Very good DVD for one of the greatest bands ever
Steven Gallo | New York City | 03/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a Buzzcocks fan since the early 80's, one of my fave all-time bands, just missing the opportunity to see them live. I finally got the chance in 1989 at The Ritz in NYC, and the show was unbelievable. (Still searching for it, anyone?) I've seen them countless times since, and of course, have all their albums, especially their "second era" stuff, which is all dynamite.
For this show, they are supporting their latest release simply titled "Buzzcocks" which is probably their best of their "new era" albums (no small feat). The Buzzcocks never fail to please live, as while they always play lots off their latest album, they always give the crowd tons of the old classics as well, as the 32 songs on this concert DVD testifies.
The funny thing is, as great and classic as the old stuff is, you can miss a lot of the newer stuff too, because the Buzzcocks' newer material is that good. I would have loved to have seen a bunch from "Modern" (a vastly underrated album) for instance, and as a matter of fact there is only one single song performed from their first three "new" albums (Trade Test Transmissions, All Set, and Modern) which is "Totally From The Heart" from "All Set." But I guess the band can't play 50 songs every night, although with their energy level they probably could!
Bottom line, The Buzzcocks are a true punk band, singable melodies with punk attitude and power. Always overshadowed by other UK bands The Pistols and The (sometimes good by vastly overrated) Clash, The Buzzcocks blow them both away without half trying. Pete Shelley is always dynamite, Steve Diggle is a blast and genuinely enjoys himself, and Tony Barber on bass along with Phillip Barber on the drums, both look great and are an incredible rhythm section.
This particular show, it's definitely decent, but I have seen The Buzzcocks do better shows. It's mainly the sound production for the show I'm not crazy about, especially the guitars, it's ok but the band has had much better sounding shows. The Buzzcocks "twang" is there but there's just something a little bit missing that many other Buzzcocks concerts have had soundwise.
The camera work is OK, but it is very rapid-fire, often changing the shot extremely quickly. The concert is on film, I think it would have been better on videotape.
The extras are pretty cool, a good look at the band doing a soundcheck, interview, posters and more. Plenty of stuff for the big Buzzcocks fan.
The bottom line is, The Buzzcocks are one of the greatest bands in history, and this is a decent enough concert for any fan, and even non-fans to check them out. Many music fans have the "Singles Going Steady" album, and there are plenty of those tunes here as always. 32 songs in all of pure pop-punk musical genius, before "pop-punk" became a lame term. Promises, Orgasm Addict, I Don't Mind, You Say You Don't Love Me (one of their best), Autonomy, Fast Cars, Boredom, Ever Fallen In Love With Someone, Get On Our Own, I can go on and on. The songs off their "Buzzcocks" album are dynamite - Friends, Jerk, Driving You Insane, the rest - and even Lester Sands is here, not many people know that song is almost 30 years old!
I remember seeing two shows one weekend at The Bowery Ballroom here in NYC in 2000. The second night, The Buzzcocks actually changed 75% of their set list from the night before. How many bands can do that and not get booed off the stage for playing unwanted crap? That's how many great songs this band has. (That was a GREAT set of shows - Diggle and Shelley actually each did an individual opening set!)
I am just thankful that in the year 2006, that we still have The Buzzcocks around giving us some excellent music. Their new album is on the way to me, I can't wait! This DVD, this is the real deal, this is the real thing, this isn't Green Day here. To all you kiddies out there, put that stuff away, do yourselves a favor and give yourselves an education in punk, and buy this DVD (or have mom and dad order it for you). To everyone else, if you have heard of The Buzzcocks and want to see what they are all about, buy this DVD. Extremely highly recommended."