Live Review: Buzzcocks

30 March 2016 | 3:11 pm | Jessy Bendle

"'Orgasm Addict' was a crowd favourite even if it was slightly odd watching middle-aged men and women singing along."

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It has been 40 years since Buzzcocks formed. Despite the giant sign hanging behind the stage declaring this fact, it hardly seemed possible that one of the best British pop-punk bands of the late 1970s could be playing in Adelaide in 2016. Somehow the fact they are still touring so hard, this far down the track, seems a perfectly punk act of defiance and, as they took to the stage, it was clear that it didn't matter what year it was, they were there to give it their all.

They played a set scattered with newer numbers, however only two tracks from their 2014 album The Way made the cut. The majority of the set was a succession of well-known numbers from their early albums, including I Don't Mind and Autonomy (from their debut album Another Music In A Different Kitchen) both of which remain incredible examples of pop-punk perfection. 

The dynamic of the band was interesting to watch with Pete Shelley and his deadpan delivery contrasted by Steve Diggle, who was full of cheeky smiles and flailing arms as he attacked his guitar and prowled around the stage. Despite their differing performance styles, the two of them were completely in sync when it came to their vocal delivery and harmonisation.

The band never seemed to tire of rolling out the favourites, and the decent-sized crowd at The Gov had clearly not tired of hearing them. It was evident in the faces of the fans that this band meant a lot to them. Whether it was those down front in the pit, who got rowdier as the night went on, or those up the back, enthusiastically singing along with beers raised in the air, everyone in the place had a strong connection to the band and the songs.

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After delivering a sharp and strong main set, Buzzcocks returned to the stage and pulled out a whole bunch more of their classics, such as What Do I Get? and Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've?). Orgasm Addict was a crowd favourite even if it was slightly odd watching middle-aged men and women singing along. Diggle got the audience involved one last time as the band wrapped up their set with Harmony In My Head, holding the microphone out to the crowd he captured their raucous rendition before shaking the hands of those eager punters beaming up at him from down the front. As they made their way off the stage, waving goodbye to their adoring Adelaide fans, there was no doubt that as long as Buzzcocks want to keep performing, there will always be an audience ready and waiting.