Sixteen Again
March 7, 2009 12:55 AM   Subscribe

Video of Buzzcocks in Concert, Amsterdam Paradiso, Feb 2009 The Buzzcocks recently completed a European tour with a set comprising of their first two albums in the original running order, right down to the loop of 'Boredom' at the end of their debut LP. They're better than ever and I'm knocked out that they still knock seven bells out of most bands around, over thirty years later. They're still there, still charming, still saying something about bittersweet love that is still true. I'm old, so I'm onlt pogoing from a sitting position, but wow. Just wow. Previously.
posted by quarsan (31 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. "They've still got it" doesn't really start to cover it, does it? In a weird way, these songs are more powerful when they're played so hard by old dudes.
posted by koeselitz at 1:33 AM on March 7, 2009

I agree. Also, this is a professional recording that looks great fullscreen and not some dodgy You Tube link.
posted by quarsan at 1:39 AM on March 7, 2009

Fabchannel has announced it'll stop providing concert streams from Friday March 13 on. So you better enjoy this while it is still there.
posted by ijsbrand at 1:49 AM on March 7, 2009

Check out the drum solo and camerawork at the end of Late for the Train.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:26 AM on March 7, 2009

Best rhythm section in punk evar, hands down.
posted by bardic at 3:01 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

ijsbrand: "3Fabchannel has announced it'll stop providing concert streams from Friday March 13 on. So you better enjoy this while it is still there."

Damn what a bummer :((

Just knew about it. Someone should do this just for indie groups and set a monthly fee for it.
posted by zouhair at 3:28 AM on March 7, 2009

Awesome, not only a great gig but an top notch stream, I've never seen Fabchannel before and now it seems I won't see them again.
posted by darksmiler at 4:12 AM on March 7, 2009

It's almost 31 years to the month since I first saw Buzzcocks, and at the end of that gig Pete Shelley threw badges with 'Entertained' printed on them into the crowd. I've worn that badge every time I've seen them since, 17 times in total, and they've lived up to the statement on that badge every single time. Fantastic group, soundtrack of my youth and now the soundtack of my dotage.
Thanks for finding this, quarsan.
posted by punilux at 4:22 AM on March 7, 2009

This is fantastic. Back in college, senior year, Wednesday all-night poker nights, drinking, smoking cigars, losing all my money (which was almost nothing anyway) listening to the Buzzcocks the whole time. Good times, good times.
posted by greasepig at 5:00 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

God. Damn. Thank you for this.
posted by neroli at 5:32 AM on March 7, 2009

I wish I'd started listening to the Buzzcocks a lot sooner than I did, which was not till the 1990s, but this footage reminds me why I love them so much. Thanks for this post.
posted by blucevalo at 8:05 AM on March 7, 2009

Band, video and audio quality - all great.
posted by davebush at 8:19 AM on March 7, 2009

Your favorite queer-punk band rocks.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:39 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Awesome. Now, if only Magazine were touring the US...
posted by Football Bat at 9:21 AM on March 7, 2009

Fucking AWESOME. Buzzcocks are one of my favorite bands, and I always considered them the best band to come out of the original UK punk scene. They're still amazing 30 years on. Although it is kind of weird to hear that same fey, snotty voice coming out of Shelley, who now looks like your average pub bloke. Not to bag on him, though, I can only hope to rock that hard when I'm his age.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:30 AM on March 7, 2009

Man, if you can't listen to the whole thing, don't miss the performance of "Get On Our Own". They totally rip it the fuck up. Although that is one of my favorite songs of theirs, so I could be biased.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:35 AM on March 7, 2009

No one's mentioned that they're doing these concerts to promote the new reissues of their first three albums as "deluxe" 2xCD editions. They're not too expensive, and if you buy all three you get (of course) the three original albums, "Another Music In A Different Kitchen," "Love Bites" and "A Different Kind Of Tension" plus ALL the non-LP single tracks, ALL the tracks from the out-of-print "Peel Sessions" CD, ALL the rarities from the out-of-print "Chronology" collection issued by EMI UK, plus a ton of previously unreleased live tracks and a fairly large number of demos that have never before been released. At 124 tracks, it's almost like ten vinyl albums worth of tunes, for about $45. Not to make an advertisement for them, but their catalog's been all over the place recently, and this is a nice way to get all the early stuff (aside from the *very* early studio material, available on two Mute CDs, and some dodgier early live stuff) in three succinct packages.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:57 AM on March 7, 2009

Jesus Christ. Pete Shelley looks just like my mailman. But that voice takes me back. Skinny ties, lapel buttons, dog collars. We were gonna burn it all down and dance on the ashes. The Good Ol' Days.

This rocks. I haven't heard "What Do I Get" in ages, and it's making me grin from ear to ear.

