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Punk's enfant terrible to headline at Split.

JOHN Lydon, who as Johnny Rotten led the punk music revolution of the 1970s, is to headline next month's Split Festival in Sunderland.

Returning to the North East just weeks after a successful gig at the Newcastle 02 Academy, Lydon's Public Image Ltd will bring the festival's Saturday programme to a close on September 22.

News of the Sunderland date was released yesterday - too late for inclusion in Culture magazine which is published free in The Journal today.

The magazine also went to press just before it was announced that indie band The Cribs would not, after all, be among the Split Festival headliners.

Split Festival's Barry Hyde said: "Finalising the line-up for Split this year has been a challenge, to say the least. We've had some dead ends and some red herrings, long shots and near misses. But finally we've managed to get a band we would never have dreamed of.

"Split is bringing a Sex Pistol to Sunderland ... THE Sex Pistol! It's a punk rock miracle and we are very excited."

Lydon, as Johnny Rotten, was rock music's enfant terrible of the late 1970s, riding in the vanguard of a musical revolution which saw expensively-produced concept albums overshadowed by cheap and fast singles created by young men with attitude and safety pins.

The Sex Pistols blazed brightly and outrageously - but briefly.

Lydon, interviewed for these pages ahead of the Newcastle gig, formed Public Image Ltd in 1978 and their Metal Box album is listed in Rolling Stone magazine's greatest albums of all time. After a long spell out of the spotlight, the band made a successful return this summer with a UK tour and a string of European festival appearances.

Their date at the Split Festival, at Sunderland's Ashbrooke Sports Club, will precede a 20-date American tour.

Split music programme Ross Millard, of The Futureheads - who is interviewed in Culture magazine - said yesterday he was excited about the landing of a punk icon.

"Having Public Image Ltd at Split Festival is a huge coup for us because the band are iconic and hugely influential, have integrity and a huge fan base," he said.

"This year Split Festival can boast not only a great frontman but also a genuine superstar."

He also welcomed the addition to the programme of Pulled Apart by Horses who went down a storm at Leeds Festival just days ago.

"Pulled Apart By Horses are a great addition for us as they are one of the most exciting new rock bands in Britain.

"They're capping a hugely busy summer with their performance at Split and the amount of radio play they get will mean that there are sure to be some mass singalongs in the main tent."

Another music icon is to perform in Sunderland in September, as you will see in Culture magazine.

Our September cover , featuring multiple images of Dave Stewart celebrates the Wearside-born musician's forthcoming gig at the Empire Theatre next Monday and the simultaneous launch of new album The Ringmaster General.

Read an interview with the former Eurythmics star in The Journal tomorrow on the daily Culture pages.


STAGE Ashbrooke Sports Club, Sunderland, is the Split Festival venue ICONIC John Lydon and Public Image Ltd will headline the Split Festival
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 28, 2012
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