Home arrow News & Reviews arrow Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind The Bollocks' 35th Ann. Box Set Launches At London's 100 Club (Event Review)

Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind The Bollocks' 35th Ann. Box Set Launches At London's 100 Club (Event Review)

Thursday, 20 September 2012 Written by Katie Territt
Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind The Bollocks' 35th Ann. Box Set Launch - 100 Club, London - 18th Sept 2012

This year sees the 35th anniversary of the Sex Pistols' seminal and only studio album, 'Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols'. An album which not only catapulted the band to cult status, but also helped spawn the punk movement of the 70's - still an era that has an imprint on many of today's bands and music fans. To celebrate one of the most iconic and influential albums in music history, Universal Music UK have put together a super-deluxe box set release full of rare recordings, special treats and hidden gems to excite the most hardcore of fans. To help celebrate this release, Stereoboard attended a special one-off event at the legendary 100 Club in London on Tuesday 18th September, hosted by a panel of industry names and Sex Pistols insiders.

ImageWith an excited crowd of press, fans and musicians of the era gathered, we were introduced to the evening of 'Anarchy In The UK' with a short documentary film clip of the band before host Pat Gilbert (author and former editor of Mojo) began proceedings by introducing the panel - Bernie Rhodes (former manager of The Clash, Dexy's Midnight Runners & The Specials), Fred Vermorel (author and Pistols biographer), Zoe Howe (music writer and author), John Cooper Clarke (performance "punk" poet), Kate Nash (singer/songwriter) and Julien Temple (film, documentary and music video director).

After a brief clip from the box set of the band performing live in Sweden, the panel began discussions and talked about what impact the Sex Pistols had on each of them. The stories from the early days had a common theme around the band's penchant for stolen goods, with John Cooper Clarke bringing some comedy to the evening with his story telling - "I read a review about them in the back of NME, but when I saw them live they could play like mother fuckers!" Julien Temple recalled coming across the band rehearsing in a warehouse above a pub at the London docks and when asking them if they would consider being in a film, he was met with a simple "fuck off!" Despite the frosty reception, Temple stated "You knew the second you saw them, there was something afoot".

A question about who invented punk moved Bernie Rhodes to one of his many rants of the evening. "Punk was the opposite of what you see here. It wasn't about formality; it was about what needed to be done. Get this record and keep it for your grandchildren." John Cooper Clarke commented, "Punk brought back everything good about fashion and music, the core values. Production values became much higher". At this point, the evening took a more "punk" route, with the crowd getting restless and heckles beginning to be thrown at the panel. A particularly vocal member of the crowd took umbrage to Kate Nash being there, but Kate was on form and simply told him "Go fuck yourself, mate" - a highlight of the evening! The same audience member then took it upon himself to argue with Bernie Rhodes before approaching the stage and offering him a fight - ooh how very "punk"!

A quick change of pace saw a playback of the now infamous Today Show clip with Bill Grundy from 1976, when the Pistols spent the entire interview drunk and swearing - much like the crowd were becoming during the evening! Fred Vermorel got the discussion back on track talking about original Pistols' bassist Glen Matlock - "The problem with Glen was that he was a well educated, middle class young man and he began asking Malcolm (McLaren) questions like 'where's the money?' John Lydon thinks he got rid of Glen. Have you ever realised though that the band didn't write another song after Glen left?" A comment which drew a large applause from the crowd.

As the evening began to wind down, the crowd were treated to an exclusive listen of the 1977 lost demo studio recording of 'Belsen Was A Gas' - another gem to be included in the box set. The controversial song about the concentration camp in Nazi Germany spurred the panel to discuss whether the bands music is still offensive today. Whilst Kate Nash commented that it depends who's listening to it, John Cooper Clarke stated "That was the point. It has to be offensive to someone. It was meant to get up people's noses". Zoe Howe completed the panels’ comments with a simple statement - "The power and potency to shock, that still endures. No one's doing that now"



With an end to the controversy, heckling, old men living in the past and great panel comments, the audience were treated to a full playback of the 35th anniversary release. So what can fans expect from the album aside from the re-mastered original master tapes? Well there are 1977 studio rarities and B-sides, 1977 live recordings, a 1997 live DVD, a hardback 100-page diary full of quotes, rare and unseen photos, and much more. Not to mention a replica of the 'God Save The Queen' 7" single, a promo poster, promo stickers and a copy of handwritten lyrics. Quite a treat for hardcore Sex Pistols fans, albeit an expensive one at just under £100 a pop!

It was clear from the launch event that the Sex Pistols meant a great deal to a lot of people - and that's still evident today with the legacy that they've imprinted in British music. It's just a shame that some of the people in the audience think being "punk" means to be disrespectful, rude and dismissive. Perhaps those people should embrace a different punk ideology - individual freedom, free thought, and damn good music! If that's what you're looking for, then submerse yourself in this re-release by one of Britain's most iconic, controversial and influential bands.

The super deluxe box set of 'Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols' is released on 24th September.



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