Concert Reviews

Over The Weekend: Buzzcocks at The Loft

The Loft
June 11, 2010

Better than:

Buzzcocks (a more appropriately named band escapes me at the moment) roared into The Loft on Friday evening delivering on the promise of the Another Bites tour premise: The band roared through their first two albums--and a few other gems--in a virtually non-stop 90-minute set.

"Virtually" is the key word there. But more on that later.

Rock and roll (and perhaps more than a few pints) has taken a toll on the bodies of original members Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle.

Their flesh may have yielded some to age, but they took the stage dressed smartly, accompanied by the rhythm section of Tony Barber and Danny Farrant with their young rocker good looks, plugged into their big Marshalls, and unleashed a torrent of fast, hard pop-punk songs that had the nearly sold-out show pumping and jumping from the first notes.

Like the band, the audience was split between age-appropriate contemporaries of Shelley and Diggle--former punks sporting vintage punk band t-shirts--and younger hipsters.

All came out for a good time, and the band delivered. The only sound effects used by the band was volume--set to loud.

Without pause between the end of one song and beginning of the next, the band ripped through its songs without comment until a projectile of a full iced beverage was thrown in the general direction of Pete Shelley and bassist Tony Barber. The incident didn't disrupt the song being played, but it did cause Pete to stop the band from kicking into the next song long enough for him to tell whoever the "fucking wanker" was that threw it that a repeat would have dire consequences.

This was not feigned anger.

After completing the set, most of the band exited the stage, leaving drummer Farrant behind to deliver a buzzsaw drum solo before leaping over the kit and joining his mates just off stage. 

Diggle sucked down a quick smoke, the perfect accompaniment to the bottle of champagne he had drunk since taking the stage. The band retook the stage for a five-song encore, ending the night with the gems "What Do I Get" and "Orgasm Addict."
Gravity may have had its way with Shelley and Diggle, but music had its way on gravity during Friday's 90 minutes.

Critics Notebook
Random Note:
The format of playing Another Music in a Different Kitchen and Love Bites in sequence (except for the big singles that were held back for the encore) was a greater revelation than I expected. Not only were songs that might not normally make the cut in a typical show covered, but hearing these songs performed live--and in the order of the albums--just underscored what a musical accomplishment those two albums were.