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John Lydon Live
I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right Tour
Tewkesbury Roses Theatre 4th November 2021

John takes the stage to the strains of Johnny Reggae. After his warm welcome he warns us to expect some “foul language” before advising, “there is no such thing as foul language, there’s foul people who tell lies and spread fake news, but words are what separates us from the beasts in the fields. Have you ever heard a cow go ‘moo you fucking cunt?’” An hilarious opening! His words are important, both to him and to us. The human condition underpins his personality and world view, one which centres on community. His life story illustrates this in spades, his childhood experiences creating the man sitting in front of us today.

John in TewkesburyMy review of John’s Crewe show has already touched upon some of the topics covered; Catholic school, piss pots, the BBC (British Buggery Cunts), however as all who’ve attended multiple shows can testify, a life as colourful as John’s ensures there are always new avenues to explore and tales to be told. And there's guaranteed plenty of humour, “our doors were always unlocked (pause) it could be said we had fuck all to steal!”. The light touches are counterbalanced by hardship, both his own and that of the war generation that surrounded him. He recalled the saddest stories came from the women talking about the London blitz - a scene clearly depicted on John’s book cover illustration. In addition, the stories of war told by Italian and German post-war immigrants proved fascinating and this multiculturalism became a strong part of his personalty. He’s keen to point out that it’s vital for the future for us to understand our past. As a result, under the microscope went Karl Marx.

The second part of the show, in which John answers audience questions, began with Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep filling the theatre, followed by an upbeat 50 minutes. The Danny Boyle “on the bum” series got mentioned of course, “it’s like making James Bond without James Bond.” The other regular Q&A topic is Sid. John is still affectionate but can’t resist a bit of wicked humour, “we both got thrown out of school too early, me for asking questions and Sid for not having answers!” There were recollections of the Sex Pistols Huddersfield Christmas Day 1977 kids matinee, “when you see seven year old kids run to the front of the stage and throw Christmas cake at you (during Bodies) you know you’ve hit home proper!” The children understand it better than the adults and he’s right!

An interesting nugget came to light; John bought many records just ‘cos he liked the cover. (I thought only I did that.) This included Alice Cooper's Pretties For You, which had, “the worst painting I’d ever seen in my life. It was so poxy I had to have it!”

Throughout the evening, John’s wife Nora remains never far from the conversation.

The following morning, sat close by at breakfast in the hotel were two couples who’d also attended. I eavesdropped as they swapped their thoughts. “Brilliant”, “humble”, “his roots are very important to him”, “his love for Nora is immense”, “you get to know him”, “what about those old people who told him stories”, and ‘”community”. One chap was particularly thrilled as his question had been answered in the second half of the show. “What was the first record you bought?” It was Kenny Rogers, Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town. With John’s fascination with words and storytelling, it should come as no real surprise. With John, expect the unexpected.

He could be wrong he could be right, yet at the end of the day, it all makes sense. It all comes back to community.

Review by Phil Singleton

Crewe Lyceum >
I Could Be Wrong I Could Be Right

God Save The Sex Pistols ©2021 Phil Singleton /
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God Save the Sex Pistols

God Save The Sex Pistols ©Phil Singleton /