Live & Rare Volume Two
Vic Godard & Subway Sect ‘LIVE & RARE VOLUME 2’
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Gnu Inc has hit the jackpot with the second in the Live and Rare series of releases taken from Vic Godard’s extensive and varied musical archive and is proud to present a cornucopia of musical gems from Vic and Subway Sect. Volume 2 includes some great live performances, from the raw punk of 70’s gigs up to the 2 current live line-ups showing off their distinctive styles, with several stops along the way. We have dug deep and discovered forgotten numbers, first and definitive recordings and other rarities. Not chronological, instead we’ve let the songs lead the way. We’ve upped the ante and hope you’ll agree this is an intriguing and diverse collection of songs.
As with L&R Volume 1 we begin the musical journey on Volume 2 back in the 70’s with two numbers from 1977 and another raid on Jordi Valls’ early live Punk recordings, which were featured in his exhibition in Barcelona 2010-The London Punk Tapes. These have given Vic the opportunity to rediscover and re-introduce forgotten songs, ‘Idea Pull’, which Vic hopes to put back in the live set, and In This Country, which later developed into Don’t Split It. The edgy, increasingly manic guitar from Rob Symmons is down to him cutting his finger on the first number, but trooper that he is he carried on as the blood flow and pain increased. Track 3, Derail Your Senses is taken from a cassette recording Vic did at a rehearsal in Camden in spring 1978 with new drummer Bob Ward. It was just before The Great Unknowns Tour with French group the Lous.
Moving on but not away from a pure punk vibe to Born To Lose. Vic first learned the chords at Rehearsals Rehearsal in 1976 from Sid Vicious on a battered old acoustic guitar but he rarely does live covers so relished the chance to sing this Johnny Thunder’s number with Edinburgh’s Shock and Awe at Henry’s Cellar Bar in 2011. If you didn’t know it you wouldn’t believe he’d waited over 30 years. Punktastic.
Vic returns his old school with Why Did You Shoot Me, accompanied by the 1978 Now line up, after being invited to play a set at a reunion, expertly recorded by old classmate Bumble.
Next up is a complete change in mood and rhythm, with a couple of live numbers from the mammoth, 20+ date, 1981 Songs for Sale tour, a new musical direction and a slick new group, ‘a joy to sing with’ –Vic. Here we’re treated to a stop off in Bournemouth on a wintry December night with a great version of Stop That Girl, which was out as a single and so was included in the set. Vic particularly wanted to include Hey Now I’m In Love as it demonstrates the ambience and sound he wanted for Songs for Sale that the released record didn’t achieve. (Gnu Inc will be re-issuing SFS at some point with the life mixed back in by Chris Bostock)
Leaping forward to 2012 the relatively newly formed 5 piece live Sect bring out all the soul in a brilliant rendition of Won’t Turn Back which hasn’t been in the set since the Bitter Springs as Sect days. (Member of audience heard to ask if it was a Northern soul cover-sorted)
L&R Vol 2 has done the business with the first and, definitive recordings of That Train and End of the Surrey People. Paul ‘Wiz’ Baker (Landlocked Studio) and Mike Coe (Motion Records) share the plaudits. Without the Wiz Vic says most of his ideas for this song would have gone by the wayside. Then it’s all aboard That Train which was one of only four tracks recorded in 2005 by the Rebel, with the Sophie, Becka (Wet Dog), Trigger and Leigh Curtis Subway Sect. It’s exactly the right treatment for this song, punk gospel, hillbilly, all credit to Becka on drums for keeping the pace up.
Coming more up to date are a couple of songs from Yusuf B’Layachi’s first gig with the 4 piece Sect in April 2011. He only had time to learn six or seven numbers so Kevin, Mark and Vic had to do half the set as a trio. Their relief and the release of tension when Yusuf joins the band on stage are evident in this exuberant performance of Somewhere in the World. The same devil may care vibe permeates Pay the Rate making it the best live recording of this song so far AND this is the first time it’s been released. (A far cry from the song’s debut at a gig in Edinburgh- Vic still writing the lyrics as the band took to the stage, none of them knew the number but Vic plunged in and started. Luckily they’re a talented bunch and soon joined in following his lead). Pay the Rate by The Fall, the Kinks’ You Really Got Me and a bit of Edgar Broughton right at the end all play their part.
This recording of Everyone is a Prostitute was a real find, taken from the interview Full Circle with Mark Braby for Resonance FM in 2007. Mark asked Vic to re-interpret the first song he wrote (Nobody’s Scared) and this is the result. It turned out to be a truly auspicious occasion. It was Vic and Mark’s first meeting, Vic remarked that he needed a bass player, Mark offered his services there and then and has been an indispensable member of the Sect ever since, multi talented he has moved from bass to drums to guitar as required.
The finale is a great live version of Music of a Werewolf performed at the gig to launch We Come as Aliens in October 2010.