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With The Buzzcocks Playing Saturday, An Annotated SetList (And Spotified!)

ba dum ba dum

ba dum ba dum

Back near the beginning of time, say 1976, there were only three punk rock bands that really mattered:

The Sex Pistols – the progenitors of all thing punk where all the Situationists met the French revolution on the streets of London

The Clash – London public school boy listens to the Sex Pistols and gets on our side

The Buzzcocks – Sexual provocateurs as secondary modern romantics, from Manchester.

And of the three, what the Buzzcocks had was the best pop song writer of them all in Pete Shelley. If Howard Devoto set the tone as a sorta quasi arty wanker, Shelley was a good kid fifth former. But as rock fans, they glommed onto the Sex Pistols immediately and soon formed the Buzzcocks, releasing the Martin Hannett produced Spiral Scratch and their current setlist starts with their biggest song on the EP…

1. Boredom – And so it begins with a straight away hook that did as much as anything to make punk the future as irritant: “ba-dum ba-dum”. Still sounds very cool – A

2. Fast Cars – The tick tock beat mixes with a song that takes macho and turns it on its head. Yes, “sooner or later you’re gonna listen to ralph nader” but much more “oooh, they’re so very dangerous” – A

3. I Don’t Mind – The bisexual Pete Shelley claims he kept gender out of the songs so as to be all inclusive, but the sham here suggests he had men in mind – A

4. Autonomy – Sometimes, the drone nature of the Buzzcocks didn’t work for me, and while this double time ode to emotional fascism isn’t quite drone, it is too samey – B

5. Get on Our Own – Off their first album which also happens to be their best album, I played the hell out of Another Music In A Different Kitchen, and sang along to this Shelley’s sexist and also sweetest creation ever – A+

6. What Ever Happened To? – Instant nostalgia – A-

7. When Love Turns Around – Ho hum, this is Steve Diggle from their fourth album, 14 years later – C

8. Why She’s the Girl From the Chainstore – Another Diggle in a different kitchen – B-

9. Sick City Sometimes – And a third, the mid concert lull – C-

10. Fiction Romance – back to business, but why no “16” and why no “Love battery”??? Oh well (not oh shit!) this will do – A

11. Nothing Left – This is what happens when Shelley writes an ordinary song, the band stll still sounds great – B-

12. Noise Annoys – Awesome riff, great musical chorus – A-

13. Breakdown – Devoto and Shelley, the first song on the first EP and it is awesome – A

14. You Say You Don’t Love Me – So generic it needs a label – B+

15. Promises – The a hars make it a great one – A-

16. Love You More – Until the razor cuts? – A

17. What Do I Get? – The most perfect song Shelley ever wrote, it is what we expect from Shelley buit even better – A+

Encore:

18. Harmony In My Head – Meh, art rock – B-

19. Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) – More sexual ambiguity – A

20. Orgasm Addict – Classic stuff: “you’re making out with schoolkids, winos and heads of state…” An absolute jizz fest – A

21. Oh Shit! – A single gone steady but not classic – B+

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