|Glen Matlock "Barry Cain Presents"
Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
August 5th 2017
author of the astonishingly brilliant 77 Sulphate Strip, hosted a
number of artists over the weekend of the festival. On Saturday
afternoon Glen was Barry's special guest. The format - interview
followed by acoustic set - was refreshing and gave some of us a
breather from the frantic nature of the Rebellion experience.
Barry lived the punk revolution first hand, which gives him a distinct
advantage as an interviewer; he's much more than a mere historian. He
kept his questioning to the keys points surrounding Glen's Pistols days
with an emphasis on the songwriting dynamic within the band. Hardcore
fans may be familiar with some aspects but there were many present who
were seeing and hearing Glen talk and play live for the first time. And
of course, there's always something you've not heard before.
With the chatting done, Glen put on his guitar and, with plenty more
anecdotes thrown in along the way, performed his good-natured and
insightful acoustic set. In amongst the nuggets, he surprisingly
revealed he felt Iggy Pop could have made a better job with his cover
of his song Ambition. It illustrates how the perception of a song in
the writer's mind can be different to how it's interpreted by others,
even by one as mighty as Iggy.
Pistols favourites God Save The Queen and Pretty Vacant have to be
included in any journey through Glen's catalogue, as do Rich Kids
favourites, Burning Sounds (first song written after leaving the
Pistols), and Ghosts Of Princes In Towers (with its journalistic
origins). Glen may be able to perform these in his sleep but he's fully
switched on and alert, connecting with the crowd throughout. It's fair
to say Stepping Stone now belongs as much to the Pistols as it does to
The Monkees and Glen's version is a collision of the two, with an
emphasis on the fast 'difficult section' of the song ironically avoided
by the Pistols!
On a personal note, Somewhere Somehow and A Different World always hit
the spot - both are unerringly emotional compositions infused with a
mixture of self-examination and exploration. Sexy Beast shifts the
crowd participation up a gear - if you don't have a sense of rhythm
before a Glen show, you will have the building blocks for one by the
time it's over. You try not clapping your hands. Impossible.
Blank Generation has cemented itself into Glen's recent live sets, and
is an open acknowledgement of the song's importance and influence both
on himself and punk rock. Glen wraps up proceedings with one of the
great songs of the 60's, All Or Nothing. The song is so important to
Glen in shaping and inspiring him, the raw passion in his performance
An entertaining, feel good show smack bang in the middle of Rebellion,
performed by a Sex Pistol. As Barry Cain remarked in his introduction,
there is a Sex Pistol here. Pretty amazing when you think about it.
pictures by Phil Singleton