BUZZCOCKS + CITY DOG – CONCORDE 2, BRIGHTON 3.3.22
15,822 days ago I attended my very first ever music concert. It was a riot……literally! Buzzcocks were in town at the Top Rank Suite (now PRYZM) and during those heady days of punk rock, the fans would show their appreciation by spitting at the bands. Frontman Pete Shelley and his chums were sick and tired of the tirade of phlegm heading their way and thus refused to do an encore. The punters got angry and raided the stage of the speakers and drumset, and I can recall walking up West Street behind the several offenders as they endeavoured to whisk away their ill gotten gains off into the dead of night.
Tonight, 44 years later, the Buzzcocks are back in Brighton as part of their 16-date UK tour. Much has changed since that ill fated concert. The biggest upset was when frontman Shelley passed away on 6th December 2018. Would the only original band member, Steve Diggle, carry on or not? After much deliberation it was decided to still fly the flag and thus the new look Buzzcocks band are here with us tonight at the Concorde 2 courtesy of local concert promoters JOY.
First up though are City Dog who are a garage punk three-piece from Brighton, consisting of Deri, Keelan and Jack and they formed last May. They are all only 18 years old and have previously performed local gigs in town at The Latest Music Bar, the Komedia, The Pipeline and The Rossi Bar.
Clearly there is already a buzz around this new act as there are a number of fans located at the front this evening. The light’s dimmed and City Dog got us under way at 8:15pm. There was a trio of photographers in the pit, two of which were representing Brighton & Hove News, and these guys certainly had their work cut out as initially the lighting went from dull to burnout red, but thankfully this improved.
It’s fair to say that tonight was a big step up for the City Dog lads, but they greeted the opportunity with aplomb, especially frontman Deri who addressed the crowd with enthusiasm during their ten song set.
I noted mid set that one of their numbers, which was possibly the debut single, certainly had the same drumming pattern as the Ramones ‘Teenage Lobotomy’. This was most enjoyable, as was their cover of Queens Of The Stone Age ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire’.
They concluded their 24 minute energy filled set with ‘Never Enough’, which I believe is another single and the final number was their rendition of ‘Doorman’ by Slowthai. This was my first encounter with this young trio and I’m certain that it won’t be the last. I hear that they will be performing live in Brighton on several more occasions, including on 29th March at the Green Door Store, as well as forthcoming appearances at The Prince Albert, Patterns and back at the Concorde 2 for the Bad Pond festival on Sunday 1st May. I, for one, will endeavour to attend at least one of these dates as City Dog are an enjoyable act.
The trio vacated the stage at 8:39pm and after a 27 minute interval we were back on the live music front with Buzzcocks.
City Dog are:
Deri Bovaird – guitar/vocals
Keelan Shepard – drums
Jack Dewdney – guitar/bass
City Dog setlist:
‘Who Do You Know’
‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire’ (Queens Of The Stone Age cover)
‘Doorman’ (Slowthai cover)
Check out City Dog’s Facebook page for more information.
Buzzcocks were one of the most influential acts to arise in the first wave of the punk rock era, with their crisp melodies, Pete Shelley’s biting lyrics along with Steve Diggle’s and Shelley’s driving guitars, Buzzcocks were the go to pop punk band of the late 70’s into the early 1980’s.
Tonight they return to the Concorde 2 after a five and half year gap, having last played live here on 20th October 2016. This was to be Pete Shelley’s (real name Peter McNeish), last appearance in Brighton. The Brighton & Hove News Music Team reported on his passing at the time with the following post “Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley has died”.
The band have decided to carry on in Shelley’s honour and current Buzzcocks lineup features founder member Steve Diggle on vocals and guitar, as well as Chris Remington on bass, Danny Farrant on drums and Mani Perazzoli on guitar.
If there’s ever only going to be just one Buzzcocks record that you buy in your lifetime then the November 1981 compilation album ‘Singles Going Steady’ must be it! I would wholeheartedly recommend this release to all those younger generation people that are here this evening at the Brighton seafront venue.
Prior to the Buzzcocks taking to the stage, the soundsystem had Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’ blurting out of the PA. This was an inspired choice as they supported Buzzcocks on their 1979 UK tour, but sadly this didn’t come back to Brighton after the ill fated events of their 1978 concert.
