The Buzzcocks + The Lurkers @ The Assembly, Leamington Spa – 23rd January 2009


“Come and reminisce — if you think you’re hard enough”

The Lurkers’ 2008 album-opener pokes fun at ageing punks who think that music died in 1979 but tonight was a celebration of all that. Whilst a lot of bands are touring their seminal albums, Buzzcocks have decided to go one better by playing their first two albums Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites in their entirety, with a few singles at the end just to finish everyone off.

On the face of it Venus motif wallpaper, silver cherubs and carpets and drapery all designed by Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen should have little to do with late 1970s punk. Mind you some of the cherubs did look a bit like Pete Shelley 2009 vintage. Incongruous as it may be the Art Deco Assembly proved an excellent venue for this latest instalment of the Another Bites Tour. For a smallish venue there was a lot of space for the mixture of teenagers and dads to leap around in — and leap around they did.

However it did take the place a while to warm up. The background music was firmly of its time with lots of two-tone and reggae whist the plush surroundings seemed to make people hang back a bit. The Lurkers took to the stage to only a mild ripple of applause but to their credit by the end of the set the atmosphere had changed completely.


The Lurkers are one of those bands that we all remember but don’t really know. For some reason I expected Howard Wall and Pete Stride to still be around but obviously a lot has happened in the the last 30 years, and Arturo Bassick is the last surviving member having resurrected the band in the late 80s. Punk credentials were quickly put in place; Arturo also now plays with 999 and guitarist Dave Kemp was once with Penetration He soon had the crowd shouting for their favourites and they were all there: I’m On Heat, Freak Show, Shadow, Jenny, and I Go Sane. The highlight for me was the cover of New York Dolls’ Pills by which time a few of the crowd had decided that it was time to join in and move around a bit. It was over all to soon and they left the stage after a strange version of Dean Martin’s Little Ol’ Wine Drinker Me.


They could have been talking about Steve Diggle who arrived with guitar in one hand and bottle of Champers in the other. Drinking it out of a pint glass somewhat spoiled the illusion but it had the appropriate effect on Steve who threw himself into the gig, as did the “cherub” Pete Shelley who was not quite so disinterested as he sometimes appears on stage. Not much silver on show but he was wearing another one of his Mondrian shirts.

The closing notes of Boredom acting as the opening of Fast Cars signalled the Another Music.. section of the gig. I know that they played all the songs on both the albums but were they in the right order? At one point Pete Shelley forgot the set list ,“we’ll do that one later then”,and then just took to shouting out the song titles to keep them all together keeping up a furious pace. No Reply, Love Battery, Fiction Romance and I Need were the familiar highlights and obviously what the crowd had come to hear getting more violent and animated.


Then we were into Love Bites, obviously more familiar to the majority of the crowd so the singing and chanting was growing in volume with Ever Fallen in Love predictably bringing the house down. They actually could have done with revising the track listing as the atmosphere didn’t quite reach those heights again although Operators Manual, Sixteen Again, ESP and the instrumental Late For The Train , the last song on Love Bites, had the folks on the barrier feeling more uncomfortable.

Surprisingly the calls for the encore were a bit half hearted; or maybe the Dads were just struggling for breath. The return to the stage saw a rapid fire mini-set of singles including Lipstick, Orgasm Addict, I Don’t Mind, Harmony In My Head, and Love You More. It all ended with Steve Diggle trying to demolish the stage and throwing microphone stands around.

I hope Lawrence’s carpet survived

Review – Ian Gelling

Photos – Steph Colledge

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