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The Rockin Vickers
  • Dandy (7")-1
    7" MR 7277
  • Dandy (CS 7" (color))-1
    7" color
    MR 7277C apr 2016

Reverend Black & The Rockin' Vicars, as they were originally called, formed in Blackpool in 1963 and proceeded to build a huge following across the north of England with their wild, high energy stage act. "When I walk into the Bolton Palais," drummer Ciggy Shaw once boasted, "all I've gotta do is snap me fingers and right away someone puts a cuppa tea in me hand." The group eagerly courted controversy by wearing clerical collars and crucifixes, prompting newspapers to dub them "blasphemous" and "sacrilegious". However, by the time they began making records, starting in 1964 with a hair-shaking reading of Neil Sedaka's I Go Ape, they'd modified their name to the more acceptable Rockin' Vickers. Although they failed to crack the UK charts, the Vickers scored a Number 1 in Finland, where they played to packed stadiums. Lemmy Kilmister joined the band on lead guitar in late 1965, and the following year the Vickers toured Yugoslavia, becoming the first western rock group to play behind the Iron Curtain. Their fourth and final single, Dandy b/w I Don't Need Your Kind, was produced by the great Shel Talmy and released in October 1966. Their version of Dandy retained all the biting cynicism of The Kinks' original, but it was eclipsed in the marketplace by cuter interpretations by Clinton Ford and Herman's Hermits. The real Rockin' Vickers sound was coiled into the grooves of the flipside, a rowdy stomper penned by Ciggy Shaw and highlighted by Lemmy's slashing, distorted guitar chords and a swaggering vocal by Rev Black himself, Harry Feeney. The single saw a US release on Columbia, and even cracked the lower reaches of the Top 100 there, but by early 1967 the Vickers had broken up, although a later line-up continued to plunder northern England venues well into the 1990s - after a nice cuppa tea, of course.

Mike Stax / Ugly Things Magazine

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