There'll Always Be an England: Live From Brixton Academy (Fremantle Media)
Reviewed by Daniel Mee, Fri., Dec. 26, 2008
Sex PistolsThere'll Always Be an England: Live From Brixton Academy (Fremantle Media)
Sex Pistols videographer by way of 1980's The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and 2000 documentary The Filth and the Fury, Julien Temple shot this 30th anniversary concert celebration of the group's sole studio album Never Mind the Bollocks. The main feature, a cut-to-bits show at London's Brixton Academy in 2007, is augmented by a stupefying 97 minutes of the band wandering around London reminiscing. The performance serves as a kind of victory lap, and the Pistols deserve it, in a way. Temple captures an innocuous rebelliousness in the crowd that demonstrates how far the punk aesthetic has permeated into mainstream culture, but who wants to watch the Sex Pistols play for an hour? The parts of their notoriously thin corpus that have stood up can only support about half that, and the impudent, athletic sex appeal of their youth is long gone. What this disc documents is the sad fact that the men have matured and left their music behind.