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Nancy Vandal

seen live rock punk ska australia

Nancy Vandal is a punk band from Sydney, Australia that performed from 1993 to 2001 and had a reunion performance in 2003 and have, as of December 2008, planned a reunion and new EP for 2009. The band was initially called Hard Axe To Follow, then Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins, but the last part of the name was later dropped.

Nancy Vandal was formed by Warrane College students Foxtrotsky/Fox Trotsky and JJ LaMoore as a strictly pretend band as neither of them could play an instrument. Eventually the pair formed a real band called Meataxe that played on campus. The original line-up of Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins featured Trotsky and LaMoore plus Marcus "Rolfe" Rolfe on bass and vocals and Serene Dean Bakota on drums. Like Trotsky and LaMoore, Rolfe had never played bass before joining the band. At first, the music part of the band's live shows would generally take second place to gimmicks such as trivia competitions, prolonged verbal attacks on both fellow band members and audience and in one instance, a puppet show.

In 1994, Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins recorded a 14 track debut EP, Return Of The Zombie Skate Poets From Planet Sex that featured classics such as "Space Girl With Bionic Breasts", "She Left Me For A Game Show Host Blues" and "I Slam Therefore I Am".

By 1995 Nancy Vandal had begun touring, visiting Melbourne and Brisbane. Trotsky's band newsletter The Vandal's Voice became a fully fledged fanzine complete with comics, libelous proclamations, articles and CDs. The first of these issues was ShitHot '95 that consisted of songs covered by the cream of Sydney's Inner West punk rock scene. Nancy Vandal recorded "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins. The other CD to feature in The Vandal's Voice was Slippery When Crap, a collection of cover versions of the band's favourite cock rock songs including Europe's "The Final Countdown", "Kickstart My Heart" by Mötley Crüe, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard and unforgettable "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister

In 1996 Rolfe left Nancy Vandal and the Popgun Assassins. Under the name Jason Jason Beers, Jay Whalley of Frenzal Rhomb replaced Rolfe, despite not being a bass player. Whalley's first recording with the band was the Slippery When Crap CD. From this time on, the band was known simply as Nancy Vandal. The album The Debriefing Room followed before the end of the year and Whalley then left to maintain his commitment to Frenzal Rhomb. JJ LaMoore switched to bass and Nancy Vandal expanded its line-up by incorporating several members of Newcastle band Loose & The Horny Chicks. Now incorporating a keyboards player and a full brass section, Nancy Vandal's 1998 Bikini High Pool Massacre Part 3: Who Invited the Undead? saw them being labelled as a ska band. Two singles from the album, "Rock and Roll Concert" and "Move Over Satan" were major hits on the national youth radio network Triple J and Nancy Vandal was added to the line-ups of summer rock festivals such as Livid, Homebake and the Falls Festival. Throughout 1998 and 1999 Nancy Vandal toured constantly, supporting the likes of NOFX, Millencolin, Ten Foot Pole, Frenzal Rhomb and others.

Before long however, the seven-piece act had been reduced to five once more and Nancy Vandal began to experiment with an electro-pop sound. The late-1999 album I Wasted My Life was not a success and the band split up in 2001. Bakota and Moore joined the touring line-up of Bathurst band The Tenants and Foxall continued with his interests in comic book art and short film. Jay Whalley became a breakfast announcer on Triple J and is now on 'J's oddysey'. In 2003 Nancy Vandal returned in a one off reunion/farewell gig at Sydney University in December 2003 featuring members from every line-up.

2009 will see the band performing together again on a national tour. The tour is in support of their upcoming EP Partial to Rock. It is the band's first release of new material since I've Wasted My Life ten years earlier. The lineup will be the same as the last incarnation of the band (I've Wast My Life era). This, coupled with Fox's musical outings before the reunion, has led critics to believe that Partial To Rock will be in the same synth-punk vein as …Life.

Band members
Foxtrotsky (Michael Foxall) (guitar, vocal) 1993-2001, 2009-
JJ La Moore (Jeffrey James Moore) (guitar, bass) 1993-2001, 2009-
Dean Bakota (drums) 1993-2001, 2009-
Marcus "Rolfe" Rolfe (bass, vocals) 1993 - 1996
Jason Jason Beers (Jay Whalley) (bass) 1996
Tess aka Lickerov Finetesticals (Robert Tickle) (trombone, keys) 1998-2001, 2009-
Gilli Pepper (sax, vocal) 1998-2001, 2009-
Telaviv Skywalker (trumpet) 1998-2000
Poofy Arse Bogun (sax) 1998

Nancy Vandal has published photos.