Subway Sect

Subway Sect

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Subway Sect

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Origin = London, England
Genre = Punk rock
Years_active = 1976–1980
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Subway Sect were one of the original British punk bands, whose posthumous reputation suffered due to their comparatively small output.

The early days

The core of the band was singer/songwriter, Vic Godard, plus assorted soul fans, who congregated around early gigs by the Sex Pistols until Malcolm McLaren suggested they formed their own band.Fact|date=February 2008

Subway Sect were among the performers at the 100 Club Punk Festival on Monday, September 21, 1976 - sharing the bill with Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Clash and the Sex Pistols. The first lineup of Godard on vocals, Paul Packham on drums, Paul Myers on bass and Rob Symmons on guitar lasted for 4 gigs before Mark Laff replaced Packham. Laff himself would leave for fellow punk group Generation X after the White Riot tour. A third drummer, Bob Ward, was recruited, and it is this lineup that can be heard on the band's first John Peel session and also on the single "Nobody's Scared". This was the first and only release on Braik Records, a label owned by Bernie Rhodes, who managed both Subway Sect and The Clash. Rhodes subsequently supervised the recording of their debut album at Gooseberry Studios in London, with Clash sound man and producer Mickey Foote at the production helm. At that time the band toured intensively with The Clash and others. However, just as their first album was ready for release, for reasons that remain obscure, Rhodes sacked all the band (except Godard) and Subway Sect mark 1 ceased to exist. The album was never released, although a single from the sessions "Ambition" was released on Rough Trade Records, with the B-side "Different Story (Rock and Roll Even)" also taken from the same sessions. A further track "Parallel Lines" was released as a track on the C81 cassette produced by NME magazine. Since then, a number of poor quality copies of further tracks from the lost album have come to light on various compilations.

The middle years

Godard put together the pieces, and Subway Sect mark 2 was formed, and the band finally released their first album "What's the Matter, Boy?" in 1980. The album features many songs written during the previous incarnation of the band, but performed with radically altered arrangements.

By this time, Godard had become increasingly influenced by early rockabilly, and the "first wave" of rock and roll (Sun Records session era Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran etc.). This was just a few years before the rockabilly revival, and the album was ignored as being 'retro'. Ignoring this, Godard then went even further back in time, and later releases showed the influence of the "rat pack" (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra), and even swing bands of the 1940s, many years before these sounds became fashionable. Facing dwindling sales, Godard eventually packed in the music business and became a postman.

In 1982, former Subway Sect members - guitarist Rob Marche, keyboardist Dave Collard, bassist Chris Bostock and drummer Sean McLusky - teamed up with American singer, Dig Wayne and formed the band Jo Boxers which had two UK Top 10 hits.

The revival

However, in the 1990s a slow Godard revival began. Backed by the re-release of his work on CD and numerous compilation albums, (notably "20 Odd Years...The Story of....", and "Singles Anthology") Godard has recently returned to recording. He released a new album "Long Term Side Effect" in 1998, and a single on the Glasgow record label "Creeping Bent", with more work promised.

The 21st century has seen Godard unable to progress from his cult status setting, but in 2002 a CD was issued credited purely to the Subway Sect, thus reviving the name, if not the original band. Named "Sansend", it was a sample and beats heavy collection of new songs, and it was followed three years later by the "Subway Sect Anthology", more or less material from "20 Odd Years", but with a few missing songs.

Plans were reported that Godard was working on songs for the musical to be called "Blackpool", but this was abandoned as the series used original 1960s and 1970s recordings, which were mimed to by the stage actors.Fact|date=February 2008

Original Subway Sect guitarist and bass player, Rob Symmons and Paul Myers resurfaced as The Fallen Leaves in 2004, although Myers has since quit the band.



* "Nobody's Scared" b/w "Don't Split It" (1978 Braik)
* "Ambition" b/w "A Different Story" (1978 Rough Trade RT007)

External links

* [ Official Vic Godard and Subway Sect Website]
* [ Subway Sect]
* [ Discography]
* [ Subway Sect biography at AMG website]

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