The Buzzcocks performing their ‘The Way’ Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Thursday 2nd October 2014.
Review by Kevin Cooper
There’s nothing like a good blast of vintage punk rock on a Thursday night and that is just what The Buzzcocks delivered to their fans at Rock City.
The band, which has had countless line-up changes now features founding guitarist and singer, Pete Shelley and long-time guitarist Steve Diggle along with new additions Chris Remmington on bass and Danny Farrant on drums, are currently touring to promote their latest album, The Way.
Whilst Shelley really could not have been as disinterested as he looked, Diggle was a barely contained ball of energy, prancing, pointing and wind-milling in prime Pete Townsend fashion. You would have thought that after playing these songs for over 37 years, they would get used to it, but they seemed as excited as the audience as they opened with Boredom from their highly influential 1977 debut EP, Spiral Scratch.
Hitting the ground running, the quartet rammed through over 20 songs from their rich songbook at a break neck pace that belied their age, including venerable favourites like Fast Cars, I Don’t Mind, Autonomy and Noise Annoys. The Buzzcocks sounded as fresh as a daisy; their material positively vibrant and their music was loud and heavy.
The new material dominated the middle section, and there was perhaps an inevitable lull, but People Are Strange Machines was surprisingly solid, as where other numbers; Keep On Believing and Saving Yourself.
A final classic six song salvo ended the set which included What Do I Get? and Diggle’s Harmony In My Head which incorporated age defying jumps and sharp, high octane guitar hooks that can send the crowd spinning uncontrollably before finishing with Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve Fallen In Love With).
I suppose it’s far too late for The Buzzcocks to become fashionable again, but when you see a performance like this, and realise just how contemporary much of their music still sounds, you can’t help thinking that they deserve a little better than the footnote in the history of rock and roll that they seem doomed to occupy. This current tour is extends into most of October so why not go and see them and make your own mind up.