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Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 - a Buzzcocks Odyssey Part 2

The Lee Harveys
Frankly, the Dublin Academy is looking a bit sparsely attended. As the Lee Harveys take the stage, there is just a thin crust of punters around the bar and the edge of the pit. Doesn't seem to bother the band as they race through a blistering set of short, sharp punk tunes. Retro styling - maybe. Let's call it 'timeless'. It's no frills, the Ramones-style three-chord rush with a Celtic flavour. The band banter, the drummer wants to slow down. "We've got another 84 songs to do yet", quips the frontman and off they go again. Good steam, as they say round these parts.

If you book them, they will come. The magic starts to happen and the place is filling up. I don't know if Steve Diggle won a bet on the way over or whether the sound guy just can't be arsed but the background music is Paul Weller. It's not what I would have chosen to preface a performance by one of the original - and easily the best - veterans of the punk rock wars. The crowd is a familiar one. Not in the same faces but in composition. There are those living in a permanent personal 1977, where punk never died, never grew out if its bumflaps and dayglo dreads; there are the punk-curious and their partners; there are the young'uns who have heard their new best favourite guitar bands citing Buzzcocks as their role models. They're all here and they're all a-buzz with excitement.

Rightly so. Buzzcocks amble on.  Diggle's clutching a bottle of Moet et Chandon, the most famous item on their infamous rider. There's a bit of knob twiddling. Then we're straight into 'Boredom'. The communion has begun. The beauty of the band's long, idiosyncratic and uncompromising career is that songs from any era of their existence fit together seamlessly. The cognoscenti will happily tell you which epoch each song represents. It's irrelevant that tonight's set opens with an extended nod to their first album before rushing headlong, via a couple of drum-heavy excursions, into what the casual punter wants - the singles.

Pete breaks a string during  'Why She’s a Girl From the Chainstore'. He carries on singing while his spare guitar is tuned, and he straps it on perfectly in time for the solo. Slick and professional. polished, even.

There's a token pause after 'What Do I Get?' when the band leave the stage but they're soon back to give us a further battering. We're in Dublin after all, so Steve Diggle uses 'Harmony in my Head' to deliver a rambling homage to James Joyce. He introduces the song as " ... inspired by Ulysses". I think he's over-pitched it. The crowd just want to jump and bellow. And they do. We're all orgasm addicts.

Fast Cars
I Don’t Mind
Get On Our Own
Whatever Happened to?
Why She’s a Girl From the Chainstore
Sick City Sometimes
Moving Aay From The Pulsebeat
Nothing Left
Noise Annoys
Love You More
What Do I Get?

Harmony In My Head
Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?
Orgasm Addict

Part 3 - aftershow ...

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