RIP Pete Shelley



I first realised something was wrong when I got two texts in quick succession. One from an old pal, who lives 400 miles away saying. What Do I Get? Sad. The second from my brother a few mins later, with a helpful top 10 which I've shamelessly plagiarised.

It's not the same as losing a family member, or a close friend, but for anyone who was lucky to be alive and capable of listening to music in the late 70's it does not feel much different. Here's a few thoughts and some songs to remember him by.

My first proper encounter with Buzzcocks (not The Buzzcocks) was when this came out. The start still sends a shiver of anticipation up my spine. A classic piece of indie pop, with a key change to die for. This little Mancunian guy encapsulating a teenagers life in 3 minutes flat.

It was straight down to Groucho's or I and N in Dundee to find the back catalogue - Orgasm Addict and the famous Spiral Scratch EP. Boredom - another perfect song capturing life in Britain in late 70's. I remember sitting in a terrible pub in Dundee, scratching Boredom, boredom, ba dum, ba dum on a beer mat.

Pete was also good at extending my vocabulary - as a very non-hip science student words like autonomy were beyond my ken. A fantastic song, with a great riff, the joint guitars really working well together, not to mention Maher's drumming.

The key turning point of course, was the 1978 to 1979 era when a string of hit singles saw them as regulars on Top of the Pops. Personal favourites to follow. Love You More

Here's the aforementioned Orgasm Addict, as you can imagine a popular choice at the Student Union disco.

Terrific single cover art as well. Here's the cover of my, now slightly tatty, Spiral Scratch too.

The man was, of course, a poet. Who'd have thought? A wave of nostalgia for an age yet to come.

I first saw them live in Edinburgh around 1977/8 - the only thing I remember was seeing my pal Craig wandering about back stage. For reasons which I still don't understand he ended up behind the scenes with a pint. You could drink from proper glasses in those days. I've no idea what they played, but I suspect this was on the list