Before becoming an internationally known superstar solo singer; before hitting the charts as deep-throated Alf from Yazoo (pictured), Alison Moyet was a punkgirl pioneer in and around the Essex town of Basildon as the lead singer in The Vandals.
Like a lot of bands formed in that first rush of punk energy, there are few surviving photos of the band and no recordings, but there are a lot of memories of their barely-rehearsed and occasionally violent gigs at local youth centres and pubs. The best information about The Vandals is here on the southendpunk.com site: The Vandals
Formed in 1978, by Alf and two friends, Kim and Sue, The Vandals turned what was originally a girl harmony vocal group into a punk band.
In a great interview with The Quietus, Alison Moyet recounts how The Vandals emerged:
“We lived in a new town where we had no money and there was no culture going on, so it was a way of us entertaining one another. We would play in car parks or in fields and everyone was in a band whether you could play an instrument or not. That was the joy of punk, really……I was the instigator of the band – I came from quite an aggressive French peasant family, and I was big and argumentative and I wrote the words. So, automatically I went up front.”
The Vandals played for just over a year, before Alf left to join another local punk band, The Vicars, who came second place in the Southend Rock competition and went on to support The Damned and Eddie and the Hot Rods before dissolving around 1980.
Here’s an interview with Alison Moyet. Note the headings – not Singer, Yazoo, but Weight/ Diet. We’d dearly love to ask her about her punk days and the impact punk has had on her life. Alf, you’re an inspiration, and we wonder whether anyone, anywhere has got recordings of you singing with The Vandals and The Vicars!