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Steve Diggle And The Revolution Of Sound: Air Conditioning

Angry broadsides from Buzzcocks’ other frontman.

Though often overshadowed by Pete Shelley’s, Diggle’s contributions to The Buzzcocks songbook have been immense.

His rocking realist counterpoints to the latter’s romanticism have also steered his 80s outfit Flag Of Convenience and a fitful solo career.

Here, drawing strength from core 60s influences – Dylan, Kinks , The Who – and righteously inflamed about everything from pop’s love of cheap sweet nothings (Plastic Kisses) to the perilous state of the universe he is newly energised. Riff rich firepower – the Townsend windmills of World Spinning Round – and tumultuous, trash frenzied love songs are a speciality, even quoting his own Harmony In My Head on Hey Maria.

Cogent and refreshing with an uplifting bullshit free attitude Air Conditioning does what its title claims, offering a fresh blast to the system where other old punks offer stale air.

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.