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Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols

Glen Matlock Band (support to Stiff Little Fingers)

Academy, Manchester
22nd March 2024

Academy, Manchester, 22nd March 2024

It's always a pleasure watching Glen's band live. Great musicians, top songs and of course, the raconteur that is Glen himself out front. I know how good they are, so it's the opinions of those experiencing the band for the first time that really matter. The Academy was packed. Stiff Little Fingers have remained immensely popular over the years and the majority of punters had thankfully arrived before the start of Glen's set.

Won't Put The Breaks On Me, an urgent rocker from his 2018 album Good To Go, kicked off proceedings. Drummer Chris Musto and guitarist Neal X played on the studio recording so it seemed a fitting way to start. Five of the songs performed were from last year's Consequences Coming, a record he's rightly proud of. Both the title track and Can't Be Myself With You illustrated Glen's musical spectrum and were on-point, as was Constant Craving which had an enjoyable doo-wop vibe tonight. However, it was Magic Carpet Ride that really hit the spot for me as the buoyant rhythm section of Jim Lowe and Chris dovetailed perfectly with Neal's cut glass guitar sound and Glen's confident showmanship.

Glen dipped into his back catalogue for Whose Side Are You On. It may be 20 years since his On Something LP, but the track is even more relevant in today's political climate. It was a track I loved back in the day so a live outing is always welcome, especially with the meaty musicianship giving it some rock 'n' roll umph.

In recent times Glen has incorporated Richard Hell's Blank Generation into his set and it's taken on a life of its own with audience participation giving it a fun Stray Cats feel. It's a hit with the crowd as of course is the song it inspired, Pretty Vacant. This is guaranteed a fabulous reception, but the response to the rest of the 11 songs was just as strong as was proved by the closing powerhouse Head On A Stick. Glen remarked he would like to see a few heads on sticks in this country.

As I alluded to, it is not so much my opinion that's important. Post gig eaves dropping gives a better indication of how it went down in Manchester. It was all good, all positive. Glen picked up many new fans tonight. One final point, his band are amazing, Chris, Jim and Neal, hats off.

Review & picture by Phil Singleton

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