Vice Squad: A Donny Punk band 1977-1979
Line up: Phil Tasker - Vocals Chris Bedford - Bass guitar
Clive Brooks - Guitar Roger Jackson - Drums.
Recorded and released tracks: Words and Pictures... Prison Girls (Both appeared on the 1979 'New Wave from the Heart' compilation LP. Now very rare and much sought after.
Coming soon! Vice Squad's long lost album.
Tracks recorded between 1978 and mid 1979 have now been re-discovered and will soon be seeing the light of day on CD with a Retro Records release...keep checking this site for further details.
Doncaster Punk band Vice Squad, who incidently were around well before the more commonly known Beki Bondage fronted Bristol version, were formed in 1977 by Punk and Stooges/Velvets etc influenced school leavers Phil Tasker, Chris Bedford and Chris Campbell.
Phil Tasker ... "We decided to form a band because we were excited by the bands that we'd seen at the Doncaster Outlook club, such as The Boys, Generation X, Buzzcocks, Stranglers and more. Our other early influences were the Stooges, Velvets, Roxy Music and Bowie, also more locally Be Bop Deluxe. The main problem we had was we had no drummer.
Eventually we heard about Roger Jackson and Clive Brooks, they were still at school and had long hair but were keen to join a band, so we got together and things seemed to gel."
Their first gig was at the Woolpack pub in Doncaster in March 1978. which saw a good attendance keen to take a look at these local Punk Rockers! This was folowed very soon afterwards by a support slot playing the Outlook with Sham 69... whose singer Jimmy Pursey showed more than a little disdain towards 'out in the sticks Punk Rockers'
Phil Tasker ... "I remember Jimmy Pursey not being particularly friendly. They had just been on Top of the Pops so I think he thought that we were second class citizens."
Vice Squad played many local gigs and often travelling a little further afield. They played working mens clubs, supported an early touring line up of Adam and the Ants at Retford Porterhouse, Pubs, dives and anywhere that would open the doors to them.
Phil Tasker ... "The Adam and the Ants gig was early in 1979 and Adam was conspicuous by his absence, we never saw him in the dressing room, I think we saw him once off stage, he was wearing a see through rain coat and National Health glasses at that particular time. I don't think we spoke a word to each other."
Vice Squad quickly began to develop their musical horizons; a disticnt 'Wire' influence being detectable on some of their tracks. It was obvious the Punk explosion had inspired them to form a band, but their influences stretched much further than the atypical three chord Punk formula. When they went into the studio to record tracks for a possible future release, their sound had developed a few steps beyond the Punk blueprint. If they had been offered a record deal at this moment in time, Vice Squad may have gone on to bigger things. But then Donny was not exactly the focal point for the trendy music writers and A&R men to give much attention towards. It was a shame that as Leeds - not that far away - was being recognised for the talents of the new Post-Punk sounds of Gang of Four, Au Pairs etc, no one was giving Doncaster and its greatest abnd Vice Squad a look in.
As 1978 came to it's close, the band recorded two tracks for the 'New Wave from the Heart' LP compilation - which was an attempt to gather togetether the best of the local Punk inspired original bands. Vice Squad appeared along with The Negatives, Shattered Life, The Diks and others. The record sunk almost with a trace. Ironically it is now a very collectable piece of vinyl.
Released in 1979 'New Wave from the Heart' coincided with the final gig from Vice Squad.
Phil Tasker ... "At our last gig, it was packed out with kids and there was a really good atmosphere, everyone seemed to really enjoy the whole experience and it felt good to end on a high. It was a shame to have to end it all really, it had been a really creative time and we had produced some quite valid music for the short period that punk actually existed in its true form."
Vice Squad members with fans backstage after a gig
Vice Squad's CD will be released soon on Retro records
Watch this space!
The full Vice Squad story told by singer Phil Tasker
is included in the book 'Our Generation' (see home page for details of how to purchase)