on 29 June 2015
What a great addition to the Buzzcocks legacy this is. The CD is excellent - to end it with 'I Believe' was a touch of genius - but its the DVD that really shows just what a great group the Buzzcocks were. To get a proper sense of any groups's worth, you've got to see them in action, doing their thing - walking the walk. In the case of the Buzzcocks, watching them brings on a number of realizations in quick succession. To see John Maher in action is to realize just what an incredible drummer he was. Never-mind Moon and Bonham etc., Maher was the great British drummer. He's all over that drum kit like Boris Johnston over a teenage netball team.
To see bass player Steve Garvey throwing his wide-boy, cool as f***, gangster shapes ends the myth that Paul Simononandonandonandon was punk's epitome of cool. Nah, no way, Garvey wins it by a country mile - he looks like he can read and write and doesn't have a country-bumpkin gap in his teeth for a start.
Seeing Pete McNeish/Shelley and Steve Diggle performing the songs is, for me anyway, the main revelation. They look so in control, so on top of it. There's no showbiz nonsense, no twaddle, no excess baggage. Its a total joy to watch them trading guitar lines. They were one of the premiere British guitar strike forces. Diggle had a more robust rock style while Shelley was a finesse player - dropping in those sparkling little fills that on the surface seemed so simple, but actually were clever and bespoke. Its miraculous just how perfectly their guitar styles locked together. And the result - songs like 'I Believe' and 'Everybody's Happy Nowadays' are rock's equivalent of art deco.
And lets not forget, they looked soooooooooooooo cool. This well thought out and classy release is a timely reminder of the greatest British band of them all. And the Clash of course.