This was set to be a special evening, an evening with Glen Matlock – November 2016. Glen Matlock has truly left his mark on the music industry throughout his career. Glen is an English musician and is probably best known for being the bass guitarist in the original line-up of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols. But dig a little deeper than that and you find The Rich Kids, Iggy Pop, The Damned, a reformed Faces, The Philistines and even more.
The event, and that is what I am going to call this as it was so much more than a gig in my view, took place in the Komedia in Brighton on 7 November. It was a cold damp night in Brighton and stepping into a warm candle lit venue came as a welcome surprise. Glen later referred to the bar in Cabaret and how the venue looked like that, and others he had been in whilst spending time in Germany, from the stage. I had to agree. There were lots of people, sitting in the dark, sipping wine in the candlelight. Class.
Glen took to the stage to a warm and appreciative welcome from the crowd. Picked up his acoustic guitar, plugged it in and greeted us with “evenin’ great to be here in this cracking venue, everyone alright?” and we were off.
Glen Matlock: The stories…
I am giving away no spoilers, I am not going to retell the many stories that Glen furnished us with, but the names of those he has worked with and knows included Bowie, Ronson, Spedding, Hucknall, Faces and of course the Sex Pistols. To hear these live memoirs – you will have to go grab a ticket and hear them from the man himself. The stories that unfolded at times were hilarious and sometimes tinged with sadness for friends he has lost. And then there was the music…
Glen Matlock: The Music…
I am not going to spoil things with a full set list, you are going to have to find that out for yourself, sorry! I can say that Glen did some of his music, an unexpected Bowie track which had everyone joining in. We had some Philistines material, and a quick blast of Motorbikin’ at mention of Chris Spedding!
God Save The Queen
Glen asked the audience to provide the percussion for the next song and he demonstrated what he wanted us to do. Now I have seen other artists try to do this and fail, but not tonight everyone wanted to take part in this event. Nicely done Glen, he had us eating out of the palm of his hand! Once the audience had the “percussion” going Glen started on the guitar – “We love our Queen” he shouted smiling from ear to ear, and then we all realised we were supplying the backing to God Save The Queen. Glen spotted me with my camera – “put the camera down” he said, or words to that effect “plenty of time for photos later”. I obeyed and supplied my input to one of the most iconic songs of all time, with the legend that is Glen Matlock. It felt great to be a part of it.
Something old, something borrowed, something blues…
We were given a Springsteen song, a Monkees song, and a truly mesmerising version of The Price of Love. I cannot divulge just how many songs, or what they were, but we had slow songs, some blues, some all out rockers and of course something Pistols! We were treated to two or three songs per session and then Glen would stop and rest his hands on his guitar to chat. We all felt we were chatting with a neighbour over the garden fence. It really was quite extraordinary how he broke the invisible barrier that can exist between a performer and the audience. This was quite a nice spacious venue and with the height of the stage everyone had a great view and felt close.
We’re so pretty…
Glen introduced a “little song” which led us into Pretty Vacant in Glens own unique style. Again Glen had us providing backing, the chorus and how could I forget the “We dont careeeeee – ah!” A fabulous rendition which everyone again got involved with.
Glen put in a 1hour 40 minute performance, and I think he would have carried on if he could. I know everyone in the audience could have had more!
Looking back in the morning after the night before this is one of the “events” of the year for me! I loved every second, the stories, the names, the shared memories and a set of blistering guitar and songs all delivered with a passion and intensity I have not seen before. And to be able to meet up with him afterwards was just incredible. Thank you Glen, a great night, a great performance, and a night I will always remember with smile.
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