Back to the 80s this week. A set tonight from the highly influential Punk/Post-Punk Buzzcocks, in a set recorded by the venerable Westdeutscher Rundfunk in 1981.
Buzzcocks have reformed several times since 1989, featuring Shelley and Diggle with other musicians; initially with Maher and Garvey for a world tour, then briefly replacing Maher with Smiths drummer Mike Joyce. In 1992, Tony Barber joined on bass and Phil Barker on drums. This line-up toured on one of Nirvana’s last tours in 1994. Buzzcocks toured as support for Pearl Jam in 2003. In April 2006, Barker left and was replaced by Danny Farrant. In March 2006, the band released their eighth studio album, Flat-Pack Philosophy, on Cooking Vinyl Records, the supporting tour found them playing on a leg of the mid-2006 Vans Warped Tour.
In July 2009, Buzzcocks played in Serbia for the second time, at the EXIT festival in Novi Sad. Their song, “Why Can’t I Touch It” was played in the second episode of the sixth season of TV series Entourage. On 9 November 2009, Buzzcocks gave a very rare performance on a small balcony overlooking Dame Street in Dublin, for the music viral show BalconyTV.
In December 2009, they played as the main support act for The Courteeners. In August 2011, they headlined the first night of The Rhythm Festival in Bedfordshire.
In November 2011, it was announced they would be playing two shows in 2012 that would feature the original line-up, as well as the classic line-up of the band reunited for the first time in many years; these shows took place on 25 May 2012 in Manchester at the O2 Apollo and on 26 May in Brixton at the O2 Academy. It was announced on 26 May 2012 that, for the first time, they would headline Thursday night in the Empress Ballroom at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, sharing the stage with Rancid, Public Image Limited and Social Distortion.
Always enjoyable and perennially high-energy, this set captures them during their high point and certainly during their most successful early period.
The German audience is a little laid-back or perhaps non-plussed by this stellar performance – but then, sometimes you just don’t appreciate things until they’re in the past-tense.
Crank it up and enjoy.
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