Northern Soul

Cocks o’ the North

August 14, 2013 Bands & Gigs Comments Off on Cocks o’ the North
Buzzcocks pic

When a band kicks off its set with a piece of indolent pop perfection like Boredom, you know they must have tons of classics tucked up their sleeves.

Anyone who has a copy of Singles Going Steady is well aware that Mancunian punk legends Buzzcocks had a purple patch in the late 70s when they were Britain’s best pop band. So even if Boredom is the soundtrack to the latest Sainsbury’s ad, who could begrudge these punk veterans adding a few quid to their pension fund? Certainly no one in the audience at a rare intimate show in a very sweaty Trades Club in Hebden Bridge.

It was good to see some youngsters in the crowd who weren’t even born when Buzzcocks started off. As the band launched into the sublime Fast Cars, proving that their album tracks were as good as their singles, it wasn’t long before early hit I Don’t Mind earned the first big cheer of the night; although the gaggle of ageing punks was probably quite surprised that these days it is guitarist Steve Diggle’s show (Diggle kicked, jumped and strutted his way round the stage). The diminutive Pete Shelley contented himself with standing centre stage, belting out his sardonic words with only the occasional raised eyebrow to show he cared.

In an ideal world we’d just get the singles and B-sides back to back, but Autonomy, Fiction romance and Noise Annoys were a decent taster for what was to come.

Buzzcocks ended with a run that kicked off with Promises, Love You More, What Do I Get?, Diggle’s masterpiece Harmony In My Head, the utterly timeless Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve), the ever filthy Orgasm Addict and ended with the harsh Oh Shit. You will not see a better ending to a gig anywhere on the planet than that 20 minute burst of sheer, unadulterated genius.

In many ways Buzzcocks are now their own tribute band. But that is no bad thing when your back catalogue is this good and you are still capable of driving middle-aged men and women to create an impromptu – if slightly arthritic –  mosh pit as they replay their mis-spent youth.

Review by Paul Clarke

 

BuzzcocksWhat: Buzzcocks

Where: The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

When: August 10, 2013

More infohttp://thetradesclub.com/

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