Time’s Up!

I spent the day working on 40K and drinking coffee. I had noticed earlier in the week that the Buzzcocks were playing El Corazon and this afternoon Nik and I decided to go. We left the house around 9 pm and headed downtown. There were two opening bands, both LA-based. The Strays and the Adored are both keen students of 70s punk but their sounds are different. The Strays have a definite Clash vibe and they even covered “Spanish Bombs.” The Adored were right on the border of punk and new wave, playing power pop with punk attitude. I liked the Strays better, but the Adored were OK too.

During the long wait between the Adored and the Buzzcocks, I ruminated on the fact that Buzzcocks “Spiral Scratch” EP was released exactly 30 years ago. How weird is that? I saw them several times in the late 80s/early 90s, when they first got back together, but it has probably been 15 years since the last time. I had picked up their 2003 LP and found it pretty good though, so I had hopes the show would be worthwhile. This week I could use the distraction.

When the Buzzcocks finally hit the stage, it was like they did two shows in one. The first seven songs were all newer material, none of which I’d heard before. It was good too and I think I’ll have to pick up their new album, “Flat-Pack Philosophy.” I was just beginning to wonder if the whole show would be new songs when they kicked into “I Don’t Mind.” Then I thought, “OK, cool, so they’re going to mix up old and new stuff now.” But no, the next 12 odd songs were a total greatest hits package, from “Breakdown” and “Fast Cars” to “Noise Annoys” and “Autonomy.” They then came back for an encore, did one song from their 2003 record, and then closed out the show with “Orgasm Addict.” “Ever Fallen in Love?”, and “Oh Shit.” So basically, they played about two-thirds of the “Singles Going Steady” LP and there’s really nothing wrong with that. I would liked to have heard “Time’s Up,” “Boredom”, and “Love Battery”, but the Buzzcocks just have too many great songs. The performance wasn’t as energetic as the first time I saw them (1989 I believe), but that’s no big surprise. Pete Shelley looks like your pudgy gay uncle these days. Steve Diggle was still way into it though, jumping around and pumping the crowd up. He was clearly having a ball and that’s always a good sign. Overall, a fun time.

In the morning I’m leaving for an unexpected trip to the East Coast. I have some family business to attend to but I’ll be back later this week. You probably won’t see any updates from me until the end of the week.

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