Renowned for fusing the spirit and attitude of punk with the style and sophistication of pop, singer/songwriter Vic Godard was born and raised in Bristol, England. A fixture at early Sex Pistols performances, he formed the Subway Sect at the suggestion of Malcolm McLaren. They made their debut on September 20, 1976 at the now-legendary 100 Club Punk Festival. Influenced by everything from French pop to Northern soul to the Velvet Underground to swing, the Subway Sect -- which originally included guitarist Robert Miller, bassist Paul Myers, and drummer Paul Smith -- could barely play their instruments at the outset, but otherwise the group made few concessions to the prevailing punk mentality. Godard quickly emerged as a songwriter with a far stronger sense of melody and craft than the majority of his contemporaries, a development which polarized audiences as the band opened for the Clash on their 1977 White Riot tour. With new drummer Bob Ward, Subway Sect issued their debut single, "Nobody's Scared" in the spring of 1978; however, while recording a full-length LP, manager Bernie Rhodes fired everyone but Godard, even though a single from the sessions, "Ambition," went on to top the U.K. indie charts for nine weeks on its way to selling 20,000 copies; the album was eventually completed with the aid of session musicians and issued in 1980 as What's the Matter Boy? Forming a new Subway Sect lineup of guitarist Rob Marche, bassist Chris Bostock, keyboardist Dave Collard, and drummer Sean McLusky soon after, Godard increasingly began incorporating elements of soul music into his approach, much to the puzzlement of audiences; with 1982's Songs for Sale, he traveled even further afield, exploring cabaret-styled pop in the tradition of his hero, Cole Porter. Soon after, the members of Subway Sect left to form their own band, JoBoxers, scoring a pair of hits in 1983 with "Boxer Beat" and "Just Got Lucky." Meanwhile, upon signing to Mike Alway's newly formed Blanco y Negro label, Godard next began work on T.R.O.U.B.L.E., recorded at London's Olympic Studios with a number of the area's most respected jazz players. The singer was bitterly disappointed with the end result (though completed in 1984, the album did not see release until two years later), however, and effectively retired from music, accepting a job as a postman. Godard did not return to writing and performing until 1990, releasing the Edwyn Collins-produced End of the Surrey People three years later. A stint with the band Long Decline yielded a self-titled 1996 LP for the Overground label; the solo Long-Term Side-Effect followed in 1998. ~ Jason AnkenyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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