Few bands have had the longevity and sustained creative energy to produce the seemingly endless stream of truly original and fantastic songs that Buzzcocks delivered over four decades.
Formed by Shelley and Howard Devoto in Bolton in February 1976 and completed by the addition of Steve Diggle and John Maher, the band opened for the Sex Pistols in Manchester on July 20th, a follow up to the famous Lesser Free Trade Hall gig which Devoto and Shelley had organised the month before.
Gigs in Manchester and London followed, and by the end of 1976, Buzzcocks became one of the first bands to form their own independent record label – New Hormones – on which they released the now-legendary and seminal Spiral Scratch EP.
The following year saw the departure of Devoto and the recruitment of bassist Steve Garvey. In August 1977, the band signed a recording contract with United Artists Records and released the landmark Orgasm Addict single.
This was swiftly followed by What Do I Get?, the band’s first entry into the UK top 40 singles chart and the first of a string of chart singles.
Looking forward to seeing everybody on ‘ Buzzcocks ‘ December tour ! Keep the faith ! pic.twitter.com/zD07AtbVLl
— STEVE DIGGLE (@stephen_diggle) October 13, 2019
Over the next three years, Buzzcocks toured extensively and released a trilogy of outstanding albums: Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Love Bites and A Different Kind of Tension, as well as the hugely influential and popular Singles Going Steady compilation. In 1981, the band went their separate ways to undertake new projects.
1989 saw the reconvened Shelley/Diggle/Garvey/Maher line-up tour the world again by popular demand.
The Shelley/Diggle partnership was the core of sustained and successful activity without pause, punctuating the years of high profile gigging with six successful and well-received studio albums, until the untimely passing of Pete Shelley in December 2018.
Buzzcocks still record and play live shows, with founding member, Steve Diggle, taking over vocal duties to front the band.
Steve has sung with the band from the very beginning, writing 50 songs, including Promises, Fast Cards and Harmony in my Head. He will be joined by the long term current line-up of Danny Farrent (drums) and Chris Remmington (bass) performing all the classic Buzzcocks hits and more.
In December, the pop punk legends are embarking on an eight date UK tour with a guest guitarist added to all live shows, and are playing Gorilla in Manchester on Sunday December 15th.
“I’m going to raise the mast and set the sails for the next voyage of the good ship Buzzcocks,” says Steve.
God bless Buzzcocks and all who sail in her.
Sunday 15th December 2019 Tickets £20.50 (advance). Doors 7pm.