THEY’RE regarded as one of the most influential bands in punk, in Manchester, in Britain and, by some, in the whole world of popular music.
And they were back in York to play a packed-out Fibbers in the middle of their 40th anniversary world tour, 36 gigs in 78 days, in Germany, USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, France and Russia.
Buzzcocks, with main protagonists Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle - who have remained since the early days of sharing stages with the Sex Pistols in punk’s original golden era – leading the way, rattled through their hits and album favourites.
Short, power-packed, rapid-fire, edgy rock pop. Twenty-one songs in one hour ten minutes, including a fittingly brief intermission for a quick change of T-shirt before the encore. There was very little if any pauses between tracks, the guitar noise from one having hardly faded before the drums prompted the next. Fibbers was suitably hot and sweaty.
Fast Cars came early, the wonderful drum-laden Moving Away From The Pulsebeat – one of their longer tracks - was superb in mid-set, the cracking Noise Annoys came later, with the fittingly entitled Time’s Up finishing the main set.
Given they hadn’t played their biggest songs of all made it obvious an encore was to follow.
What Do I Get? duly had the audience – including enough folk of a younger generation to suggest Buzzcocks’ sound transcends ages – bouncing again, singing along with gusto.
Orgasm Addict followed and then came arguably their standout ultra-famous track Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve). Hearing them play this live should be on most music fans’ bucket lists.
It ended with 1979 hit Harmony In My Head. Diggle gave the crowd the chance to sing along – York’s moody punk fans probably weren’t the most willing of this tour – but it all still ended with a rousing finale fit for a rousing band.