The Vicars
The Vicars live at Shrimpers 25.03.79 - Alf
The Vicars - 1979
Live at Shrimpers 25.03.79 - Alf
The Vicars - 1979
...The Story...
 

The Vicars - Live at The Moonlight, West Hampstead, LondonThe Vicars were from the Southend / Canvey / Basildon triangle, and were mainly active around 1979. After some trailblazing gigs with The Vandals in 1978, Alison 'Alf' Moyet' wanted to move on, and after original Vicars vocalist Mike Maynard left, Alf took over vocals for the Vicars. In their short but incendiary time together, they managed to play some great local gigs, such as at The Shrimpers Club and The Southend College of Technology (see set list below). They also contributed the classic punk track 'I'm Going Mad' to the 1979 Sonet Records 'Southend Rock Compilation' LP, easily providing the albums highlight.

Strange Stories fanzine captured their time well, and their review, by Jah Orson "quack" Vertebrae, of The Vicars gig supporting Eddie and The Hot Rods at The Moonlight Club in West Hampstead pretty much says it all: " Is this the most important gig wot I've been to? Yes it is in many respects. Doctor Feelgood, the Rods + Lew Lewis of course all come from Canvey (this is the sound of the sunken suburbs?) and of course have all worked heir way into the hearts of the nation. But now here cums something that's gonna knock all else into submission, namely t'Vicars. The Vicars have been Vikking for some time now, playing Woodlands (when there was one), Shrimpers (supporting le fille bonnes) & of course the Van Gogh (when there was one) but just recently they've added a super new ingredient to their line up namely Alf (which doesn't stand for Alumino-Lithium-Fluride - jah vicar no deal in toothpaste). Those of you who ever saw The Vandals should remember THAT voice, the voice of which it has been said makes Pauline Murray's beautiful voice sound like a 'Barra Boy' salesman with laryngitis and a too tight anorak on."

The Vicars Set List, courtesy of the Gary Smith archive, when the band supported The Count Bishops at The Southend College of Technology on the Fifth of May 1979."So after some warm up gigs, mainly at impromptu jam nights at the Double Six, the Vicars finally take London town in downtown West Hampstead. Despite some technical difficulties (the lead guitar amp wasn't working for the first few numbers) the young Vicars gave a good performance, especially in the face of some tediously pathetic heckling from certain prats in the audience. 'Baby Roller' (surely one of the best songs in the whole universe - hands off Ronstat you ain't gonna ruin THIS song), 'Future Dictator', 'Radio Rik/Roy', 'I'm Going Mad' all rained forth in cascades of dastardly deciballic splendour and I only hope that the main heckler in the audience realises just how close he was to getting turned inside out (try posing/pogoing to the sound of the suburbs with intestines getting caught up in your poncy scarf maaaaaaaaaaaaaan)." ...Carry on Vikking!

Several recordings were made by the band, with their first studio demo deserving special mention. Speaking to Kirk in 2007, he said " It was recorded in a 24 track studio in Acton, London, courtesy of the Feelgoods as a freebie". He continued "It was one of the top recording studios at the time and was a s***t hot recording of the band. The best they ever sounded." As with so many bands of the era, their time together was brief though, and unfortunately they spilt up in 1979. Alf would go on to form the infamous Screaming Ab Dabs, with Andy Stevens and King Biscuit, and later get the recognition she deserved in Yazoo and as a highly respected solo artist. Andy Stevens would go on to the aforementioned Screaming Ab Dabs, then on to the Crawling Kingsnakes, Rent Party and ultimately to Banjax, with whom he still plays. Micky Ogdon would also go on to The Abdabs and Crawling Kingsnakes, and Kirk would go on to manage local bands Caplo Banaal and High Society/Ava Raj. For details of all The Vicars line Ups, see below for details.

Special Southend Punk Feature - Click Here to see two special Vicars Galleries!
Click Here for The Vicars Biography by Kirk Matthews
Click Here for details of all The Vicars Line Ups
Click Here for details of Bored Teenagers Volume 5
The Vicars - 'Videos'

Discography

'Southend Rock' - Features The Vicars song 'I'm Going Mad' - LP (Sonet Records SNTF 806 - 1979)

'Southend Rock' - Features The Vicars song 'I'm Going Mad' - LP (Sonet Records SNTF 806- 1979)

Bored Teenagers Volume Five - Various Artists - (Bin Liner Records) - Features x3 Tracks by The Vicars

'Bored Teenagers Volume #5' - Features The Vicars songs 'No One Listens', 'School' and 'I'm Going Mad' - CD (Bin Liner Records RUBBISHCD010) - 2009

 

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