Tonight we went to Public Image Ltd, aka PiL. I got a call out of the blue from Lars, who I know from Bremen in Germany and from hanging out with Carlo van Putten, singer in The Convent and Dead Guitars. A few weeks ago Lars sent me a message after not seeing him for maybe 20 years telling me he was coming to Porto. Yesterday he sent me a message asking if I wanted to go and see Public Image and that he could put me on the guest list. So that’s what I did, Olivia came a little later as she had something on, but we found ourselves hanging with Lars, his daughter Kaya, and Jorge and Xana the promoters (Vítor from the music shop was there too, and Phil from Lush). What was it like?
Well, it was dancey grooves with John doing his shouting over the top, real foot-tapping music with lots of vitriol and swearing, an odd mix really. This Is Not A Love Song (1983) in the set, the Public Image song (1978), and Rise (1986) were the standouts as songs, but as grooves, all the songs worked well. Those more well-known ‘songs’ actually felt like real songs and not just grooves with shouting. There was a definite lack of songs as such, but the spectacle of John with a groove and that unique howl is probably enough. Did you know he had a bodyguard on stage with him at all times called Rambo?
The day had been very wet, I looked out of the window and water was gushing out of the gutter. I was trying to get to the stereo shop to pay them for the NAD cleaning and when I finally did I also visited the second-hand store opposite and bought the armless mannequin with the kool head. They charged me €20 and a tin of coke. I carried the mannequin under my arm to The Archive and set her next to her new mannequin mate. Olivia was off buying a tailor’s torso for €5, so we could put the new T-shirt on it at the upcoming Spanish and Portuguese gigs.
We went out to pick up a new office chair for the studio desk and I made a detour to Chico’s record store to pick up the first Osibisa album (1971) he’d kept for me. I then went to the record store to ask if I could have the PiL poster they had on the door behind the counter as I was going to the gig. I met Olivia and we rolled the chair in its box around on our little trolley. At one point I went to take it upstairs in the lift. The lift door opened and there were three people standing there, all holding their noses. I asked what was going on in Spanish (que pasa?), they just said there’s a terrible smell in here. I didn’t get in, I waited for the other lift, I’m not quite sure why they didn’t get out if it was so bad.