If I Knew What I Know Now

Posted on 30th March 2020

March Spotlight is Vice Squad.

For those who remember the days of Punk during the 70s, may well remember the band coming to prominence from 1979, when they formed, through the early 80s. They were a frequent addition to John Peel's playlists during those years, and it's how I first became aware of them. The early singles Last Rockers, Resurrection and Stand Strong were firm favourites. Then in 1983 singer Beki Bondage, left the band (to form Ligotage and later Beki And The Bombshells), and while a new singer, Lia, was signed up, the band only continued for a couple more years.

During the mid/late 80s and 90s, Beki continue to gain a small amount of success with her bands, and featured in several of the music magazines (mostly rock) that were also gaining success, such as Kerrang! and Metal Hammer. I even met Beki at a few Marquee gigs around this time, and it was always a pleasure to see her as she always seemed really positive about the music she was making.

Then in 1997 Beki relauched Vice Squad with members of The Bombshells, performing with a more "old school" punk than they had been as Beki and The Bombshells. Since the relaunch, they have now released 9 albums, and their latest planned for a 1st May 2020 launch date. Singles and EPs have been forthcoming from the band at a frequent rate, and it's also great to hear some of these older songs re-recorded for B-sides, with a fresh fire. 

While they're still a punk band at their core, their sound has a more edgy rock feel to it. The band provide a tight and solid backing to Beki blistering vocals. I have yet to see them play live, and I sadly missed out seeing them in 2019 due to other commitments, but hopefully I will in the not too distant future. I can imagine their live shows are an intense frenzy from start to finish, with everyone dripping with sweat on the way out.  

I used to love the raw angst of the band in the early 80s, and I'm pleased to hear a lot of that frustration and defiance still continuing today. Recent album Cardboard Country, tackles subjects such as tabloids, reality TV, and the wealth and class injustices we still see today. The Angry Youth (pun intended) of 40 years ago, is still angry and rightly so. 

The new album, Battle Of Britain is due out soon, and if the recent single releases are anything to go by, it's going to be another classic. I for one am looking forward to hearing it.

80s era favourites; Stand Strong Stand Proud, Out Of Reach, Gutterchild
latest favourites; When You Were 17, You Can't Buy Back The Dead, Ignored To Death, If I Knew What I Know Now

Check out Vice Squad if you're still a punk at heart.


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