New book claims Buzzcocks were 'key to the Manchester music revolution'

ITV Granada Reports correspondent Tim Scott has been speaking to Buzzcocks fan, musician and author, Paul Hanley.

Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley was the 'catalyst' to a music revolution during the 80s, a new book has claimed.

Paul Hanley, author of 'Sixteen Again: How Pete Shelley & Buzzcocks Changed Manchester Music (and me)', believes Shelley and the punk band Buzzcocks were vital to the musical transformation during the 80s in Manchester.

With the book released on what would have been Shelley's 69th birthday, 17 April, Paul feels the Buzzcocks do not receive enough credit for their cultural impact to the city.

Pete Shelley, from Leigh, died aged 63 in 2018.

Paul said: "There aren't enough books about Buzzcocks. Look at the Sex Pistols, there's hundreds of books about the Sex Pistols and The Clash, there's a fair few.

"They're every bit as important as far as I'm concerned, not just musically cause I think their brilliant musically.

"But in terms of the cultural impact of Manchester, I think they're probably even more important in some ways than The Clash and Sex Pistols.

"He didn't say we're the only band that counts, maybe some people took him at face value, but I think that was the great part of his appeal, he wasn't showbiz.

"That's certainly one of the things I loved about them... Pete Shelley was the same on stage as he was off, which you can't say about a lot of performers."

Paul, who was a drummer for The Fall from 1980 to 1984, wrote the book to examine Buzzcocks' influence on the history of Manchester music.

He said: "He was a nice guy which sounds ridiculous but I think that's quite key. I think his nice guy-ness played into his music in a way that it doesn't always with people in bands.

"It didn't distract, so it didn't make him less charismatic because he was ordinary, I think it made him more charismatic in a way.

"And his song writing ability, his ability to put himself in that teenage headspace for years, without being condensing or without talking down to his audience.

"I think he was a unique songwriter and he's not celebrated enough I don't think, for me."

A mural, bench and blue plaque has been created in his home town to mark his legacy.

Pete Shelley, from Leigh, died aged 63 in 2018. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Paul thinks Shelley was brave with his openness to talk about his bisexuality, he said: "He was probably one of the first artists who neither made a thing of it, so it wasn't part of the act, he wasn't Elton John or [David] Bowie, but then he didn't try to hide it either.

"He was walking to places in town and getting the bus, and being quite open about his sexuality, it was a particularly brave thing to do.

"A particularly clever thing to not make it part of the act because then it just becomes a cliche after awhile. I mean everything about him was just who he was, which is why I think he's a unique artist."