Vic Godard And The Subway Sect, Twenty Odd Years – The Story Of

Mark Paytress

By Mark Paytress

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The story of the seminal punk-not-punkers.

"No more rock 'n 'roll for you!" That's Subway Sect's Vic Godard, on the cacophonous finale to the Slits 'Bootleg Retrospective album, issued on Rough Trade in 1980. It's a rare recorded instance of the original incarnation of Subway Sect, first generation punks who played the original 100 Club Punk Rock Festival in August 1976, and were then kept virtually under wraps by manager Bernie Rhodes. One single, "Nobody's Scared," slipped out in 1978, by which time the song was regarded as a bit of an anachronism. But it's Subway Sect's belligerent attitude to punk orthodoxy — in their dyed grey clothes they looked more Jarrow March than King's Road — that has recently afforded them a starring role in Britain's post-punk scene. In line with Rotten and McLaren's early rhetoric, Subway Sect really did intend punk rock to kill off rock 'n 'roll as we knew it. Instead, it revitalized it, and by the end of '78, the band dissolved leaving frontman Vic Godard to pursue a proto-loungecore aesthetic.