The Buzzcocks played their reunion gig to a packed out Brixton Academy on Saturday night. The two and a half hour set featuring Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, Chris Remington, Danny Farrant, Steve Garvey, John Maher and Howard Devoto. The audience, although mixed, was predominately very, very bloke-heavy
, and the night was awash with testosterone with legendary amounts of beer-throwing, with arms aloft, and the crowd communally singing, The sheer volume of what must count as one of the most amazing reunion performances in Punk history. Hair-raising and the spirit of togetherness heartening. The bond between Buzzcocks and their audience was extraordinary. A true British Punk experience, stripped back and utterly unpretentious. Musically, Buzzcocks were loud and impossible to resist.
The gig was split into three sets performing both the 'Spiral Scratch'
EP and the 'Times Up' demos. With The Buzzcocks of today playing all the new material which sees the band play songs from the last couple of albums. The music has changed over the last four decades. The boys may be getting older but their music remained as youthful as ever.
The second set saw the classic Buzzcocks with the oriental rhythm section of great drummer John Maher and Paddy Garvey joining the band again, it was a real case of the punk rock jukebox, where all those classic A and B sides came flying towards you.
The clamouring close in part three by Pete, Steve, and John being joined on stage for the first time in over 33 years by original co-founder and front man, Howard Devoto! Devoto was as mysterious as ever. "Spiral Scratch" reached number 31 in the charts but, on the eve of its release, Devoto was off, bored with punk and seeking fresh challenges. It was a night he could look back on such pivotal moments with the pride of an old Warrior who served his country well. Deveto still connected with the words he wrote all that time ago.
The spectacular reunion saw Steve Diggle, crank up the gig several notches giving the performance of his life time, with his "I don't give a fuck attitude" and over excitable at times, as loud as ever, even spitting on the stage, made for pure entertainment. While Pete Shelley stuck to his non rock approach the two opposites worked like magic as they always had.
After the set Steve told ZANI, "we covered a lot of ground, shown the length, depth and breadth of the band"
It was a history lesson and a rush through the back pages of one of the key bands of a much misunderstood movement. The end of the night saw Steve Diggle selling t- shirts for his band The Revolution of Sound, as the saying goes you can take the boy out of Manchester but you can't take Manchester out of the boy.
© Words - Gia Marie Barbera/ZANI Media