Glen Matlock: I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol

One of the founding members of the Sex Pistols and co-writer of most of their iconic songs, Glen Matlock has arrived at the Edinburgh Festival for one week only for an evening that’s part-gig and part spoken biography. Matlock tells of his life as a broke teenager, how he originally bluffed his way into the band that would become the iconic Sex Pistols and why he left them.

It’s a funny and fascinating evening with some cracking songs from an enigmatic and long-lasting icon in British music.

He sings a good selection of songs from his long standing career with a variety of rock, punk and bluesy sounds. There’s the Pistol’s greats; God Save the Queen and Pretty Vacant and a great performance of Ambition from the album Soldier with Iggy Pop. He also does great covers of the Kinks’ Dead End Street and The Monkees’ (I’m not) Your Steppin’ Stone. The songs are sung with vigour and the former Sex Pistol has a relaxed and confident style. When it’s all done Matlock leaves the stage and stays to sign and sell CDs and copies of his autobiography and get pictures with the fans.

It’s a great show that’s electric when Matlock sings and is funny and fascinating when he’s talking. But if you’re expecting a recreation of the loud punk sounds of the Sex Pistols, you may be a little disappointed. Matlock’s style is very relaxed and much more rock than punk.While he sings and performs with gusto, when it comes to the Pistols’ songs, he doesn’t have the roar vocal quality of Pistols’ frontman, Johnny Rotten. But that doesn’t stop the songs popping or the audience enjoying themselves and when Matlock performs his favorites, the atmosphere is electric. After all, this is not just about the Sex Pistols, nor is it just a gig; it’s a funny and fascinating evening with some cracking songs from an enigmatic and long-lasting icon in British music. 

Reviews by Dave House

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The Blurb

Glen was a founding member of the Sex Pistols and co-wrote most of their iconic songs. This is his personal tale of how the band formed, exploded onto the music scene worldwide and then disintegrated. A tale of growing up in a London long lost, of meetings with remarkable people, many of them now iconic characters who form part of the mythology of the original British (and American) Punk movement. From would-be impresarios Malcolm McLaren and Bernie Rhodes to dodgy geezers and unreliable roadies, Glen's story is told with wit and gusto.