The intro music started, which was The Supremes ‘Stoned Love’, which certainly wouldn’t have been anywhere near the top of my intro music choices at a punk gig. The lights were out and then suddenly at 9:16pm Danny Farrant started pounding his drums and was then joined in by Chris Remington on bass and ‘newboy’ Mani Perazzoli on guitar. On strolled Steve Diggle and the applause hit its highest peak and they were off with ‘What Do I Get?’. I must confess that this was a shock listening and watching Diggle singing Shelley’s parts that I had enjoyed at several previous Buzzcocks concerts throughout the past four decades. I had a right to be shocked as this was my very first post-Shelley live number.
Tune two was the lead track from the forthcoming 2022 ‘Senses Out Of Control’ 10” vinyl EP, which you can snap up HERE. I must convey that this newbie fitted nicely in the Buzzcocks portfolio as did their previous single ‘Destination Zero’ which tonight arrived mid set. .
Early single ‘I Don’t Mind’ was rather decent and went down rather well with the mixed ages punters. On a topical note, ‘Autonomy’ was dedicated to the people of the Ukraine which understandably went down rather well. This was followed by new composition ‘Bad Dreams’, which has a rather wonderful chugging beat riff through it. But this was surpassed by the timeless ‘Why Can’t I Touch It?’, which made the hairs on my arms stand on end. This was to be my favourite song of their enjoyable 22 track 84 minute set. I suspect that everyone else present would opt for a different track, but that’s the fun of going to concerts, as we all like different things.
Another highlight of their set was ‘Moving Away From The Pulsebeat’ with its terrific drumming (and twangy guitars) which arguably can only be bettered back in the day by Cozy Powell’s ‘Dance With The Devil’.
Before we knew it, bang on the hour after a blitzkrieg of 17 tracks, the quartet departed for two minutes. The punters begged for more and we got it in the form of a five song encore which began with, according to Diggle, as their first ever live performance of ‘Nothingless World’ from forthcoming 2022 album. They concluded with the famous 1978 hit single ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)’, which like almost all of their earlier original Buzzcocks releases came packaged in record sleeves designed by the highly talented Malcolm Garrett. They ended with an extended version of ‘Harmony In My Head’.
It’s fair to say that I was really missing Shelley during tonight’s performance, having been a fan since 1977, but I can report that I was most pleased that Diggle and chums are still on the case. Diggle still has so much enthusiasm, he’s like a Labrador playing ball in the park. It was a nice touch that he clambered off of the high stage at the end of the gig at 10:40pm in order to shake hands with the front row fans.
Steve Diggle – guitar, vocals (1977–81, 1989–present); bass (1976–77)
Danny Farrant – drums (2006–present)
Chris Remington – bass (2008–present)
Mani Perazzoli – guitar (2019–present)
‘What Do I Get?’ (from 1979 ‘Singles Going Steady’ LP)
‘Senses Out Of Control’ (from forthcoming 2022 ‘Senses Out Of Control’ 10” vinyl EP)
‘Fast Cars’ (from 1978 ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ LP)
‘People Are Strange Machines’ (from 2014 ‘The Way’ album)
‘I Don’t Mind’ (from 1978 ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ LP)
‘Why She’s A Girl From The Chainstore’ (from 1979 ‘Singles Going Steady’ album)
‘Sick City Sometimes’ (from 2003 ‘Buzzcocks’ album)
‘Autonomy’ (from 1978 ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ LP)
‘Bad Dreams’ (from forthcoming 2022 album?)
‘Why Can’t I Touch It?’ (from 1979 ‘Singles Going Steady’ LP)
‘Moving Away From The Pulsebeat’ (from 1978 ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ LP)
‘Third Dimension’ (from 2014 ‘The Way’ album)
‘Destination Zero’ (from 2020 ‘Gotta Get Better’ single)
‘Promises’ (from 1979 ‘Singles Going Steady’ LP)
‘Orgasm Addict’ (from 1979 ‘Singles Going Steady’ LP)
‘Time’s Up’ (from 1977 ‘Spiral Scratch’ EP)
‘Manchester Rain’ (from forthcoming 2022 album?)
‘Nothingless World’ (from forthcoming 2022 album)
‘Just Got To Let It Go’ (from forthcoming 2022 album)
‘Chasing Rainbows’ (from 2014 ‘The Way’ album)
‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)’ (from 1978 ‘Love Bites’ LP)
‘Harmony In My Head’ (from 1979 ‘Singles Going Steady’ LP)
Find out more by visiting www.buzzcocks.com
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