- New York, Great Gildersleeves, USA
22nd April 1980
5. PUBLIC IMAGE
9. BAD BABY
12. PUBLIC IMAGE
65.57 minutes (approx)
(8) Quality Audience Recording
Tape Gradings Explained here
review by Scott M
Previously, only 5 songs taken from video footage existed. This audio recording – which surfaced via the internet in late 2007 – features the FULL show. Apparently the mastertape was recorded by "Grape", who also recorded the infamous Sid Vicious 1978 Max's Kansas shows.
For more info on the Gildersleeves show (and video footage) read the Fodderstompf gig review.
Mainly thanks to the Paul Dougherty video tape, this gig has become something of a PiL legend. The video film, of course, is only a five song edit. This recently discovered audio recording – recorded from a different source – features the full gig for the first time.
Gildersleeves has its own unique place in PiL history (for more information read the Fodderstompf gig review), and has even been hailed by band members as one of the best shows they ever played. Therefore, it's great to hear the whole show. Finally.
Although it's an above average audience recording from the 1980 shows, that doesn't say a whole lot, given that so many recordings are poor-ish (LA apart). It's boomy and bass-heavy. Probably on a par with the Palladium upgrades. The guitar is tinny and the vocals thin, but still more than listenable. There's no cassette hiss, so no doubt the Dolby has been over-used at some point. Which probably explains the muddiness.
Thankfully there are very few blemishes; only some small cuts after 'Low Life' & 'Fodderstompf'.
It's slightly strange listening to something you are so visually familiar with, if only in part. 'Bad Baby' doesn't seem the same without the disco dancer! 'Another' is still a stand out, as is 'Bad Baby'. 'Careering' & 'Memories' – which John remarks is about Nora – are other strong tracks. To be honest, it's all good. Even the ramshackle – 2nd verse first – version of 'Public Image' has its merits, Keith's guitar sounds on its last legs!
Whether or not this is the best show the band ever played is subjective. I feel they at least matched it at other shows, (again, LA springs to mind), but it's certainly a strong performance; and very entertaining. John is in good form, and the band sound relaxed. There is always the feeling this line-up never reached its full potential, probably not. But they were still light years ahead of the rest…
If only we had a full video…