FORMED in 1976 and with only two original members left, the Buzzcocks still sounded fresh and urgent before a giddy Dartford crowd on Friday night.
Guitarist Steve Diggle and lead singer Pete Shelley bounded on to the Mick Jagger Centre’s stage at 9.20pm and never looked back after launching straight into a three-song opening salvo rounded off by 1978 single I Don’t Mind.
Diggle seemed to have brought his own fan club of nattily-dressed if follicly challenged blokes whom he whipped into a frenzy.
While this was an exercise in nostalgia for most gig-goers who were there the first time around, this didn’t stop Diggle in particular pulling out all the stops.
Pin-sharp pop punk songs Whatever Happened To?, I Don’t Mind and You Say You Don’t Love Me were all delivered with mad flourishes by Diggle and a wry smile from Shelley.
A storming trio of Promises, Love You More and What Do I Get? rounded off the first hour, and if there had been barriers at the front they would have been stormed had the band not come back on.
Big guns Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) and first single Orgasm Addict were saved for the encore and delivered with sweaty relish by Diggle with his black T-shirt sleeves rolled up but cravat still intact.
Drummer Danny Farrant asked, “Who wants my f**king shoes?” before flinging them into the crowd, giving two people sweaty mementos to go with happy memories of a band still capable of thrilling.
Snarling attitude in support came from Essex outfit the Dead Formats.