Pete shelley

The man at the heart of punk: the late Pete Shelley recalls his Buzzcocks years

Manchester, in the words of the artist Linder Sterling, is a ‘tiny little world’. Nearly three million people live in its sprawl, but its centre is compact. Like-minded Mancunians have always found one another easily. Cultural life is febrile, which partly explains how, in the pre-digital late-20th century, England’s third city produced such startling bands: Joy Division, the Fall, New Order, the Smiths, the Happy Mondays and Tony Wilson’s era-defining Factory record label — and Buzzcocks, less celebrated, but without whom Manchester’s creative energy would have failed to detonate. Pete Shelley was Buzzcocks’s charismatic co-founder and chief songwriter, whose sharp lyrics and bratty vocals shaped much of British punk. He

‘We knew there was greatness in these songs’: Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks interviewed

Steve Diggle hasn’t spent this long away from a stage in 40-odd years. For the Buzzcocks guitarist, like everyone else, 2020 was a year of thwarted plans. Instead of touring Britain and America, Diggle spent the year in ‘self-analysis’ and writing a new album. What else for an ageing punk to do? Except, of course, curate your legacy, grapple with the past. When Diggle joined Buzzcocks in 1976, originally as the bass player, he didn’t imagine he would still be flying the flag 45 years later. It’s both a blessing and a curse. Though his band remains a going concern, the songs that shift tickets were written half a lifetime