LIVE REVIEW: The Buzzcocks live at the Zoo (Saturday 20th April 2013)


Sometimes everything comes together for the right reasons. In the dawn of punk there was an overwhelming surge of aggressive bands that were there for sex and drugs. The Buzzcocks gave way to that and birthed a new type of angst. When punk was at its roughest the Buzzcocks showed this softer side of punk rock…

I turned up to Bleeding Knees club setting up. The zoo was packed, as you would expect. I knew immediately that I was in for a good time, being a fan of the Buzzcocks since high school I was delighted to see that the crowd was made up of people almost exclusively middle age. Only a truly iconic band could pull this many people away from their families.

Bleeding Knees Club played their entire set squeezed in front of the Buzzcocks drum kit, they didn’t really seem to mind about this however. Bleeding Knees Club put on an enjoyable performance, it was nice to see an Aussie band supporting the Buzzcocks and they seemed perfect for the job. Bleeding Knees Club have seen quite a bit of success in recent times and like tonight’s headliners, Bleeding Knees Club gives off the same “life is awesome” vibe and as a result the crowd responded positively to their music. That being said there’s no denying no one was really there to see Bleeding Knees Club and when the Buzzcocks finally took the stage you could clearly tell the difference between the polite clapping Bleeding Knees Club received and the rabid applause that greeted the Buzzcocks.

The Buzzcocks writing style is incredibly original and they are true pioneers of not just punk rock but sophisticated guitar music in general. Many bands have attempted to imitate it but rarely do any of them come close to the special flavour of the Buzzcocks music. Their music is so raw and honest; every syllable is pure punk with every tune being mellow yet energetic. Each song by the Buzzcocks has a certain romantic quality to it which is a rare quality that is missing from a lot of modern music; even their more outlandish songs like “orgasm addict” easily has four times the lyrical quality of any other bands from their particular generation.

I talked to a lady in-between sets – she was older and clearly an original Buzzcocks fan and was dressed head to toe in black leather. She told me that music was her life and that amongst the punk wave of the seventies the Buzzcocks provided something just as thought provoking and challenging, but softer and easier to listen to, with a positive outlook on life and I completely agree with her. There is something about the Buzzcocks; it is something very English and incredibly charming. The music fills you with a very optimistic energy- putting you into a carefree dimension

When The Buzzcocks took the stage, it was a virtual wall of thick set older men. It took me a long time of squeezing and hasty apologies to get to the mosh pit. I can certainly verify that the Buzzcocks do indeed still rock and most certainly don’t disappoint. They sang a lot of their best and most well-known songs, tracks like “what do you get,” “whatever happened to?,” “sixteen,” “orgasm addict” and “I don’t mind” all of which were meet with a slightly deranged enthusiasm.

Shelley led the crowd to an energetic performance that totally rocked. The set seemed to be over in no time with the layers of sweat, torn cloths and spilt beer pilling up on each other. Diggle didn’t disappoint performing ‘harmony in my head’ to a ravenous crowd. Chris Remmington, on bass, didn’t let the ball drop either responding to the crowd’s enthusiasm. Which leaves Danny Farrant (one of the coolest drummers out there) who played one of the most passionate live sets I’ve seen.

When the band returned for their eagerly anticipated encore the audience was by this stage collectively filled with a crazily aggressive kind of utopia. The Buzzcocks saved best for last including “Ever fallen in love” and finishing with “Oh Shit” which everyone (including the odd stay adult kid that had been dragged along) sang in unison. This inadvertently made the last minute of the Buzzcocks set the best part yet when everyone cried into the air ‘admit admit admit you’re shit.’

It was certainly the best gig of the year and perhaps of my adult existence thus far. If you missed it, you too will probably be yelling ‘oh shit.’


By: Kat Gibson

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