+ THE SPAZZYS
Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Adelaide
November 24, 2009
By GEOFF CAHIR
I hadn't been feeling the best lately. I think the heatwave got to me a bit. But what better pick me up could you have than those fine exponents of British powerpop-punk, Buzzcocks? Don't know what number tour this one is - it'd have to be six or seven – but it’s great to see them back.
Kicking things off were Melbourne three-piece The Spazzys who initially seemed to be going through the motions, Gradually, they fired up and at the end of the set they really got the crowd going. An inspired choice as support act really. It'd be good to see them kick again on in their own right now they’re free of their label battles. I suppose time will tell.
After what seemed like ages (but wasn't) The Buzzys made it out and ripped straight into “Fast Cars”… then “No Reply” (complete with ring tone) and on we went.
Post Howard Devoto, the core lineup has always been Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle – this time augmented by a nervous looking Chris Remington on bass and Danny Farrant on drums. I'm not sure how long these guys have been together but they sounded great. After all this time you'd think Shelley and Diggle would be a bit jaded and flat but nothing could be further from the truth. On one hand there's Shelley holding the fort, firing off snappy guitar lines, and singing up a storm.
Now, 'ol Diggsy’s something else entirely. Jumping around like a loon,grinning at everyone. Sometimes he forgets to sing and play at the same time but he’s just being the brilliant showman he was born to be. He and Shelley bounce off each other well.
The idea behind the shows was to play the first two albums and throw in a few of the other tunes from down the years. This they did with loads of passion and finesse.
How good was it too hear lost gems like'' Sixteen Again' “Real World” and “ESP” (with its annoyingly brilliant guitar part still ringing in my ear.) The encore came along as “Orgasm Addict” “Ever Fallien In Love” - two of the best songs of rejection and loneliness ever penned “What do I Get?” and “Promises” follow. But you know what capped it off for me was at the end of “Harmony In My Head” when Diggle (after flinging himself around all night) grabbed the mike stand and went out to the throng and got us all involved. Then he started a rant urging us to “keep thinking for yourselves…and don't listen to all the shit your told” as he flung the mike round, Daltrey style. What a bloke!
A band that gets better with age rather than the opposite. You don't get to say that very often.