Buzzcocks, Concorde 2, Brighton, Thursday, October 20
‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ eh? Well, actually, yes, do mind The Buzzcocks!
I mean, here we all are after 40 years and Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle are still waving the punk-pop banner.
And I tell you what, the Concorde 2’s sold-out crowd actually reflected this.
There were the usual weathered punk dads on show still flying the banner, but they were accompanied by the younger generation, including some ladies who, if you saw them on the street, you’d think they were going clubbing. But no, these young women were down the front with the ageing punks jumping around and having great fun in one unified pogoing frenzy. Happy days!
The evening’s entertainment was kicked off by a Brighton boy trio (Jack, Miguel, Callum) known as The RPMs.
Singer Jack’s enthusiasm knows no bounds, bless him. He brought smiles to our faces with his ‘I Don’t Like It’ banners. I would describe them as an early version The Jam gone commercial, so they should do rather well in the current climate.
Next up were Lucy, Mike, Joe and Manu – aka Lucy & The Rats – and, to be honest, I found them a bit of an anti-climax after The RPMs’ set.
So now let’s discuss The Buzzcocks.
Yes, I was there at The Buzzcocks’ legendary Brighton Top Rank riot gig in 1978, when they refused to do an encore (unlike tonight’s four tracks) and the crowd invaded the stage.
But tonight we were treated to an awesome 90-minute (21 track) set made up of songs from their 40-year history.
They kicked off with ‘Boredom’, followed by ‘Fast Cars’ (with it’s nod to environmentalist Ralph Nader), then into a lesser-known 1996 album opener ‘Totally From The Heart’ and then 1977’s ‘I Don’t Mind’.
And so the show whizzed on with Shelley as happy as always just to say the title of the song and launch into it...and with Diggle fast becoming a younger version of windmill-arm Pete Townshend.
I have to say that I have always preferred the Shelley compositions to Diggle’s, but tonight’s show was evenly spread between tracks and the hits kept on coming – ‘Promises’, and my favourite song of the night ‘Love You More’ It literally gave me goosebumps.
Another highlight was the drum-heavy, seven-minute epic ‘Moving Away From The Pulsebeat’, in which current drummer Danny Farrant adequately filled John Mayer’s boots. As soon as we knew it, they played ‘Times Up’ and they were gone. Except this time they came back and performed the equally excellent ‘What Do I Get?’ and ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)’ and the final rock-esque ‘Harmony In My Head’.
Diggle’s enthusiasm after all these years is very commendable. He is every bit the stage man and the crowd love it. But, hey, portly Shelley is still my fave!
Review by Nick Linazasoro
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