For many teenagers back in the late 70’s The Buzzcocks provided a more acceptable entry to the punk rock/ new wave music scene than some of the more anarchic bands , their songs were about every day teenage angst ridden subjects…love bites, crushes, girlfriends, boyfriends things that most could relate to. In a badge driven scene they had a whole series of badges themed round the son ‘What Do I Get’ that donned the lapels of every plastic punk in the land… Their song ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ is up there with Anarchy In The UK as one of the most played punk songs ever and has been featured in numerous adverts and has been covered dozens of times..
Now some 35 years on with only two of the original band remaining… Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle make their way to Glasgow’s O2 ABC in an effort to punt their new album ‘The Way’ or will it turn into a nostalgia trip for a hall full of middle aged former punks……
A ridiculously earl start of 8:30pm meant a good couple of hundred fans missed the start of a very long set that was scheduled to last two hours, Diggle and Shelley joined on stage by bassist Chris Remmington and drummer Danny Farrant and open with what can only be described as their signature song ‘Boredom’. A shiver ran up my spine as hundreds of bodies started to jump up and down in a vain attempt to pogo and made me forget the decades that had passed since I first heard The Buzzcocks. ‘Fast Cars’ and ‘I Don’t Mind’ followed in quick succession before the first song from ‘The Way’ was introduced to the baying masses. ‘Keep On Believing’ seemed a bit lost on the crowd and I’m sure many of them hadn’t a clue it was new material! Lost in the set were a further five songs from the new album ‘People Are Strange Machines’ (which I loved) ‘The Way’, Third Dimension’, ‘Chasing Rainbows/Modern Times and ‘Its Not You’ all played with a renewed vigor from the band but met with a tepid reception from the crowd…a pity really because its good stuff.
Of course the roof was raised when the classics put in an appearance…’Autonomy’, ‘What Do I Get’, ‘You Say You Don’t Love Me’, ‘Promises’ my favourite Diggle song ‘Harmony In My Head’, Ever Fallen In Love’ and ‘Orgasm Addict’ all received with the mentalness* of a Scottish audience but played with a slightly dry efficiency from Shelley and Diggle who seemed to be going through the motions a little…I supposed which can only be expected if you take into account the amount of times they have played them
Never the less a great gig from the Punk stalwarts and job done
*Non existing word but describes the audience perfectly
Pix © Westy