IT REALLY WAS A CRACKING DEBUT SINGLE (31)

Edited from all music:-

In 1977, Vic Godard, leader of the early British punk band Subway Sect, described how his band differed from the Sex Pistols and the other new groups on the scene: “They just want to revitalize rock & roll whereas we just wanna get rid of it.”

Subway Sect were one of the more distinctive acts to emerge from the first wave of U.K. punk, possessing a lean, primal sound that owed a strong debt of influence to the Velvet Underground and the Modern Lovers, but while they were playing gigs as early as 1976 and were courted by two of punk’s leading impresarios, the original band was just barely documented on vinyl. Godard (lead singer and sometimes guitarist) and Rob Symmons (guitar) were fans of Northern soul, distaff American acts like the Velvet Underground and Television, and classic crooners (particularly Frank Sinatra); they were drawn to the energy and chaos of punk, though they didn’t always care for the music. Godard and Symmons had been making noises about forming a band, and teamed up with friends Paul Myers and Paul Packham, calling their group Subway Sect. Packham was initially the lead singer, but when the foursome chipped in to buy a drum kit, it was discovered that Packham had played a bit during his days as a Boy Scout, so he became the drummer and Godard moved to the vocal mike.

When Malcolm McLaren organized a punk rock festival at London’s 100 Club in the fall of 1976, he realized he needed additional bands to fill out the schedule and took the budding Subway Sect under his wing; he booked them into a rehearsal space and ordered them to get their material together, and they played the festival alongside the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Damned, and other punk trailblazers. With their unusual sound and stark look (their clothes were all either black or dyed gray), Subway Sect attracted the attention of Bernard Rhodes, manager of the Clash; he took on the band shortly after its appearance at the 100 Club and the group began writing and recording material.

However, it wasn’t until 1978 that Subway Sect’s first single was released, the only release ever on Braik Records:-

mp3 : Subway Sect – Nobody’s Scared
mp3 : Subway Sect – Don’t Split It

The single flopped, but not so its fabulous and timeless follow-up which came out on Rough Trade, becoming the seventh 45 to be issued by what woule become the most important indie-label of the era:-

mp3 : Subway Sect – Ambition
mp3 : Subway Sect – Different Story

Vic Godard, after an incredible rollercoaster of a career in the music industry is still, more than 40 years later, providing huge entertainment to fans of all ages.

JC

One thought on “IT REALLY WAS A CRACKING DEBUT SINGLE (31)

  1. Always been a big fan of Subway Sect. I felt that after The Clash, the seemed to have the most to say. They took a lot of the same musical risks, attempting to expand the boundaries that had been thrust upon Punk. Just listen to the Cowpoke Punk of Birth and Death from their 1980 album What’s The Matter Boy. You might think it kitsch, or a novelty, but it is a strong, simple Punk song.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.