Buzzcocks is a British punk rock band from Bolton, Manchester. They are one of the most prolific English bands of the first wave punk / new wave (1977).
Pete Shelley, whose real name is Peter Mc Neish, grew up in Leight in the suburbs of Manchester. Fan of T. Rex and Roxy Music, he joined in 1975, with Howard Devoto, met at the University of Bolton, and admirer like him of the Velvet Underground. After reading an article about Sex Pistols in NME magazine, they go to London to see them in concert.
They formed the group just after in February 1976. Their first concert took place on April 1 in their old college. On June 4, they bring the Pistols to Manchester for a concert at the Free Trade Hall (in front of the future members of Joy Division, The Fall and The Smiths). Having failed to recruit other musicians in time, they can unfortunately do the first part. They catch up in July at the second London concert in Manchester. In an emergency, they recruit a bassist Steve Diggle and a drummer of sixteen, John Maher. The name Buzzcocks is chosen with reference to an article in Time Out magazine, which titled It's the Buzz, Cock! his column of the TV show Rock Follies. The term Buzz means the excitement of playing on stage, while "cock" means boyfriend or mate of Manchester slang (although the term buzzcock can also mean slang vibrator). They often accompany the Sex Pistols or The Clash and participate on September 22, 1976 in the first punk festival organized at 100 Club in London by Malcolm Mac Laren, with The Damned, The Vibrators and Stinky Toys.
With borrowed money, they finance a day at Indigo Sound Studio, after which they release Spiral Scratch, the first self-produced album of English punk rock. Produced by Martin Hannett, future producer of Joy Division and Happy Mondays, this four-track EP, first pressed to 1,000 copies, has a very strong impact on the punk scene of 1977, especially with the flagship title Boredom becoming a punk hymn. Eventually, they will be able to sell more than 16,000 copies.