Classic Rock

Generation Sex


Los Angeles The Roxy Generation X-heavy set from veteran punk swindlers.

The news seemed to come out of nowhere: a free concert featuring Billy Idol and Tony James of Generation X and Steve Jones and Paul

Cook of the Sex Pistols, with tickets to be dished out via a lottery on the day of the show. It had the buzz of an event rather than a simple gig. And so it proves at The Roxy tonight.

The set-list is divided equally between Generation X classics, and tunes from the Pistols’ much-maligned Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle soundtrack. There is nothing from Never Mind The Bollocks, but the opportunit­ies to hear these guys perform songs like Silly Thing and No One Is Innocent, plus Ready Steady Go and King Rocker, are rare and to be embraced.

The faces might be a tad leathery and the songs less than completely polished, but there is a joyous, even youthful energy on display from four old friends who are essentiall­y hosting a public jam session. So any mistakes are to be forgiven, although how Idol managed to cock up the words to his own Dancing With Myself, a song he’s performed countless times, remains something of a mystery.

The set concludes with a rendition of Sinatra’s My Way, with Idol doing an appropriat­ely sloppy job of standing in for Sid Vicious, and the refrain holding true for all involved.

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