Crowds at Electric Picnic weekend spoiled Rotten, writes Alison Lee.
It has been said that the Sex Pistols are awful live, but it’s hard to believe. It’s much more rational to believe that those who say such things are just cynics who have never even bought a Pistols album. But after their cringeworthy performance last Sunday at Electric Picnic, it must be said that the cynics are right.
The music can’t be faulted, although it would be difficult to mess up songs as simple as The Pistols’. It was the “bantering with the audience” part that really saw poor Johnny Rotten (dressed in a costume somewhat resembling a leafy shrub) embarrass himself. Gems of wisdom such as “all governments in the world are your enemies” and “hands up who thinks George Bush should be in Iraq” may have raised a cheer back in the day, but made festival-goers at Stradbally look at each other in bewilderment, wondering how exactly to respond.
Some retaliated by hurling beer cans and glasses at the stage, whereupon Rotten and co. walked off after telling the culprit, in no uncertain terms, what a “fucking wanker” he was. This happened not once but twice, and was accompanied by a barrage of curses from Rotten, who seemed to be the only band member who cared to interact with the audience. “Know who your enemy is… and its not me” were his words to the second offender. The problem was hardly that the inebriated concert-goer considered Johnny Rotten his arch-nemesis- the problem was Johnny Rotten was frankly being an idiot.
The set was supposed to last an hour and a half but considering their repetoire isn’t exactly huge they added a cover of ‘Minor Threat’ and dragged ‘Anarchy In The UK’ out for a painful ten minutes. The crowd had dwindled considerably by the time the gig came to a welcome close.
It was sad to see how one of the most famous punk outfits in history has gone so downhill. There was zero interaction between band members- it was painfully obvious that they were there for the paycheck and nothing else. “You thought we were just faking, we were just money-making” sings Rotten in the Pistols’ song ‘Emi’. Thanks Johnny, you took the words right out of my mouth.