Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band, formed in Bolton in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto.[1] They are regarded as an important influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop,[2] pop punk and indie rock. 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".[3] Devoto and Shelley chose the name "Buzzcocks" 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.[4]

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".[5] Peter McNeish,[6] a fellow student at the Institute, responded to the notice. Trafford played electronic music[6] 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. The band formed as 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.[7]  

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