Vice Squad – in session for John Peel – June 3, 1981 – BBC Radio 1 –
Vice Squad to start the week. Their first (of two) sessions for John Peel – this one from June 3, 1981.
Vice Squad was formed in Bristol, England in early 1979, assembled in the wake of the breakup of two local bands, Contingent and TV Brakes. The initial lineup featured Beki Bondage (aka Rebecca Louise Bond) on lead vocals, Dave Bateman on guitar, Mark Hambly on bass, and Shane Baldwin on drums. After just three rehearsals, the new band made their live debut on April 12, 1979 in a show at Bristol University. It took a while for Vice Squad to find their footing in the U.K. punk scene, but that changed in 1980 when their fledgling Riot City Records released the three-song 7″ “Last Rockers” b/w “Living on Dreams” and “Latex Love.” The disc rose to number seven on the U.K. Indie Chart, and their next release, 1981’s “Resurrection” b/w “Hot Blood” and “Humane,” peaked at number four on the indie charts. The band was noticed by influential DJ John Peel, who recorded their first of two sessions for his BBC radio show in 1981, and they set out on a tour with fellow British punk stalwarts U.K. Subs.
Stand Strong Stand ProudAfter the success of their first two singles, the band struck a deal with EMI’s Zonophone label to distribute their recordings for Riot City, though the distinction was lost on many fans who regarded the association with a major as a sellout move. Despite that, their first album, 1981’s No Cause for Concern, which included a beefed-up cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” sold well, topping out at 32 on the U.K. Albums chart.
Bondage formed a new version of Vice Squad in 1997, along with former members of The Bombshells, after being persuaded to perform the old material at the Holidays in the Sun festival. The line-up was initially Bondage on vocals, Paul Rooney (guitar), Stilton (bass guitar) and Pumpy (drums). The rhythm section was replaced by Michael Giaquinto (bass guitar) and Tony Piper (drums) in late 1999/early 2000. This new line-up recorded several albums and toured Europe and the United States. In 2006, they released the album Defiant, produced by Rooney.
In case you missed them the first time, here is their first session for John Peel, as it happened on June 3rd, 1981.
Crank it up – you’ll feel a whole lot better if you do.