Thursday, April 26, 2018

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter G, Part 10)

Here's a band that's pretty tough to nail down, and I mean that as a compliment. If you followed Vic Godard & Subway Sect from the early days, you were probably into punk. If you caught up with them a little later, you may have pigeonholed them as rockabilly or even swing. The sound that really captured Godard's heart, though, was northern soul, and that happened, surprisingly, all the way back in 1978 when bassist Paul Myers loaned him a stack of 45s. He began writing songs in that vein soon after, but it was three-plus decades before many of them were properly recorded.

In the fall of 2014, the album '1979 Now!' was released on Edwyn Collins' AED label. Alan Horne and Collins had a love affair with the Sect from the very beginning and, of course, Orange Juice recorded Godard's "Holiday Hymn" in the Postcard days. So it's only fitting Collins co-produced this set. Perhaps equally fitting, Myers returned to play bass too. If you don't recognize the drums, that's ex-Pistol Paul Cook. My favorite tracks are his latest stab at "Holiday Hymn" and "Born to Be a Rebel", but this album is quality from beginning to end.

I have only mentioned my love for '1979 Now!' one other time on the blog. As often happens, it fell through the cracks on my best albums list in 2014 because I didn't get it until early 2015. Without question, it would have been in my top 10. You can still pick up this gem over at AED, and I suggest you do. If for some inexplicable reason Godard isn't your bag, at least give it up for that sharp album cover. It's one of the best in my collection.

Holiday Hymn


The Swede said...

I'm decrepit enough to have caught Subway Sect supporting The Clash a lifetime ago. Somehow the enforced occasional record collection culls over the years have failed to touch my original 'Nobody's Scared' & 'Stop That Girl' singles or the 'What's the Matter Boy?' LP, all of which remain much loved members of the family to this day.

Vic is still a regular session guest on Marc Riley's BBC 6Music show.

Brian said...

They supported some greats back then, Swede. I have read they opened for Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1980 and played a northern soul set. That must have been something in front of Siousxie's crowd. Those are some fine records you got there, buddy. So happy they survived those rough times.

C said...

Love that album cover! And wasn't expecting the Northern Soul sound with that 'Black Is Black' bassline at all, having only ever really tuned in to them too long ago with Nobody's Scared and (a favourite) Don't Split It. Sadly Mr SDS' copy of said single didn't survive a vinyl cull like The Swede's did!

Swiss Adam said...

Nice choice Brian. Vic is one of the good guys.

JC said...

Only one thing better than listening to Vic is seeing him play live, which I've been fortunate enough to enjoy a fair few times.

At the risk of gloating, one of the best was this:-