the Heart), in July via Virgin Records. And John Lydon and his crew performed some of those greatest songs at the Black Cat on Friday. Jason Nicholson captured the show on film!

John and company have been no strangers to DC, performing at 9:30 Club and U Street Music Hall in recent years. The band currently consists of John and a lineup he solidified in 2009 with drummer Bruce Smith, guitarist Lu Edmonds, and bassist Scott Firth.

Stream The Public Image Is Rotten (Songs from the Heart) by Public Image Ltd. on Spotify:

The setlist covered the span of PiL’s catalog, but What the World Needs Now, recorded by the current PiL quartet in 2015, emerged as favored in the concert with four selections, including “I’m Not Satisfied” and “Shoom.”


Deeper Water
The Body
The One
Death Disco
I’m Not Satisfied
Flowers of Romance
This Is Not a Love Song


Public Image
Open Up (Leftfield cover)

As part of PiL’s overall 40th anniversary celebration, John Lydon and others participated in a documentary, also titled The Public Image Is Rotten. The documentary will screen locally at Landmark Theatres E Street Cinema on Oct. 29 only.

The film tracks how John kept PiL alive ever since the breakup of the Sex Pistols, “through personnel and stylistic changes, fighting to constantly reinvent new ways of approaching music, while adhering to radical ideals of artistic integrity,” according to the documentary’s description. Former and current bandmates, as well as fellow icons like Flea, Ad-Rock, and Thurston Moore, add testimony to electrifying archival footage (including stills and audio).

Catch the movie at Landmark Theatres E Street Cinema on Monday, Oct. 29, at 7pm. Buy your tickets online.

Here are some pictures of PiL performing at the Black Cat on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of Jason Nicholson.

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