Sex Pistols' Glen Matlock Shares his London Highlights

The ex-bass guitarist in the punk band the Sex Pistols, tells us why he still loves the city he has lived all his life.

Glen Matlock was born in Paddington, northwest London, and became a bass guitarist in the 1970s with punk band the Sex Pistols. His new album, Good to Go, was released in August. He lives in Little Venice.

Liberty, London, UK
The distinctive facade of Liberty, the department store in Carnaby. (©Thinglass/iStock)

What’s your favourite building in London? 

I’m a fan of classic buildings. I’ve just walked past Liberty–I always like having a rummage in there. I like the way the floor squeaks. I like the bridges of London. There’s a bridge where I live in Little Venice–it’s not big or majestic, it’s just a nice Victorian wrought-iron bridge. I like going over it, as normally I’m going somewhere good.

What are your favourite galleries?

I like the National Portrait Gallery. It has my all-time favourite picture in there of Wyndham Lewis [the English painter, who co-founded the Vorticist art movement in the early 1900s]. It’s of him as a tyro–tyro means learner. It’s a self-portrait he made for a magazine called Blast.

Portobello Road Market, London, UK
Discover antiques, bric-a-brac and everything in between at Portobello Road Market in West London. (©Victor Huang/iStock)

What shops do you like?

I’m not big on department stores, though John Lewis is handy. Portobello Road Market is cool.

What are your favourite green spaces?

Holland Park is beautiful. I think we are blessed with that and Regent’s Park, too. They're my two top parks in central London.

Beigel Bake, Brick Lane, London, UK
The all-night Beigel Bake on Brick Lane has been feeding clubbers, cabbies and shoppers for many years. (©Elenachaykina/iStock)

Any place in the capital that holds a special memory?

I like the 24-hour Beigel Bake at the top of Brick Lane. If I’m doing something at The O2, I make a point of coming back that way, driving up Brick Lane and, at about 2:00 am, having a cup of tea and a smoked salmon beigel. You see all sorts in there. 

How does London inspire you?

I’m now 62 and three quarters (don’t tell anyone) and I travel a lot, but I always come back to London and it always changes. It changes all the time! It is hard to be fed up with London.

How do you like travelling?

I’m a Tube bloke. As long as it’s on the Bakerloo line, I’m happy. Now that I’m over 60, I have a free Oyster card and it’s really handy. 

Bar Italia, Soho, London, UK
Bar Italia is a long-standing institution in Soho, busy day and night. (©Kelvin Jay/iStock)

Where do you go for a drink?

I’m not drinking these days. I am an aficionado of coffee bars. You can’t beat sitting outside Bar Italia in Soho and watching the world go by.

What is your favourite entertainment?

I don’t go and watch as many bands as I ought to. When you’re touring a lot, you don’t want to go and do the same thing. I like catching a movie or having a nice meal with friends.

The Wolseley, London, UK
The Wolseley is a grand, European-style cafe serving delicious food and drink all day. (©The Wolseley)

What are your favourite restaurants?

The Wolseley is good! The Red Pepper in Maida Vale does very good modern Italian, too. 

Do you have a favourite London musician?

Ray Davies. He is England’s greatest living songwriter. 

Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
Classical concerts, rock bands and myriad entertainment throughout the year is on stage at The Royal Albert Hall. (©Holgs/iStock)

What are your favourite music venues?

I like the 100 Club very much. It’s been going since 1947 and still owned by the same family. Every 10 years they take the pictures off the wall, paint it the same shade of orange and put the pictures back. I’ve always wanted to play at the London Palladium – that’s good for gigs. The Royal Albert Hall is cool; I’ve played there. 

Tell us about your new album, Good to Go

I recorded the album in upstate New York with some American friends. I think it’s jolly good. It’s a bit of a departure for me: it’s got a rockabilly, skiffle vibe. I think people will either love it or hate it.

What places inspire you?

I think London itself is inspirational, it’s always changing. You can never really know London. I travel a lot, but always come back to the capital and it always changes.