Having just recently logged a show where dredging up tunes of a bandtime gone by happened to happen, I don’t think I could be very pious on the subject of rehashing old band tunes from times gone by. But, I was never in Public Image, Ltd. Why those few songs on the first couple of PiL albums have endured so well is seriously some type of a mystery. They are really, really good. So very much enduring that they beg the question, why? So, here we see Jah Wobble and Keith Levene together on stage for the first time in something like 20 years (last seen together for some On U Sound/Dub Syndicate shows, and last playing these songs in PiL some thirty years ago). I was trying hard to give the 2009 recordings of the current touring version of PiL a listen.. And, frankly, it was not very good. No idea how much better or not that band is now. This document of Levene and Wobble getting back together (for whatever reason – something that seemed very unlikely going by what’s in Wobble’s autobiography) with all its flubs and oddness… feels a bit more.. I don’t know.. authentic.
UPDATE: Jah Wobble had the following to say on Thursday, November 18 via his Yahoo Group:
I found the experience quite spooky…which too be honest is exactly what I wanted, when I requested the presence of Keith and ‘the singer’ at the musicport festival, where I did a gig with The Nippon Dub ensemble. Occasionally, during the three songs that we performed, I would glance up at Keith and ‘John’… my God it felt strange. I felt like the geezer in Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” who gets visitations from people, such as his wife, as they were many years before. I love the long taxi scene, (filmed if memory serves me well in Tokyo), when he (the geezer) sits there quietly alongside his dead son. That scene probably rivals that long continuous shot at the front of that Orson Wells picture set in Mexico… [A Touch of Evil], in regard to the (long) space between edits. I think it (the taxi scene) is the spookiest scene ever in a movie.
The singer Nathan is a good bloke. He hails from Wrexham and is a follower of Liverpool football club. This predilection is due to his cousin Joey Jones, the former Welsh international full back , who wore with great distinction the red of Liverpool a couple of decades ago. I put off talking to Nathan for quite a while after the show because I didn’t want to shatter the spookily enjoyable effect.
Anyway for me it was much more fun doing that as opposed to actually reforming the original line up of pil.