Pete Shelley: 1955-2018

When people talk about British punk, first, they’ll invariably mention Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Clash.  The breakthrough of a whole new wave of alternative music was never limited to the London suburbs, of course, and Manchester’s Buzzcocks were at the forefront of a whole musical revolution.

The band’s ‘Spiral Scratch’ EP paved the way for DIY releases and as the band’s career gained momentum with the seminal albums ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ and ‘Love Bites’.  On these two releases especially, one of the UK’s best ever punk bands – by this time fronted by Pete Shelley – perfected a blend of punk and power pop sounds that would change the world and influence generations of musicians just as much as the Ramones.  Buzzcocks – although they would never have set out to achieve such an accolade – became critically acclaimed in their field; almost untouchable national treasures of alternative music.

Much of the appeal came from Pete Shelley’s quirky voice and energy.  After passing away after a suspected heart attack on 6th December 2018, he leaves a massive hole in the worlds of both punk and power pop, as well as all of the lives of the record buyers who clung onto every note of the Buzzcocks’ classics in the late 70s.

We remember Pete and a tiny part of his musical legacy below with a few classic clips and subsequently invite you to pull out your copy of ‘Another Music…’ – or your preferred slab of Buzzcocks vinyl – and celebrate Pete and the great music he gave us. Maybe it’s time to re-evalute those overlooked solo LPs, too. There’s so much great music to enjoy.

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