Buzzcocks live in Berlin

on and it made it more heroic.”Buzzcocks have always been about innovation, experimentation and taking risks. In 1977, the band’s self-financed debut ‘Spiral Scratch’ EP gave birth to the independent sector. A primary influence on everyone from Orange Juice to Green Day, the string of timelessly melodic hit singles which followed (including Diggle-penned classics ’Promises’ and ‘Harmony In My Head’ ) brought radical ideas to a Top Of The Pops audience — reflecting influences ranging from Bob Dylan to Harold Pinter; Samuel Beckett to Stockhausen.“I had a Stockhausen box set,” he says of his listening as a teenager. “I had the box room at home and I’d record my mum doing the hoovering and play it back. I loved the idea of white noise. We always had that discordant, uncomfortable element in Buzzcocks.” For Steve and his bandmates, punk wasn’t so much a wake-up call as a signal that other people across the country were feeling the same way. “I didn’t need Joe Strummer or Johnny Rotten to tell me what was going on,” he explains. “Buzzcocks were probably the most philosophical of all the punk bands. I loved The Clash and The Jam, but most of them were just there for the party —writing songs about getting a job. We’d read the existentialists. We were interested in the complexity of life. It was deep thinking wrapped up in a pop song. Rather than being linear, we were using abstract images to create a mood — the same way James Joyce did with Ulysses. That inspired a song like ‘Fast Cars’. At 17 I’d seen my best mate die in a car crash, and it gave me a different perspective. The Joyce thing of only knowing the meaning of life through knowing the meaning of death.”While punk is widely considered as rock’s Year Zero, the truth is that Buzzcocks were simultaneously tapping into a far older tradition, stretching back via Chuck Berry and Little Richard to the Delta Blues. “We were white blues,” explains Steve. “My theory now is that instead of the cotton fields, we had the cotton mills, where kids would be sent up chimneys and made to work 18 hours a day. That was our blues — the white trash of Manchester.” Having toured the world and released three classic albums — Another Music In a Different Kitchen, Love Bites and A Different Kind Of Tension — in quick succession, the band imploded in 1981. A successful reunion of the classic line-up (Pete Shelley — guitar vocals; Steve Diggle — guitar vocals; Steve Garvey — bass; John Maher — drums) in 1989 led to a non-stop touring schedule prior to Shelley’s death in 2018. However, the band’s next chapter promises to be their most exciting yet. “I’m halfway through the new record, which is going to be called Attitude Adjustment,” says Steve in conclusion. “It’s a step on from Sonics In The Soul. It feels like an exciting new era, and a new spirit. I can’t wait to get out there and play these songs to people. It’s not about ego, for me. I’m a working-class kid, who always loved music. I never thought I’d be involved in it. But I’ve got my chance, so I’ll give back as much as I can, because I believe in it as much as I always did. We’re the holiest church in rock ’n’ roll.”With Steve Diggle as High Priest, Buzzcocks are still the band to believe in.")))|(temperature:0)|(maxLength:204)|" config="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"]

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