Vickers rock on after 50 years

A legendary Blackpool band is due to return to the racks of music stores after an absence of almost half a century.

Saturday, 12th March 2016, 7:00 pm
The Rockin Vickers during their heyday

The Rockin’ Vickers were huge throughout the North West during the early to mid sixties.

And the band even numbered Lemmy, the late Motorhead frontman, among their members during the height of their fame.

In the years since the band’s break-up, the Vickers have been more well known for their famous ex-member than their recorded output.

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The re-released single Dandy

However, that’s set to change with the announcement that the band’s 1966 single Dandy is to be released as part of Record Store Day on April 16.

Packaged in a 60s-style retro sleeve, the single – a cover version of a Kinks’ song – failed to chart.

And with a limited run of 1,600 vinyl singles, the song is unlikely to set the charts alight this time around either.

But Record Store Day organisers believe the record will prove a sought-after among collectors and 60s obsessives.

The re-released single Dandy

Dandy was the band’s last single and the only one to be released in America.

The Rockin’ Vickers were originally called Rev Black and The Rockin’ Vicars, then abbreviated to The Rockin’ Vicars, but in order to have a chance to get more gigs or even a record contract, they changed their name to Rockin’ Vickers.

And although national success eluded them, the band were huge throughout the north of England and popular in Scotland.

Lead singer turned Blackpool car dealer Harry Feeney remembers his days with the band with fondness.

“We were famous for filling places rather than topping the charts – and even got banned from telly,” he said.

Record Store Day is held annually in a bid to entice shoppers into independent stores with the offer of limited edition vinyl editions of classic albums and singles and music from new artists.

Blackpool legends of the 60’s beat scene

Formed in 1963, the band built their reputation by covering R&B and beat standards, but soon became known for their unusually intense live shows and outlandish stage costumes, dressing as vicars. Although mainly popular as a local act around Blackpool, the Vicars also toured mainland Europe, being one of the earliest British rock bands to perform in a socialist country, when they played in Yugoslavia in the summer of 1965.