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Buzzcocks are an English punk band formed in Bolton in 1976, led by singer–songwriter–guitarist Pete Shelley.[6]

They are regarded as an important influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop, pop punk and indie rock.[1] They achieved commercial success with singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy. These singles were collected on Singles Going Steady, described by critic Ned Raggett as a "punk masterpiece".[7] The widely covered "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" remains one of their best-known songs.

The name "Buzzcocks" was chosen by Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley after reading the headline "it's the buzz, cocks!" in a review of the TV series Rock Follies in Time Out magazine. The "buzz" is the excitement of playing on stage; "cock" is Manchester slang meaning "mate" (as in friend / buddy). They thought it captured the excitement of the Sex Pistols and nascent punk scene.[8]



Early years

Howard Trafford, a student at Bolton Institute of Technology (now the University of Bolton), placed a notice in the college looking for musicians sharing a liking for The Velvet Underground's song "Sister Ray".[9] Peter McNeish,[10] a fellow student at the Institute, responded to the notice. Trafford played electronic music[10] and McNeish had played rock.

McNeish assumed the stage name Pete Shelley, and Trafford named himself Howard Devoto, after a bus driver in Cambridge. In late 1975, Shelley and Devoto recruited a drummer and formed an embryonic version of Buzzcocks that did not perform in front of an audience and which dissolved after a number of rehearsals.[citation needed] The band formed as the Buzzcocks in February 1976 and performed live for the first time on 1 April 1976 at their college. Garth Davies played bass guitar and Mick Singleton played drums. Singleton also played in local band Black Cat Bone.[11]

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