Vice Squad

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Vice Squad
Vice Squad - 20051002.jpg
Background information
OriginBristol, England
GenresPunk rock, street punk
Years active1979–1985, 1997–present
LabelsHeartbeat, Riot City, EMI, Anagram, SOS, Sudden Death, Rhythm Vicar, Last Rockers
Associated actsBeki & the Bombshells, Ligotage, Chaotic Dischord, Sweet Revenge
MembersBeki Bondage
Paul Rooney
Wayne Firefly
Peter Munro
Past membersOriginal band:
Dave Bateman †
Mark Hambly
Shane Baldwin
Julia Rumbelow
Mark "Sooty" Byrne
Jon Chilcott
Michael Giaquinto
Wayne Cotton
Kev Taylor
Tony Piper
Violet the Canonball (Sarah Stow) Django

Vice Squad are an English punk rock band formed in 1979 in Bristol. The band was formed from two other local punk bands, The Contingent and TV Brakes. The songwriter and vocalist Beki Bondage (born Rebecca Bond) was a founding member of the band. Although there was a period of time when the band had a different vocalist she reformed the band in 1997.[1]


Original band[edit]

Vice Squad was formed in 1979 with an initial line-up of Beki Bondage (vocals), Dave Bateman (guitar), Mark Hambly (bass guitar) and Shane Baldwin (drums), and played its first gig at Bristol University's Anson Rooms on 12 April 1979.[2] Bateman and Baldwin had previously been members of the TV Brakes.[2] The first release by TV Brakes was the track "Nothing", which was included on the 1979 compilation Avon Calling. Members of the band were involved in setting up the Riot City label with Simon Edwards, the label becoming one of the major punk labels of the era. Vice Squad took some time to make further impact, only playing six gigs in 1980. Its first single, "Last Rockers" in 1981, was well-received, selling over 20,000 copies and spending almost forty weeks in the UK Indie Chart, reaching number 7.[2] The follow-up, "Resurrection", reached number 4, and the band undertook a tour supporting UK Subs. The singles received airplay and support from BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, and the band went on to record two sessions for his show, in 1981 and 1982.[3]

In 1981, the band signed with the major label EMI (on their Zonophone subsidiary), prompting criticism from many within the DIY punk scene.[2][4] Their first album, No Cause For Concern, was released in late 1981, reaching number 32 in the UK Album Chart. A second album followed in 1982, and the band embarked on a tour of the United States and Canada. On returning from the US, Bondage announced that she was leaving the band.[2] She went on to front Ligotage and later Beki and the Bombshells, and, without her, Vice Squad were dropped by EMI.[2] The band carried on, however, replacing Bondage with a new singer called Lia (who was previously known as Jools and had been the singer for local band Affairs of the Heart).[2] The new line-up, also including the band's manager Mark "Sooty" Byrne on second guitar, signed with Anagram Records, and recorded a session for David Jensen's BBC radio show. Indie hits continued with singles such as "Black Sheep" and "You'll Never Know", but sales dwindled, and the band split up in 1985.[4] Dave Bateman died in 2007.

New band[edit]

Performing in 2005

Bondage formed a new version of Vice Squad in 1997, along with former members of The Bombshells, after being persuaded to perform the old material at the Holidays in the Sun festival.[2] The line-up was initially Bondage on vocals, Paul Rooney (guitar), Stilton (bass guitar) and Pumpy (drums). The rhythm section was replaced by Michael Giaquinto (bass guitar) and Tony Piper (drums) in late 1999/early 2000.[2] This new line-up recorded several albums and toured Europe and the United States. In 2006, they released the album Defiant, produced by Rooney.

Back to "old school punk"[edit]

2008 was spent recording the album, Fairground for the Demented which was shelved as the band decided the finished collection of songs did not represent the 'Old School' punk sound that the band wanted to achieve. This collection of songs is currently released in digital form with retailers such as iTunes and Napster. The gritty punk style was eventually realised in 2009 when Vice Squad released the London Underground album which was co-produced by Bond and Rooney. Released on their own Last Rockers Label, London Underground has received rave reviews on the Studs And Punks website and songs such as "Punx United", "Old Skool" and "Sniffing Glue" form a major part of the band's live show.

Vice Squad returned to America in 2009 on an 18 date tour of the western states promoting London Underground with the American drummer Nick Manning, and Wayne Cotton on Bass (Ex Stuntface bass / front man) with support from The Lower Class Brats.[5][6] The album Punk Rock Radio was released in 2011.

In 2014 The band's new album, Cardboard Country[7] is completed and is released on the band's own Last Rockers Records label on with funding from fans via the band's first ever Pledge Music Campaign.



  • "Last Rockers" (1980) Riot City (UK Indie No. 7)[8]
  • "Resurrection" (1981) Riot City (UK Indie No. 4)[8]
  • Special Edition Tour EP (1982) Riot City (UK Indie No. 21)[8]
  • "Out of Reach" (1982) EMI/Zonophone (UK No. 68)[4]
  • "Stand Strong" (1982) EMI/Zonophone
  • "State of the Nation" (1982) Riot City
  • "Black Sheep" (1983) Anagram (UK Indie No. 13)[8]
  • "You'll Never Know" (1984) Anagram
  • "Teenage Rampage" (1985) Anagram (UK Indie No. 44)[8]
  • "Lavender Hill Mob" (2000) Combat Rock
  • "Santa Claws Is Coming to Town" (2009) Last Rockers
  • "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (2010) Last Rockers
  • London Lowlife EP (2011) Last Rockers – limited edition four track CD single (tracks: "Drama Queen" / "Plain Jane" / "Jimmy Jaguar" / "Dead Doll")

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live in Sheffield (1981) Chaos Tapes Cat: Live003 – cassette only release – limited edition of 3000[9]

Track Listing: A Side: Resurrection / We're Still Dying / Coward / Young Blood. B Side: The Times They Are A Changing / 1981 / Change The Record / Saturday Night Special / Sell Out.

  • Live and Loud!! (1988) Link

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Last Rockers – The Singles (1992) Abstract
  • The Punk Singles Collection (1995) Anagram
  • The BBC Sessions (1997) Anagram
  • The Rarities (1999) Captain Oi!
  • The Very Best Of (2000) Anagram
  • Bang to Rights: The Essential Vice Squad Collection (2001) EMI
  • The Riot City Years (2004) Step-1
  • Fuck Authority (2007) Anarchy
  • Punks for a Princess Vol.2 (2012)


  1. ^ Dewhurst, Tony (2 June 2014). "Beki Bondage's bond with punk still going strong". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Glasper, Ian (2004). Burning Britain: The History of Punk 1980–1984. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 1-901447-24-3.
  3. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Keeping It Peel – Vice Squad". Keeping It Peel. BBC. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
  5. ^ "Lower Class Brats / Vice Squad". 13 May 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  6. ^ Vice Squad Blog (15 April 2012). "VICE SQUAD UK Punk Band". Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Vice Squad Biography". ViceSquad. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
  9. ^

External links[edit]