No matter 45 years old, punk icons Buzzcocks are still raging with new music

Never mind the 45 years since they were at their peak; Legendary Manchester punk icons, Buzzcocks, continue to riff and rage through brand new original music.

The group began as a ramshackle opening act for Sex Pistols in 1976. What they lacked in skill they made up for with enthusiasm and unflinching stage energy. Steve Diggle (guitar), Steve Garvey (bass), John Maher (drums) and Pete Shelley (vocals) pioneered the UK punk scene alongside Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Clash and The Damned.

Pete Shelley [front, centre]singer, songwriter and founding member of the group, 1990.

“We never planned anything,” says Diggle, 66. “It was in the moment; let’s get the group together, say what we have to say and create excitement. If we get a gig or two, let’s see where we go from there.

“We opened the Sex Pistols in Manchester and from there we had other gigs. So the press came over us and put us on all the music pages. Punk was new then. Everything Suddenly everyone wanted us, you know what I mean?

The success of their first EP spiral scratch shocked no one more than the band when it sold 16,000 copies in six months. It became an instant classic, if not for its astonishing commercial success, but for its raw chutzpah to exist and appeal to a generation of disenfranchised young Britons.

Buzzcocks needed a new album, a fresh start without Pete.

Steve Diggle, guitarist

The group has held up a lot in their four decades together. Original vocalist Howard Devoto left to form Magazine in 1977, then the band broke up in 1981, reformed in 1989 and suffered the death of frontman Pete Shelley in 2018. Diggle went on the mic as a member remaining original of the group and having long been a co-songwriter. While their full studio album won’t be released until later in 2022, their new Feel out of control EP is a taste.


BuzzcocksCredit:Ben Pollard

“Buzzcocks needed a new album, a fresh start without Pete,” says Diggle. “I know how the guitar goes and how the words go; I’ve written over 50 songs for Buzzcocks in the past. It was just easier for me to get into it at home, really. There is a good atmosphere, this one, back to our roots. There is this timing, this urgency, this melody and this complexity of the lyrics. “

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