Sex Pistols legend Glen Matlock shows his style with the help of Earl Slick

Glen Matlock may be intrinsically linked with the Sex Pistols as the original bassist and co-writer of some of punk's most iconic songs.

Sunday, 26th May 2019, 14:42 pm
Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock performing at The Cluny in Newcastle. Pic: Mick Burgess.

But that would be doing a disservice to his subsequent 40-plus years in the business with the likes of the Rich Kids, The International Swingers, The Damned, Iggy Pop's band, and the briefly reformed Faces with Ronnie Wood, Kenny Jones and Ian McLagan (with Mick Hucknall subbing for an absent Rod Stewart).

Not a bad record - and that's not including his own solo work and his albums with The Philistines.

Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and guitar for hire Earl Slick performing at The Cluny in Newcastle. Pic: Mick Burgess.

Thursday night saw Matlock making a long-awaited return to the region, at The Cluny in Newcastle, along with one of rock's most fabled sidemen, guitarist Earl Slick.

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Slick's credits include several stints with David Bowie - stretching from Station To Station and Young Americans in the 1970s to The Next Day in 2013 - and John Lennon's Double Fantasy opus to name just a couple. If you want a guitarist with the chops and the style, Slick is your man.

Drawing mainly on his recent solo album, Good To Go, Matlock took on acoustic guitar and vocal duties, leaving bass to Jim Lowe, while Chris Musto occupied the drum stool and provided the backbone to the rockabilly of Sexy Beast, the calypso-flavoured Speak Too Soon and the dirty Blues of Wanderlust.

The more ballad-like Piece Of Work lulled the crowd into a false sense of security prior to a cover of Richard Hell's Blank Generation, a song hailed by Matlock as punk's finest moment.

Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and guitar for hire Earl Slick performing at The Cluny in Newcastle. Pic: Mick Burgess.

Matlock's influences came to the fore on a moving tribute to the recently departed Scott Walker on Montague Terrace (In Blue), with Slick providing some smooth harmonies with the E Bow.

It was easy to see why Slick has become such a coveted guitarist by some of rock's biggest names, and he must be one of the coolest cats on the block. With his shades, tilted hat and flowing scarves, intricate, fluid style and some of the dirtiest blues riffs around, Slick is the complete package.

Born Running, with its pumping riff and infectious chorus is as good as anything in Matlock's catalogue but of course he couldn't go without at least one song by THAT band and he duly obliged with a thumping Pretty Vacant, before closing the show with a nod to one of his earliest influences, All Or Nothing by the Small Faces.

Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock performing at The Cluny in Newcastle. Pic: Mick Burgess.
Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock performing at The Cluny in Newcastle. Pic: Mick Burgess.
Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and Earl Slick performing at The Cluny in Newcastle. Pic: Mick Burgess.