Vic Godard & Subway Sect – Live

4 Jul

Green Door Store, Brighton: Saturday, June 30 2012

So who has more embodied the spirit of punk? Is it the limelight-hogging John Lydon who greased his palms with Country Life cash and cosied up to Z-list ‘celebrities’ in a jungle, or Vic Godard, a DIY purist, largely unsung hero and postman who, to be frank, can’t fill the tiny Green Door Store on a Saturday night.

Punk might mean many things to many people, but tonight reinforced which side my bread is buttered on, and it ain’t yours Johnny.

Part of Godard’s charm is that there is nothing to distinguish him – with his receding hair, ill-fitting t-shirt and comfy trainers – from any of the other middle-aged men in the venue. And in fitting with his style, or lack of, there was no fanfare, showboating or fuss as he hunched over the mic for more than an hour, dispatching his words of wisdom in his typically understated manner.

What’s more, this wasn’t a nostalgia-fest, nor was it an obligatory tour to flog a new record, because there isn’t one. Instead we got a professional, tight and polished set that spanned the last 35 years and fizzed along with a steady supply of gnarly passion and outsider confidence.

While the years have passed, the quality hasn’t diminished. The bouncing chorus of Rhododendron Town and the taut, almost Specials-esque Back In The Community, from 2010’s We Come As Alien’s album, were more than worthy of sharing the same set as songs from what most here would say was their heyday.

Bearing in mind they were playing on a night when the Stone Roses were lining their pockets in front of 70,000 people in Manchester, it’s hard not to think that Vic should be showered with more attention. Deep down, however, you suspect he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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