Buzzcocks: 19 May 2010 – Toronto

Buzzcocks, the Bolton, England band regarded as an important force to Manchester’s music scene during the 70’s and 80’s, hit the stage at Toronto’s Opera House on Wednesday night. Despite being in their mid fifties, front man Pete Shelley and lead guitarist Steve Diggle performed an energy-packed and near gapless set of songs from their first two records, Another Music In A Different Kitchen (1978) and Love Bites (1978) supported by Chris Remmington on bass guitar and a very impressive Danny Farrant on drums.

The fans (mainly 30 years or older) were treated to furious-paced versions of “Fast Cars”, “Late For The Train”, and “Love Battery” in which Diggle’s guitar flare and showmanship shone. Notwithstanding the age of the songs, what stood out most of all was the originality and freshness of Buzzcock’s sound, making a strong case that they are still relevant. And they should be, considering they were as much a part of the punk rock movement as The Clash, Ramones, and Sex Pistols were. The evening ended with a near perfect 5-song encore which included “Harmony In My Head”, “Promises”, “Love You More”, “What Do I Get” and “Orgasm Addict.”