“Tony Hicks from the Hollies popped into the studio and said, ‘That’s my guitar.’ I thought, ‘F**k me, I’ve bought a stolen Les Paul!’” Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks on the making of their 1978 punk classic, Another Music in a Different Kitchen

The Buzzcocks live in 1978: [From left] Garth Smith, Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle
The Buzzcocks live in 1978: [From left] Garth Smith, Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle (Image credit: Gus Stewart/Redferns)

Although the U.K. punk explosion of 1976 was initially a very London-centric phenomenon, Buzzcocks – from Manchester in the north of England – were actually one of the very first bands to release a single, Spiral Scratch, on their own New Hormones label. But they were pacesetters in a number of ways. 

Singer Pete Shelley (who passed away in 2018) actually booked the Sex Pistols to play an early show in Manchester. The audience for that event, according to legend, included several Mancunians who went on to form significant bands, including Morrissey from the Smiths, the Cult’s Billy Duffy and members of New Order.   Buzzcocks bucked the trend, eschewing bleak nihilism for melody-laden, instant pop classics that saw them score numerous chart successes. 

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Mark McStea

Mark is a freelance writer with particular expertise in the fields of ‘70s glam, punk, rockabilly and classic ‘50s rock and roll. He sings and plays guitar in his own musical project, Star Studded Sham, which has been described as sounding like the hits of T. Rex and Slade as played by Johnny Thunders. He had several indie hits with his band, Private Sector and has worked with a host of UK punk luminaries. Mark also presents themed radio shows for Generating Steam Heat. He has just completed his first novel, The Bulletproof Truth, and is currently working on the sequel.