Vic Godard (born Victor John Napper) is a British singer-songwriter formerly of the punk group Subway Sect. He is now a solo performer.
Born Victor John Napper in Mortlake, south-west London, Godard was raised in nearby Barnes.
In 1976, Godard formed Subway Sect with three other fans of the Sex Pistols at the suggestion of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, who wanted another band for the line-up of the 100 Club Punk Festival. Despite their inexperience, Subway Sect made a successful debut at the festival and were taken on by Clash manager Bernie Rhodes. They appeared with The Clash on the White Riot Tour in 1977 and released their debut single, "Nobody's Scared"/"Don't Split It", in March 1978. While recording their debut album at Gooseberry Studios, Rhodes suddenly fired the entire band except for Godard. Only one track from the album's recording sessions, "Ambition", was released by Rough Trade Records; the single was a major hit on the alternative charts.
Godard re-formed Subway Sect in 1980 with new musicians and signed to MCA Records sublabel Oddball, releasing the album What's The Matter Boy? Following a summer tour with Buzzcocks, Subway Sect disbanded again. Guitarist Johnny Britten formed a rockabilly band but was soon forced to leave the group, at which point Godard stepped in to take his place. They recorded the album Songs For Sale in 1981, but were disappointed with the results and disbanded soon after, most of the band going on to form JoBoxers. Godard also recorded an LP at Olympic Studios, called T.R.O.U.B.L.E., with a group of London jazz musicians known as Working Week, which was eventually released two years later by Rough Trade Records.
In the mid-1980s, Godard retired from music and became a postman.
In 1990, Godard wrote the song "Johnny Thunders", a tribute inspired by reading an obituary of the New York Dolls guitarist. It was recorded at the home of Paul Baker, a fellow postman. Godard also recorded ten other tracks. The recordings eventually became the album The End of the Surrey People and was released on the Postcard Records label produced by Edwyn Collins and featuring the Sex Pistols' Paul Cook on drums.
Later in the 1990s, Godard formed the band Long Decline with Kenny Wisdom and Mark Perry. The band released an album on the Overground label before disbanding in 1998, but re-formed in 2000 with Godard, Wisdom, Lee McFadden, and Mina Sassoon, among others. Godard contributed guitar and some songwriting, but not lead vocals,
In 1998, Godard released the album Long Term Side-Effect on Tugboat Records.
A 2002 album recorded by Godard, Sansend, was released under the name Subway Sect, rather than his own.
Godard's label Motion Records released Singles Anthology in 2005, compiling all A-sides and B-sides from Godard's career.
In 2007, as Subway Sect, Godard recorded the songs that were intended for the debut LP back in 1978, and released them as 1978 Now. The line-up includes original drummer Mark Laff. Original bass player Paul Myers also features on some of the tracks.
Godard has also contributed to tracks by The Bitter Springs, who acted as his backing band (as Subway Sect) for nine years.
In 2009 Vic recorded We Come As Aliens for Overground records (with a vinyl edition on GNU Inc) with Subway Sect, as well as an EP with Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh called "Blackpool".
2012 saw Vic & Subway Sect touring the UK & Europe extensively, while also recording 1979 Now with Edwyn Collins.
2013 included a collaborative tour with the Sexual Objects (Featuring Davy Henderson of The Fire Engines) & two BBC sessions with Marc Riley. He released the 7" only single "Caught In Midstream / (You Bring Out) Te Demon In Me".
2014 began with the release of 30 Odd Years a 45 track box-set on Vic's own GNU Inc records.
Vic remains a busy & creative artist.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license