Gig review: Buzzcocks, O2 ABC, Glasgow

The Buzzcocks. Picture: Contributed
The Buzzcocks. Picture: Contributed
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IT WAS interesting to ponder what Buzzcocks’ two remaining founder members Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle’s younger selves of some 35 years prior might have made of this show.

Buzzcocks

O2 ABC, Glasgow

Star rating: * * *

There would be have been pride, one imagines, in the simple fact of the Bolton-formed band – prime catalysts of the Manchester punk scene of the late 1970s – still going strong when most of their first-wave peers were lucky to last more than a few short gigs. But then, they’d surely have cringed too at the creaky irrelevancy of it all – middle-aged men singing dry-witted songs about unrequited love, loneliness and masturbation.

Taken purely as a nostalgia piece, on the other hand, there was plenty to enjoy as, backed by a younger rhythm section in bassist Chris Remmington and drummer Danny Farrant, Shelley and Diggle – the latter displaying an impressive capacity for cheerily waving to fans between shuddering power chords – crashed through 20 or so numbers in little over an hour at reckless volume. Songs from new album The Way weren’t much to speak of, but whenever Buzzcocks dipped into that deep bag of early singles – I Don’t Mind, Promises, What Do I Get?, Harmony in My Head and more – they couldn’t fail to pull out a classic.

How anyone with a pulse could have failed to feel it race at the sound of Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) was hard to imagine. Less so Buzzcocks’ 1977 debut single and tonight’s closer, snotty ode to self-interference Orgasm Addict, but taken as statement of a punk’s right to grow old disgracefully, it was a point well made.

Seen on 04.10.14