*dances around living room, puzzling some, scaring others*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:36 AM on March 7, 2009

ah, i remember a time when i climbed up onto the stage at the end of a buzzcocks gig along with a dozen or so other people, me with my arm around pete shelley's shoulders singing "what do i get" into the microphone with him; poor audience.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:23 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wow. That sound, video, and performance is excellent. Thanks for posting.
posted by glycolized at 1:32 PM on March 7, 2009

I'm so bummed that I'm just now finding out about Fabchannel. Great site. Sucks that they can't make it pay!
posted by vibrotronica at 1:35 PM on March 7, 2009

All I can say is:

God Damn!!!!!

They are more awesome now than in 1978!!
posted by geeyore at 1:52 PM on March 7, 2009

I forgot to mention:

Thanks so much for posting this and turning us on to FabChannel!
posted by geeyore at 1:53 PM on March 7, 2009

Online concert channel ceases its activities as of today, due to bad economic prospects within the music and online advertising market [...]

Shit. I've gotta get busy. Jumping from the Buzzcocks to Wire to Killing Joke to the Wedding Present...
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:02 PM on March 7, 2009

(whoops, didn't paste the second bit: Fabchannel’s concert archive will go offline on Friday 13 March)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:04 PM on March 7, 2009

I don't get it.
posted by AppleSeed at 5:59 PM on March 7, 2009

Oh my, how timely, as ijsbrand rightly notes. Fabchannel has been a great institution these past few years -- I mean seriously, watch the shows you missed for free and at a decent quality, and relive the ones you loved -- and one right at home in my beloved, beloved Paradiso, which everyone who finds themselves in Amsterdam should visit (to see a show -- I find the club nights unremarkable, frankly).

Fact of the day: the building that now houses Paradiso was formerly a church - built in 1880. Seriously, here's an 1879 blueprint. The interior of the main hall, with its trademark domed ceiling and double balcony with strips of incandescent light bulbs underneath, still very much evokes this feel. No surprise then that it's commonly referred to as a "poptempel" (no translation needed).

Not to mention the stained glass windows over the stage, which will provide any performer with a backdrop befitting a saint.

Great to stand pressed right up to the stage then and rock the fuck out to your favourite band, of course; and if you'd rather like to hang back a bit, you can still get up close -- the first floor balcony runs deep enough over the stage that you can virtually get behind the band and see the sweat run right down the drummer's ass.

But the best spot in the entire building -- and I'm giving away protips for free here people -- is one that, were the place actually designed to be a concert venue, no architect ever would think of. On the first floor, smack in the middle, there is a tiny semicircular protrusion projecting out from the balcony into the hall: it's just big enough for a handful of people.

Now, you go to a rock show and stand there, and you think you're less involved with the performance because you're on the goddamn balcony, that you're somehow detached from the proceedings below because you're not merrily getting dangerously dehydrated along with your sweaty sardine-tin brothers and sisters down there, but in reality -- again, these are secrets I'm handing out here folks -- in reality, and this is a little know fact: when you stand there, the band is playing especially and only for you.

Now, I'm not a religious man, but I like to believe that when a house of God becomes a godless house, this is God's way of making his presence known.


Thanks for providing an occasion for me to talk about Paradiso a bit, quarsan. Sorry about the derail.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:00 PM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]

The Paradiso was one of the best venues ever. I was last there to see some friends, The Scars, play.

The Buzzcocks just haven't dated. Many of the other bands around just seem like an anachronism now. Most of the punk bands were pushing a kind of cartoon anarchism and mihilism, but the Buzzcocks sang about what we were obsessed with, finding partners and dealing with the realities of having a love life. They also bucked the trend, there were howls of outrage from the cool and the critics when they released "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" as you had always to be miserable, to be angry and even using the word happy was just not allowed. Seriously, they got slammed for that.

I remmber coming back from the record shop with Another Music in a Different Kitchen, in its promo bag and just being so excited to hear it for the first time. I found watching that concert to be just as satisfying.

My first ever interview was with Steve Diggle. I wrote a list of questions for a school newsletter to New Hormones and got a handwritten 8 page reply from Steve. I'm still gobsmacked by that.

Pete Shelley also deserves credit for helping sexual tolerance. Manchester in the 70's was a tough place and his easy and comfortable admission of bisexuality was a breakthrough. I remember asking him about it in 78 and he said it was simple, "I've got a girlfriend in Manchester and a boyfriend in London".

I played some of this to my partners' 15 yo son and told him that was what I was into at his age. He just loved it, and he can see that so many of the bands he likes are so influenced by this old music.

.Apologies, this is the ramblings of an old man. A happy old man though.
posted by quarsan at 10:18 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by humannaire at 10:42 PM on March 7, 2009

Amazing, one of the best bands ever, thanks.
posted by Huck500 at 6:00 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

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