Technical Ineptitude

As I said when I started, I’m still trying to get the hang of this blogging malarkey. I know the links don’t work. I’ve been struggling getting to grips with mediafire and embedding and URLs and various different technical blah-de-blahs. As soon as I figure it out I’ll sort out the links. It’s driving me potty at the moment to be honest but I’m enjoying the other bits. Apologies etc


On the Saturday before Christmas I went to see PiL at Manchester Academy. I was in two minds about this from the moment I first read about the tour. No Jah Wobble, no Keith Levene (they can’t stand each other apparently). Also, I wasn’t sure whether Lydon would be the slightly pantomime figure of the Sex Pistols re-unions and the butter advert. They came on and played Public Image, hard, fast, great bass playing. Lydon then abused a beer thrower to such an extent no more beer was thrown throughout the 2 hours of the gig. Poptones, Death Disco, Careering, This is Not A Love Song all followed, all fantastic. It went on a bit too long in the middle, but was enlivened by Lydon swilling from a bottle of wine and then spitting into a kitchen bin between songs. ‘I’m 53, singing for 2 hours plus and fighting off various infections’ was the explanation. They encored with Rise and Open Up, after a frightening set closer of Religion. ‘Public Image Limited’ he told us, ‘Serious facking music for serious facking people’. All in all, a re-union to be proud of.

I met Lydon in 1995. On honeymoon, on a barge moored by Regent’s Park in London myself and my then-new wife Mrs Swiss, went into central London for a drink. We went into The George on Wardour Street, and sitting with largish group of men was John Lydon. We took a seat near the toilets (nice) and when his bladder could take no more lager he finally visited the men’s. On his way back to his seat I ambushed the punk rock legend with a camera. He obliged, and asked what we were doing in London. On hearing it was our honeymoon, he blessed our marriage (!) and accosted a passerby to photograph the 3 of us. My favourite wedding photo.

mp3: Careering (Peel Session)

Rowland S Howard 1959-2009

Rowland S Howard was the guitarist with The Birthday Party, and before that The Boys Next Door. He joined Nick Cave and Mick Harvey, and aged 17 had already written Shivers, the underground Oz-rock classic. After The Birthday Party split, amid chaos, vomiting and drugs, he drifted around fronting the odd band (These Immortal Souls) and released some solo lps (Teenage Snuff Movie in 2000 and Popcrimes in 2009). By the time Popcrimes was released Rowland was suffering from liver cancer and waiting for a transplant. He died on December 30th. He was a unique guitarist, songwriter and singer- and he could record a decent cover as well. On Teenage Snuff Movie he did White Wedding (yes, that White Wedding) and here for you to download Talk Talk’s Life’s What You Make It (given some grim irony by his state of health, I guess)

mp3: Life’s What You Make It