Buzzcocks – Live At Shepherds Bush Empire 2003 DVD
Music Video Distributors
In 2003 I saw the Buzzcocks play while I had just started getting the flu. Despite the fact that as the night progressed, I was getting sicker, they put on one hell of a great show and it was worth being laid up for the next week or two feeling like I was dying. I had missed them a few times before but always heard what a great live act they were, and I was glad I finally got to experience it first hand. I vowed that if they ever come back to town again, that no matter what I wouldn’t miss it.
This DVD is a live concert from the same year I got to see them, recorded in their home country of England in front of what appeared to be a pretty big crowd. They played around 90 minutes, with a total of 32 songs covering their whole career, with a huge emphasis on the older songs. Basically any song you’d likely want to hear was played at this show, it was a really solid set list. Nearly 30 years since they played their first show and the Buzzcocks still deliver the goods and leave you completely satisfied, and much like the show I saw, this one was no exception.
The video was digitally recorded on multiple cameras and looks very good. Occasionally, I noticed some weird lines in the images though that perhaps came from transferring the video if it was originally recorded on PAL? It wasn’t constant and wasn’t very distracting as it only happened in certain scenes for a brief time. The camera angles were nice and the edits were clean. The fact that this was shot at only one show is a plus, as I never much cared for live videos where the video is taken from different shows because it ends up not feeling like a real live show. The audio has only one option; 5.1 surround and sounds very good.
There are a few bonus features on this DVD as well. There is a 47 minute interview with Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle where they do a great job covering the history of the band, focusing mostly on the first few years of their career, but also delving into the breakup and reformation of the band. It was a great way to learn some Buzzcocks history and it was evident that they really seem to still enjoy playing together. The soundcheck to the live show is another bonus feature and is something you usually don’t get to see when attending a concert. They play a couple songs and it is around 15 minutes long. A photo gallery, poster gallery, clips from a music video shoot and band bio (all text) round out the rest of the features. It’ll take you a good few hours to get through everything the disc has to offer.
As a long time Buzzcocks fan, I would say this is pretty essential viewing. I had a particular interest in it as it was recorded the year I got to see them. Any long time fan of the band would do well to add this to their Buzzcocks collection as it is the next best thing to getting to go see them play on any particular afternoon.