Buzzcocks - The Forum, London
As the first wave of UK punk bands begin to contemplate celebrating their 40th anniversary together in a year or so, it’s refreshing to find some of the genre’s biggest names performing to their largest audiences in decades. Bands like The Damned, Stranglers and Buzzcocks are now connecting with their fans worldwide via social media, creating more of a buzz for their shows throughout the globe.
Numerous retro rockers are also using their online presence to help fund the recording of their latest offerings, including the aforementioned original pop punker’s Buzzcocks via Pledge Music, offering several goodies for fans with deep pockets alongside the usual signed albums and downloads, including Pete Shelley’s own Eastwood Starway guitar and handwritten lyrics to any classic song from the band.
The album The Way has now been released officially, with the four piece taking to the road to play an extensive UK tour, fresh from a decent run of shows in the States, with the group performing around half a dozen new tracks throughout a triumphant set, including ‘Keep On Believing’ and ‘People Are Strange Machines’. While there’s nothing as hook-driven as their classic 70s seven inches on first listen, the songs all seem worthy additions to the band’s catalogue, fitting in nicely between older tracks like ‘Fast Cars’, ‘Nothing Left’ and ‘Noise Annoys’.
The band currently consists of frontmen Steve Diggle and Shelley on vocals and guitar, with Danny Farrant on drums and Chris Remington on bass. As always, the vocals are shared between Pete and Steve, with Mr Shelley tending to concentrate on the music, while Steve happily showboats, throwing a multitude of guitar shapes throughout the evening!
The new tracks seemed to go down well with the Kentish Town community but their huge cheers were mostly reserved for the singles the band are most famous for, with songs like ‘Boredom’, ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Harmony In My Head’ and ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ leading to many a huge Saturday night singalong, proving the band can still tear the roof of a venue all these years down the line.