Nancy Vandal

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Nancy Vandal is a Punk band from Sydney, Australia that performed from 1993 to 2001 and had a reunion performance in 2003 and have, as of December 2008, planned a reunion and new EP for 2009. The band was initially called Hard Axe To Follow, then Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins, but the last part of the name was later dropped.

Career[edit]

Nancy Vandal was formed by Warrane College students Foxtrotsky/Fox Trotsky and JJ LaMoore as a strictly pretend band as neither of them could play an instrument. Eventually the pair formed a real band called Meataxe that played on campus, and at the Ungarie town hall (later renamed to Hard Axe to Follow, then Mr Pennywise, followed by Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins). The original line-up of Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins featured Trotsky and LaMoore plus Marcus "Rolfe" Rolfe on bass and vocals and Serene Dean Bakota on drums. Like Trotsky and LaMoore, Rolfe had never played bass before joining the band. At first, the music part of the band's live shows would generally take second place to gimmicks such as trivia competitions, prolonged verbal attacks on both fellow band members and audience and in one instance, a puppet show.

In 1994, Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins recorded a 14 track debut EP, Return Of The Zombie Skate Poets From Planet Sex that featured classics such as "Space Girl With Bionic Breasts", "She Left Me For A Game Show Host Blues" and "I Slam Therefore I Am". Previously, a number of demo tapes had been released, such as the Mr Pennywise "Get Your Love Shoes On" featuring an earlier rendition of "Sex Toy".

By 1995 Nancy Vandal had begun touring, visiting Melbourne and Brisbane. Trotsky's band newsletter The Vandal's Voice became a fully fledged fanzine complete with comics, libelous proclamations, articles and CDs. The first of these issues was ShitHot '95 that consisted of songs covered by the cream of Sydney's Inner West punk rock scene. Nancy Vandal recorded "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins. The other CD to feature in The Vandal's Voice was Slippery When Crap, a collection of cover versions of the band's favourite cock rock songs including Europe's "The Final Countdown", "Kickstart My Heart" by Mötley Crüe, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard and unforgettable "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister.

In 1996 Rolfe left Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins. Under the name Jason Jasonn Beers, Jay Whalley of Frenzal Rhomb replaced Rolfe, despite not being a bass player. Whalley's first recording with the band was the Slippery When Crap CD. From this time on, the band was known simply as Nancy Vandal. The album The Debriefing Room followed before the end of the year and Whalley then left to maintain his commitment to Frenzal Rhomb. JJ LaMoore switched to bass and Nancy Vandal expanded its line-up by incorporating several members of Newcastle band Loose & The Horny Chicks. Now incorporating a keyboards player and a full brass section, Nancy Vandal's 1998 Bikini High Pool Massacre Part 3: Who Invited the Undead? saw them being mislabelled as a ska band. Two singles from the album, "Rock and Roll Concert" and "Move Over Satan" were major hits on the national youth radio network Triple J and Nancy Vandal was added to the line-ups of summer rock festivals such as Livid, Homebake and the Falls Festival. Throughout 1998 and 1999 Nancy Vandal toured constantly, supporting the likes of NOFX, Millencolin, Ten Foot Pole, Frenzal Rhomb and others.

Before long however, the seven-piece act had been reduced to five once more and Nancy Vandal began to experiment with an electro-pop sound. The late-1999 album I Wasted My Life was not a success and the band split up in 2001. Bakota and Moore joined the touring line-up of Bathurst band The Tenants and Foxall continued with his interests in comic book art and short film. Jay Whalley became a breakfast announcer on Triple J and is now on 'J's odyssey'.

The turn of the century saw their output decrease significantly due to fears the millennium bug would damage band equipment as well as a severe outbreak of nits. They have since performed only occasionally based on tarot card readings and prevailing weather conditions.

In 2003 Nancy Vandal returned in a one off reunion/farewell gig at Sydney University in December 2003 featuring members from every line-up.

2009 saw the band performing together again on a national tour. The tour was in support of their EP Quite Partial to Rock. The lineup was the same as the last incarnation of the band (I've Wasted My Life era). In 2009 the band also released The Vandals Voice which is a tribute album, and also the soundtrack of the DVD of the same name. Details of the DVD pack can be seen at http://www.nancyvandal.com/vv8.html. Artists on the tribute CD consist of Laura Imbruglia, Batfoot, and The Tenants.

In 2013 the already highly acclaimed "Flogging A Dead Phoenix" was recorded by ex-bassist Jason “Jason” Beers to celebrate their 20 year anniversary. It is a chaotic blend of garagey punk infused with Motorhead riffs and a brass section that would shrink Chuck Norris’s balls. "Flogging A Dead Phoenix" was partly financed by an enthusiastically supported Pozible project and is accompanied by a massive 92 page full colour edition of the band’s official zine The Vandal’s Voice.

Nancy Vandal will be hitting the road to promote Flogging A Dead Phoenix with an explosive East Coast tour through October and December 2013 and you are advised to attend.

Band members[edit]

  • Fox Trotsky (Mike Foxall) - guitar/vocals 1993-2001, 2009-
  • JJ La Moore (Jeff Moore) - guitar/bass 1993-2001, 2009-
  • Bombshell/Tommy Lee Turnip/Mr. Shit/So Cal Snuffel (Dean Bakota) - drums 1993-2001, 2009-
  • Marcus "Rolfe" Rolfe - bass/vocals 1993 - 1996
  • Jason Jasonn Beers (Jay Whalley) - bass/vocals 1996
  • Tess/Lickerov Finetesticals/T.Force/T-Bone/T-Banger/T-Burger/T-Man/T-Bag/T-Shirt (Robert Tickle) - trombone/keys 1998-2001, 2009-
  • Gilli Pepper (Gillian Kilgour) - sax/vocals 1998-2001, 2009-
  • Telaviv Skywalker (Genevieve Murray) - trumpet/vocals 1998-2000
  • Poofy Arse Bogun (Anna Helme) - sax 1998

Discography[edit]

  • Return of the Zombie Skate poets from Planet Sex EP-1994
  • 1, 2, 3 Baby Yeah-1995
  • Slippery When Crap EP-1995
  • The Debriefing Room-1996
  • Bikini High Pool Party Massacre 3, Who Invited the Undead?-1997
  • I've Wasted My Life-1999
  • 50 Faves From Beyond the Grave-2000
  • Quite Partial to Rock-2009
  • Flogging A Dead Phoenix-2013

References[edit]