"Sometimes there's a song in my brain/
And I feel that my heart knows the refrain/
I guess it's just the music that brings on nostalgia
For an age yet to come" - Pete Shelley (Nostalgia - Buzzcocks)
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Friday, 12 March 2010
Punk Rock Videos #3
Manufactured Romance supported the UK Subs quite a lot back in the late 70's and last year got back together again for the first time in 30 years to play Rebellion 08. I had a great opportunity to interview the band for my myspace page Soundtrack4Life and it it is a good little insight into the band and the times.
Vice Squad were formed in Bristol in 1979, from the remains of two local bands, The Contingent and TV Brakes. The four-piece group comprised 15 year old Beki Bondage on vocals (real name Rebecca, Louise Bond. The nickname 'Bondage' came from school), Dave Bateman on guitar, Mark Hambly on bass and Shane Baldwin on drums. Their music alternated between straight-ahead aggressive rock and punk with Beki's more melodic singing. However it was her image that would become a potent publicity vehicle for them along with their music.
Beki in particular allowed the rock media to portray her as punk's leading sex symbol, and she did pose topless on one occasion in Sounds. In addition, Beki was featured three times on the front cover of Sounds, as well as twice on the cover of Melody Maker. Other cover features include Punk Lives, Musicians Weekly, NME, Number One, Smash Hits and Kicks. She was perhaps the most popular punk pin-up or her time. However to balance that out she would always where possible as a professed vegetarian speak out on the issue of meat eating.
Unable to secure a record deal during their early months of gigging, the band ended up forming their own Riot City label, through which they released their first single, 'Last Rockers', in December 1980 which went on to sell some 25,000 copies (Riot City went on the produce other bands, one of the better known being Chaos U.K.)
This was followed by the 'Resurrection EP', after which both the band and their label were signed by the EMI Zonophone division. The album 'No Cause for Concern' was subsequently released, receiving muted critical reviews but selling reasonably well, reaching no. 32 on the UK album charts. Seven months later, a second album, 'Stand Strong, Stand Proud' was in the shops (it reached no. 47).