Buzzcocks At The Academy – Review
Never mind the All Blacks, here are the Buzzcocks
In admirable defiance of the mileage that Buzzcocks have clocked up, Manchester’s punk heroes stormed through an adrenaline charged set at Dublin’s Academy on Saturday night. Celebrating forty years on the go, they showed no signs of easing gracefully into middle age as a packed venue was treated to a frantic set many bands half their age would have killed for. I’ve seen Buzzcocks a few times but never at this speed. Or maybe I’m just getting on. Barely pausing between songs they opened with ‘Boredom’ off the Spiral Scratch EP and ten minutes later, they were onto their fourth number. Whatever happened to taking a break lads? No sympathy for the gang of forty-something old punks down the front tonight who were struggling to keep up. Pretty much a greatest hits set, the opening half hour was peppered with the like of ‘Autonomy’, ‘I Don’t Mind’ and one of this writer’s favourites, ‘Sick City Sometimes’ from the much maligned 2003 Buzzcocks record, which gave the ever-smiling Diggle a chance to take over on singing duties. As usual, Pete Shelley was reserved whilst guitarist Steve Diggle played the role of cheerleader, throwing shapes, lifting his guitar up, and indulging in friendly banter with the crowd. It was noisy and enjoyable and frenetic and nostalgic but for all that, something was amiss. Billed as ‘Buzzcocks 40’, I was expecting the band to regale the audience with stories about how the songs came to be as well as tales from their career. And although the songs were machine gunned off, the banter was never even loaded. That said, the encore was worth the price of admission alone – ‘What Do I Get’ and ‘Ever Fallen In Love’. Standing a few feet away from the men who wrote and who are now singing these classics, well …. it’s why we go to gigs, isn’t it?