I have to admit that I didn’t really know too much about John Lydon when I booked tickets to see him on his UK spoken word tour. When I find out he was coming to Wimborne in Dorset I knew I had to be there, even if I had set off at half-five after work!
John was touring to promote his new book I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right,
I had never been to Wimborne before as it’s a bit of a long drive from where I live by the coast but I was delighted to visit the Tivioli Theatre. Small in stature but big in character, the Tivilio looked fantastic lit up on that cold dark night – a real Art Deco palace that had seen the great and the good over the last century!
As I made my way to my seat, Ihad stop every now and then to marvel the shear sea of people around me. This little theatre was completelty rammed from the entrance to the theatre doors, it was a miracle that the show even started on time so long was the queue.
When I finally took my seat by the front row I was amazed to see such a wide variety of people in the audience, half where dresses in the usual punk regalia: leather jackets, Ramones t-shirts, tartan leggins – the usual cliches! The other were dresses as if they were attending a wedding reception or a Sunday Dinner at the clubhouse. This binary mix of people, young and old, male and female, punks and non-punks, was a real testament to the power of John’s music/
In front of me on the small stage were two chairs, two microphones and a small table. Nothing more was needed – what a great opener!
After a few minutes the great man himself appeared from behind the red curtain to thunderous applause, receiving a standing ovation before he’d even said a word!
From the moment he stpped on stage John treated the audience as if they were old friends who popped round one afternoon. This laid-back informal approach was a real relief to me as I’d been to many book events, including many by musicians, where the whole thing ends up feeling like one big press release performed to a paying audience.
I’m not really interested in going to see an unengaging author and a fawning interviewer going over the same tired questions like actors rehearsing for a play. I want to hear people talk
The premise of the show was that John would be interviewed for the first half of the show and then would answer written questions from the audience (specially made cards were available in the lobby) in the second.