Despite regarding their appearance at Matthew Street Festival a whole 10 years ago as a box well and truly ticked, I seem to keep stumbling across Buzzcocks. And to find them virtually on my doorstep tonight it would’ve been rude not open it and let them in.
The Live Rooms in Chester (along with it’s little brother The Compass) is a gift that just keeps on giving, and the gift takers are here in their hoards. A few are clad in ill fitting leather jackets from a bygone age, others look like they’re here for Ever Fallen In Love before they head back home to their Coldplay collection.
Now well versed in the Buzzcock formula I knew what to expect and they didn’t let anyone down as they hammered their way through that abundance of hit singles (all those 45s!), neatly placed amongst four or five tracks from their latest album ‘The Way’. Notable tracks off there: Chasing Rainbows and People Are Strange Machines, sounding better than they do on the recording.
The very fact there is very little or no material tonight from their post-break up albums (and there’s quite a few of them!) either speaks volumes for the lack of quality songs on those releases, or the need to promote ‘The Way’ and also keep the punters happy with the likes of Boredom, Promises, I Don’t Mind etc.
Steve Diggle’s desire to be Pete Townshend is always a laughable talking point, you wonder whether he’s simply taking the piss or does he actually believe he is. The antics and the stance does piss some people off to point they can’t stand him, but to me he looks like a man who really enjoys his job! Maybe they should change Noise Annoys to Steve Annoys.
Pete Shelley’s appearance is always one to cause murmurs these days, and the adage of growing old gracefully, or disgracefully doesn’t count here as he quite simply couldn’t give a fuck what you think.
Although Shelley and Diggle (who are both sixty years old now!) are the focal point of this band, it has to be said that members of nine years, Chris Remington and Danny Farrant provide a sternly solid rhythm section that really does beef up those thinly recorded (but excellent) pop songs.
Like our previous encounters, this was a smash n grab raid on Chester, there’s no let up, very little interaction with the audience; although that is done during the songs.
Autonomy was the stand out song, along with Nothing Left, played up to date and really thumped along. Talking of thumping, as the band and their followers age, the mosh pit encore was a sight to behold as creaking knees and grey hairs flailed to Orgasm Addict, Ever Fallen In Love and Harmony In My Head.
Notable songs that would’ve been good to hear: Why Can’t I Touch It, Breakdown, Just Lust, Friends Of Mine.