Monday, May 01, 2006

Max and the Buzzcocks

Last night the Buzzcocks played their first ever Prague show and Max was there. Max should not have been there because she has been ill, but that is another story.

I used to listen to the Buzzcocks way back when I was at university. I only owned one of their albums (A Different Kind of Tension – 1979), and that was a copy - on a cassette with Killing Joke on the other side. I think I still have the cassette in storage.

Mike first told me that the Buzzcocks would be playing but it was impossible to find information about their show. Mike knew they would be playing at Futurum, but they were not even listed on Futurum’s website. Tickets for events at Futurum are usually sold either through or – neither of the two websites had the concert.

While sitting in the garden of a pub after the Slavia-Sparta match, it was decided that we needed 8 tickets and that I would go to Futurum (because it’s near my work) and see about getting tickets from the box office there. The people at Futurum the evening I went had no idea at all about how to get advance tickets for the Buzzcocks. Tireless research led me to the show’s promoters, Ladrogang presents, a company I had never heard of – it appears that they specialise in punk. If you go to their website ( and click on “kontakt”, all you get are a couple of email addresses – no real address, no phone number. So I emailed and reserved 8 tickets.

We all agreed to meet on Sunday at 19.30 at Futurum to pick up our tickets. As I turned the corner (walking over from Anděl) and was suddenly in front of Futurum, I was surprised to see that I had travelled back in time again, this time to 1977 England. There was a crowd of very hard looking punkers with mohawks of many different colours and pins and spikes and piercings – old punks who were taking themselves too seriously.

We had not known in advance how much the tickets would cost. They were 350 Kč ($15.50, £8.50), which was a bargain to see an old classic punk band in a venue that probably holds about 300 people.

The opening band was Plexis, a Czech hardcore band that I thought was very good. For anyone that knows Spike from law school, the bass player/lead singer reminded me of him, although just a bit spikier. There were a few moshers while Plexis were playing, and I moved to the side and up onto a step to remain above the fracas. I was still only about 8 metres from the stage.

Finally the Buzzcocks came on. Everyone came in from the club’s other bars and the floor was packed. A real mosh pit opened up and I was very amused because it had been years since I had seen real moshing and stage-diving and everything. It was far too crowded for my tastes and, like I do every time I go to a concert like that, I reminded myself for the future not to do it again. I was glad that my friends, some of them big strong lads, were near me, and I hoped that they would back me up if I got into a fight.

The music was awesome, although there were complaints in my camp that the Buzzcocks were playing too much new stuff and not enough of their classics. But that is what you get for going to a concert with people that know the band from way back when.

Things I learned last night that I had not known before about the Buzzcocks:

  • They introduced the Sex Pistols to Manchester thereby starting the Manchester music scene.
  • Pete Shelley is gay. But research today has shown me that may not be the case. In Pete Shelley’s own words from a 1982 interview (with all the to-do about his song “Homosapien” being banned by the BBC):

That the BBC thought it was a gay song is great, fantastic. I'm a sexual person, I don't bother delineating myself into homo, hetero or bi, it just depends on the person, the situation and what happens.

An interesting fact I learned today on the internet:

  • The Buzzcocks released punk’s first self-financed record, which created the concept of independent record labels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Remember when we went to see No Means No!!! eeekkk I still excited about that show!
You know the Sex Pistols where like the Backstreet Boys of punk? They were a commerical band created my Malcolm McLaren and Vivian Westwood, who were married or partners at the time. Vivian Westwood had a shop in London called Sex that sold sex shop type clothing that punks wore around in London. The Sex Pistols were created to promote her line of clothing pretty much.
Just another interesting fact according to Viv, Jean Paul Gauthier stole the cone bra design from her, the same cone bra that he included in the costume design of Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour.