10 Reasons to Love Pete Shelley & Buzzcocks

Pete Shelley Had The Most Punk Guitar Ever

No explanation needed.

Pete Guitar

Buzzcocks helped the Sex Pistols/Punk Rock gain national recognition

With the two early DIY punk shows at the Lesser Free Trade they played a big part in  helping punk break out of London, which also led to the Pistols get their first TV appearance through Manchester’s Tony Wilson.


Buzzcocks basically started the DIY Punk Scene

The Pistols and The Clash were great but they signed major record deals. Buzzcocks released their own Spiral Scratch EP in January 1977, paving the way for all DIY punk bands to release their own records, making them arguably the most important of the first wave of bands. No, I don’t want an argument.

They Had The Most Punk Guitar Solo Ever


Listen: Buzzcocks – Boredom

Pete’s Non-Macho Stance & Love Songs

Anarchy in the UK, White, Riot etc we boss but Pete said it was OK to be a punk and not be macho, writing a string of classic love songs. This opened up punk to many people who otherwise probably wouldn’t have thought they could write songs or be in a band.


Listen: Buzzcocks – What Do I Get?

Buzzcocks also gave us Magazine!

When Howard Devoto left to form Magazine it gave us another classic and totally different band.


Listen: Magazine – Shot By Both Sides

Amazing Pop-Art Record Covers

After years of dreary hippy album covers Buzzcocks designer Malcolm Garrett produced brilliant edgy and imaginative covers for their records.


They helped establish Independent Records Labels & Shops

Their New Hormones label as the first DIY label, paved the way for Independent labels such as Factory, Rough Trade etc. and establish ‘indie’ as a genre…and that includes releases by loads of great bands such as Joy Division, The Fall, Pere Ubu, The Raincoats etc. (not just the drippy indie stuff).


Buzzcocks helped bring back the classic 7″ Pop Single

Before punk, in the corporate prog era, the album was king. Punk helped bring back credible music to the pop charts with the great singles from 1977 onwards. Buzzcocks did as much as anyone with a string of singles that stand up against even the likes of The Ronettes, The Supremes, The Beatles as classic three minute pop songs.

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Listen: Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen in Love

Buzzcocks helped give us The Fall

Buzzcocks were very supportive of the early Fall and Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon, stumped up the money for The Fall to record their first Bingo Masters Breakout EP. Thanks Richard.


Listen: The Fall – Bingo Masters Breakout EP












Top 10 ‘Pop Songs’ by The Fall


The Dinner Ladies have occasionally been compared to The Fall, especially for our more shouty songs like ‘That London’ and ‘Hip Potater’, but obviously not as weird or wonderful. So here are our top ten Fall ‘pop songs’. Although Mark E Smith was known mostly for the weirdness and obscurity of his material, he could write a great three minute pop song when he wanted to and also covered some great songs. This may also serve as a way into The Fall for some people who have found their stuff impenetrable. It’s still not exactly Buck’s Fizz!

Touch Sensitive

1999 from the album ‘The Marshall Suite’

Victoria (Kinks Cover)

1988 from the album ‘The Frenz Experiment’

Hit The North

1988 from the album ‘The Frenz Experiment’

Hey Luciani

1986 Single

Telephone Thing

1990 from the album ‘Extricate’

No Bulbs

1984 from the album ‘ The Wonderful & Frightening World of The Fall’

Mr Pharmacist (The Other Half Cover)

1986 from the album ‘Bend Sinister’

Cab it Up

1988 from the album ‘I Am Kurious Oranj’


1984 from the album ‘ The Wonderful & Frightening World of The Fall’

The Littlest Rebel

1990 from the album ‘Extricate’


Favourite Bands of 2017


Most Interesting Liverpool & UK Bands of 2017

There are lots of great local rock & roll bands that have played Free Rock & Roll over the last year such as Bovver Bailey, Sheepy, Mincemeat and many more but here are five of the most individual and interesting Liverpool bands that we’ve had at the Free Rock & Roll nights in 2017. 

Unstoppable Sweeties Show

Describing themselves is punk, prog, psychedelic, free improvisation, jazz, spoken word, avant-garde, noise, and comedy. Insane genius and probably closer to the original free spirit of punk than all your mohawk bands.

Queen Zee & the Sasstones

Not a DIY band now of course but they’ve gone from that to being on the telly and everything in less than 12 months. I went to one of their early shows not long after they expanded to to five piece and what was great about it, was that it felt like what it must have been like at an early Velvet Underground gig or an early Sex Pistols gig, in that it was obviously about much more than just the music. There were young kids running round experimenting with their identities for the first time and stuff. It’s hard to find that freshness and excitement in rock & roll these days.

Faniel Dord

Faniel is obviously from the long line of great British eccentrics like Spike Milligan, Vivian Stanshall etc. He’s a real artist in that it’s a performance thing and he’s unafraid to just do what he does and not worry what people think of him. He won’t die wondering. It’s wonderful stuff. He should maybe write the next Jona Lewi style Christmas song?


Garage and 60s Psyche is a very hip thing isn’t it these days. All 60s Psyche can’t all have been good though can it? These have got that 60s garage band thing but are another band who are not afraid to go off in all directions. They aren’t just ticking boxes. I love that freedom. Dead powerful live too.

Rat Bit Kit

The accordian playing, avant-garde bellboy has been around a while now I know but thank God for eccentrics eh?  He has a backing band now and does some great covers too. When you see him live, I love the way he divides the room into those that love it and those that can’t hack it. That’s always a good sign that something is different and worthwhile.

These are five of my favourite bands I’ve seen from playing around the UK on the DIY underground scene.


These are from Leeds and have that Gang of Four, Mekons, post-punk Leeds sound. The singer Dunstan was formerly in Chumbawumba. These are my favourite band at the moment with great social comment over a dead interesting soundscape. I think Leeds is producing loads of good bands on the DIY scene at the moment, such as Nosebleed, Cyanide Pills, X Ray Cat Trio, Nervous Twitch and more.

The Twistettes

These are a two piece garage band from Glasgow. We played with them in Glasgow and were blown away. It manages to have the power of the two-piece garage thing but the pop hooks of stuff like The Ronettes. Nothing beats a great song with a great chorus.

Wonk Unit

These have been around a few years now but currently sit at the top of the DIY punk rock pyramid, through a lot of hard work and great songs with interesting lyrics. Has the London element of The Blockheads and Madness. Great people too who run their own festival Wonkfest and contribute a lot the DIY scene and it’s causes.


Another two piece girl band from Scotland. They actually live right up in the north in the middle of nowhere so have to drive miles even to the nearest gigs. They are dead young, vegan, feminist, politically aware and fun. The perfect Riot Grrl band.

Evil Blizzard

There seem to be quite a few bands on the punk sene trying to push the boundaries from the punk by numbers, three chord thing and these are one of them. Also part of that attitude, like Interrobang!?  Wonk Unit and hopefully the Dinner Ladies is putting on a great visual show. Musically you can hear all sorts including Hawkwind and Public Image.

So there you go. All just my opinion of course. But one things for sure…there’s loads of great bands out there if you are bothered to go out and watch em.