The Buzzcocks are an English punk band formed by Pete Shelly and Howard Devoto (later of the postpunk band Magazine). They were one of the innovators of "pop-punk" and would later influence punk bands in years to come, including every band on Lookout Records, Green Day, and basically every punk band who had a pop edge. They are also one of the most influencial bands to come out of the Manchester music scene (which would later include bands like Joy Division, New Order, The Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Stone Roses, etc..) Smiths drummer Mike Joyce joined the band and played drums for them in 1990-1991. Their songs are infectious, catchy and lyrically brilliant. Some of their best known songs are What Do I Get, Harmony in My Head, Everybody's Happy Nowadays, Ever Fallen In Love, Orgasm Addict..etc.. Most can be found on the Singles Going Steady collection. Another one of my personal favorites is I Believe, which is also one of their longest songs. Here is the band playing it live at this year's Coachella.
The Buzzcocks - I Believe
Florence and the Machine
Florence and the Machine is one of the few new bands worth talking about. Their music is moving, catchy, passionate, and warm. Florence Welsh has one of the best voices in music today. I previously mentioned their Unplugged performance, where you really see them shine. They only have 2 albums to their name, but expect this band to be around for a while. Florence is one of those rare female singers who has a presence, a strong voice. I can see a lot of influence from people such as Kate Bush, Siouxsie Sioux, and Bjork in Florence. That is great company to be in. This was one of highlights of Coachella this year. Check out Cosmic Love.
Florence and the Machine - Cosmic Love
James is another great band to come out of the Manchester music scene. They formed in the early 1980s, but did not achieve success until the 90s with their album Laid. They have toured with such notable artists as The Smiths and Neil Young. Brian Eno even produced a few albums with them. Morrissey even called them one of the best bands in the world back in 1983 and he covered their song What's the World. Here is James with their only hit in the US, Laid.
James - Laid
One of the great reunions of this year's Coachella. Refused are a hardcore punk band from Sweden who achieved success with their 1998 album, The Shape of Punk To Come, which would find an audience after the band broke up. It has been named one of the most influencial hardcore punk albums of all time. The album was a "punk" album but includes jazz interludes, and even techno sounds, It challenged what it punk rock was all about. That's why it's an important record. It's refreshing that these guys are back. Here is Refused with Liberation Frequency.
Refused - Liberation Frequency
At the Drive-In
At the Drive-In - Pattern Against User
Madness - House of Fun