Buzzcocks rock NYC with ferocious concert featuring first two albums

by John Curley—The Buzzcocks brought their tour—which features the songs from their first two albums, Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites—to The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza in New York City on Thursday night, May 13th. Like many longstanding bands, the Buzzcocks have something of a built-in fanbase that will come to see them whenever they come to town. But the Buzzcocks do not take their fanbase for granted at all. They delivered a fantastic, high-energy show that left everyone happy.

The Buzzcocks, who emerged from the Manchester, England music scene in 1976, consist these days of longtime members Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle on guitars and vocals and their younger rhythm section, drummer Danny Farrant and bassist Chris Remmington. Since their first two albums contain most of the Buzzcocks’ best-known songs, the concert was, more or less, a greatest-hits show. Among the hits performed were “I Don’t Mind,” “What Do I Get?,” “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?,” “Love You More,” and “Promises.” One of the biggest hands of the night went to “Harmony In My Head,” upon which Diggle takes the lead-vocal duties.

The Buzzcocks packed a 23-song main set and five-song encore into 80 minutes. Blasting straight into one song after another with almost no time between the songs, the Buzzcocks kept the energy level high throughout their set. Diggle deserves special mention in regard to maintaining that energy level. Diggle always seems to be having the time of his life on stage, sporting a big grin and blasting out power chords with a dramatic flourish of the arm. At many times during the concert, Diggle would point at a member of the audience as if to say, “That bit was for you.” Some of the seemingly miserable shoegazers in the music world could certainly learn a thing or two about enjoying their time on stage from Diggle.

The show had to be stopped at one point, just as the Buzzcocks began the song “E.S.P.” The venue’s management wanted Shelley to read an announcement from the New York City Police Department about an illegally parked car outside the venue. Seeming unhappy with this task, Shelley read the announcement, which included the car’s license plate number. The band then restarted “E.S.P.” from the beginning and carried on with the show.

The NYPD was taking no chances with the illegally parked car. While they didn’t clear the venue when the car was discovered, the crowd was prohibited from exiting through the front doors after the show and was directed instead to leave through a side door. Given the recent failed terrorist bombing in New York City’s Times Square, it appeared that the NYPD wanted to err on the side of caution.

The Buzzcocks will be touring North America through June 12th. They are definitely worth going to see. And the tickets aren’t that expensive, which is an added bonus in this tough economy.

Opening all of the shows on the Buzzcocks’ North American tour are The Dollyrots, a power-pop trio from Los Angeles that are fronted by a very attractive blonde female singer/bassist. Their set was very enjoyable and was quite well-received by the crowd. If you’re going to see the Buzzcocks on this tour, make sure you get there early to check out The Dollyrots.

The set list for the Buzzcocks’ show on Thursday, May 13th at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza in New York City was as follows:

Fast Cars
No Reply
You Tear Me Up
Get On Your Own
Love Battery
I Don’t Mind
Fiction Romance
I Need
Moving Away From The Pulsebeat
Real World
Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?
Operators Manual
Just Lust
Sixteen Again
Walking Distance
Love Is Lies
Nothing Left
Late For The Train

Harmony In My Head
Love You More
What Do I Get?
Orgasm Addict

The Buzzcocks delivered a ferocious performance of their first two albums at NYC’s The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza (photo by Ian Rook).

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