The Buzzcocks were a very northern punk outfit.
Taking the punk manifesto of the first generation, southern, bands, they added an everyday and every-man feel.
Witty lyrics about lust, sex and consumerism made Pete Shelley a spokesman for a generation who were interested in punk (and its possibilities), but also grounded in the working-class realities of 9-5 work and social expectations.
Going on to influence Neil Tennant and Morrisey, Shelley was well ahead of his time.
Touring a 40 year anniversary should have been a celebration for one of punk’s finest, and most original, outfits. But unfortunately it’s not.
Shelley provides the head tilts and the saddest voice in punk, Steve Diggle provides the Weller-esque guitar shapes, but, collectively, the band don’t fire on all cylinders.
Not helped by a sound that isn’t leveled properly, there’s an emotional connection missing from the band.
As always, their classics are worth paying the entrance fee for, but sometimes, especially with a punk band, it’s about more than just the songs it’s about feeling connected. We don’t get that tonight. An off night for an on band.
Support: Dead like wolves