Buzzcocks are one of the classic bands – they took punk out of London and gave it to the world and they also invited the modern notion of DIY- and they wrote genius pop songs…
Chris : Buzzcocks were really good. I liked them because they were so Marks and Spencers. They looked like they couldn’t get the clothes. When I saw them (Bournemouth Winter Gardens Nov 7th 1978) they played most of the stuff that went onto their debut album, Another Music In A Different Kitchen, which was, of course, another really good album from the time and later on there was, of course, Ever Fallen In Love – which is probably one of the greatest pop songs ever.
By the time they got onto their second album with singles like Promises they were pure pop. Harmony In My Head is still fantastic though and that was their last hit for me. It was still quite rocky but even after Love Bites they were still good.
I did see them later on when they played many years later and this would be one of my top gigs. It was a gig in Southsea in Portsmouth and Buzzcocks were set to play. They played their set and it was at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and the sun was shining and I need to see a band at night really. It never feels right to see a band during the day. It’s like going to the cinema in the morning! and for me it just doesn’t work. They went off after the set and they had not played Ever Fallen In Love so when they came back on everyone was waiting for it and then the PA went down! So what Pete Shelley did was that he got one of the mics and sat on a chair and bent the mic down to the acoustic guitar and then did an acoustic version of the song. And I nearly wept! I had tears in my eyes because the expectation had been massive because everyone had gone to see them play that song and the disappointment when the PA had gone down was palpable because they would theoretically not be able play it but he just sat down and did this acoustic version and it was brilliant. That was fantastic.
For number 4 in Chris Packham’s top 10 punk and post punk gigs please go here