Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-7

Manchester’s Buzzcocks are back playing gigs around the world in honour of the band’s 40th anniversary. These guys were major players on the music scene at the time, working alongside The Undertones, The Jam, The Clash, the Sex Pistols and other success stories with a younger generation of musicians continually influenced by their raw style.

In fact, all of London is currently celebrating the milestone through numerous exhibits, shows and events (covered here), appropriately titled Punk 40 London. Their show was a fitting homecoming for me as I was just in London focusing on the anniversary’s events and exhibitions.

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-2
[Pete Shelley]

We’ve caught their shows in Vancouver, The Netherlands and USA; the energy is still there and the band never disappoints on stage.

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-1
[Chris Remington]

Original members Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle are joined by newer band mates bassist Chris Remington and drummer Danny Farrant (both with the band since 2008).

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-9
[Steve Diggle]

The foursome put on quite the show at Vancouver’s venerable punk venue The Rickshaw on Saturday night, their hits (and a few newer tunes) spanning the decades. Guitarist Steve Diggle’s often got an entertaining grin on his face as he grinds through the tunes, showing no signs of boredom (pardon the pun).

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-8

Pete Shelley’s voice has held up magnificently too as he gets the crowd going from song one, an oldie but goodie, Boredom, off their first EP, Spiral Scratch (which this author is proud to still own a copy of). I’ve seen them perform seven times now, and each show is packed with energy — and a musical trip down memory lane.

From Boredom, Fast Cars, I Don’t Mind, Autonomy, Why She’s a Girl From the Chainstore, Nothing Left, Sick City Sometimes, Love You More, Promises, Noise Annoys, You Say You Don’t Love Me, Time’s Up and others all came by, fast and furious, before a four-encore set – What Do I Get, Orgasm Addict, Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve), Harmony in My Head – closed off the night.

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-4

Even the latest tune, 2014’s It’s Not You, is as catchy as some of their earlier gems. I’m surprised to still be humming that tune today after a bevvy of faves performed.

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-6

You see, if you’re of the age when getting your hands on an import or flexi disc (likely UK) EP/LP was the major score of your weekly record shopping excursion, you’ll have been part of a generation of music lovers that are but a fading memory.

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-5
[Tucked at back: Beats by drummer Danny Farrant]

Luckily, The Buzzcocks are nowhere near being forgotten, judging by the sold-out, mosh-pit-up-front crowd in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on Saturday night.

[Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)]

We were additionally reminded of the era as we queued in front of the Rickshaw alongside fans smoking cigarettes, donning mohawks and dressed in black attire.

Buzzcocks at Rickshaw Theatre-3

Following Saturday night’s show, they’re off to the US to play in the Pacific Northwest (sorry Seattle, your show’s sold out) before moving on to Las Vegas, Aspen and Denver venues.


  • Comment by Bruce — May 27, 2016 @ 2:50 pm

    Awesome show and great photos. Buzzcocks were one of the first bands that got into and I’m so glad I got to see them live.

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — May 28, 2016 @ 6:38 pm

    Thanks! Are you local (e.g. did you catch their recent Vancouver show)? What a great band – also waiting for The Undertones to return, another one of my faves from the era. You a fan of theirs too?

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