Punk Legend Vic Godard Comes to Liverpool
By Cath Bore
Almost a year ago, I met up with a friend for a cuppa tea. I had the PG Tips, he didn’t – he’s a Buddhist, does lots of chanting and meditating, a very peaceful type; serene and caffeine- free. We’re poles apart in so many ways and not just beverage wise; it’s a standing joke between us that he’s never heard of any of the bands or artists I’m into. That’s ok, because I don’t like listening to recordings of the ocean and whales whistling, like he does. It cuts both ways.
I mentioned I was going to Manchester that evening.
‘Who are you going to see?’ he asked.
‘Vic Godard & Subway Sect,’ I said, bracing myself for the usual eye rolling and ribbing.
‘Subway Sect!’ he yelped, spilling his lemongrass smoothie. ‘Do you know what, I hadn’t heard about them for years, now I’m hearing them mentioned everywhere!’
I went up briefly in my friend’s estimation; I’d impressed him for the very first time. But, he had a point. Vic Godard is busier now, playing shows around the UK most weekends, more popular than for years. There’s a – dare I say it – a buzz around his name.
‘I think the last record 1979 Now (a collection of Vic’s Northern Soul songs, produced by Edywn Collins) was very well received and has helped to raise the profile,’ Vic told The Guide Liverpool. ‘The songs work well live as they are hummable tunes with unusual lyrics.’
Vic Godard emerged from 1970s punk, plunged into Northern soul, swing, garage rock and eclectic pop, thereby confusing and charming audiences in equal measure for almost forty years. But now it seems that more people are starting to get it, and understand what he’s about.
‘There are plans to re-issue End of the Surrey People (originally released in 1993) on AED Records next year,’ said Vic. ‘Plus a Live and Rare Vol 4 and we hope to record some of the new songs as well. The newer songs are going down just as well even though the audiences are hearing them for the first time.’
I’m a late convert to Vic Godard, I’ll admit. The first time I went to see him perform was in Williamson’s Tunnels, of all places. The second time in Manchester he was giving out sweets on the door to everyone who came, at the next show we all got a Christmas card and the following one, there was a raffle.
Indeed, Vic Godard and Subway Sect shows are not as other bands.
They play Liverpool at the weekend. Be there. And bring a hippy friend, why don’t you? Who knows, they might love it too.
Vic Godard & Subway Sect play The Shipping Forecast on Slater Street, Liverpool on Saturday 28th November. Tickets from Probe £10 adv.