Gig Seeker Pro



Band Alternative Punk


This band hasn't logged any future gigs


Colne, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Colne, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING @ Manor Garden Music Festival

Southport, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Southport, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING @ Bacup football club

Bacup, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Bacup, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



This 5 track ep is the band's debut release, a vehicle for the barbed wit and die hard punk ethics of ex-Notsensibles guitarist Stephen Hartley. The other parts of the threesome are Karl Eden on bass and Bish Davies on drums.

It's a disc of two halves. Part playful and shouty, part tuneful and subtle.

In the the first three tracks Good Job Proper Job , John's Favourites and the title track, the band sound like a rowdy cross between 'The Buzzcocks' and 'Half Man Half Biscuit'. The scorn for 9 to 5 conventions contained within may not win points for originality but the solid philosophy like "Art is good for the soul/ And so is rock and roll' bears repeating.

The pace eases for the eps best track - an altogether mellower and more melodic song (Water In The Pond). Here the self deprecating reflections ("We're British / Doesn't it show? / Repression in word and deed') hit the mark by being delivered less stridently and shows off Hartley's song writing ability at its best.

This and a Hank Marvin meets Dick Dale instrumental (George's Brother) show a band with aspirations to be more than just 3 chord wonders.

Martin Raybould - Whisperin & Hollerin

Vincent Black Lightning are made up of Stephen Hartley (guitar and vocals), Karl Eden (bass guitar) and Bish Davies (drums), they are all set to release their debut album in early 2008 and on the back of this EP i’m quite looking forward to hearing it.

They manage to incorporate an impressive array of styles across the five tracks on the Lay Your Rug EP. Good Job, Proper Job is probably the most straight up pop song with it’s catchy chorus and witty lyrics “Too many memos getting on my tits, too many jumped-up paper shovelling shits”.

Elsewhere I really liked the instrumental track George’s Brother which had a sort of Shadows feel to the guitar work. Be interesting to see what they come up with for the debut album, how it will fit together and if they maintain the mix of tracks they have displayed here.
- The Beat Surrender

'Lay Your Rug' is much more than a standard five-track EP: it is a manifesto of what Vincent Black Lightning and their label, the Burnley based Eli Records, believe independent music should be.

This debut EP, one of only 500 copies, comes in a handmade sky-blue, guillotined card sleeve with an entomological inspired stamped design, and text in the quintessential English, Johnston typeface – the one that is ubiquitous on London's transport network. With the care and attention that has been paid to the sleeve alone, you feel that this should be treasured even before you listen to its contents.

But this romanticism of quintessential English/Britishness is fully at work in the EP which, to quote VBL, runs on "old valve amps, guitars & drum kit [and] classic English offbeat songwriting".

'Lay Your Rug' has an underlying Kinks feel to it, which is further heightened by its mentioning of matrons, tractors and samples which could be mistaken for excerpts from examples of British New Wave cinema.

Yet this implicit Kinks feel is put through the so-called blender to produce something that sports traces of early Fall, with 'Good Job, Proper Job' bemoaning the need for gainful employment in favour of art and rock n' roll. It's a definite example of the era before indie music and the era of its infancy living together, to create something refreshing and original.

What is ostensibly British about this EP is the Rough Trade MK.1 feel to it, which it takes you right back to the early days of British independent music. The handmade cover; the strive for originality; the distribution through two records shops in Burnley and Manchester; and a record label that only believes in the five-track EP and sports bands that have recorded obscure Peel sessions, means that VBL bring the idolised past right back to the present.

Songwriter Stephen Hartley in 'Water in the Pond' says "We're English, doesn't it show?" Well, it certainly does, and it makes us feel rather patriotic – for once.

David Meller
- This is Fake DIY


Lay Your Rug EP
5 tracks - downloadable from i-tunes & available from

Songs From The Underbelly
Debut album



Dropping out of school to play in a punk band; an engineering apprenticeship; 5 years as a busker; medical school; chairman of an allotment association - all experiences that fuel Stephen Hartley’s brilliant observational songwriting as frontman with offbeat 3-piece VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING

Hartley (best known as guitarist with seminal punk band NOTSENSIBLES) is joined on bass by Lee Jones + Bish Davies on drums.

The band create a raw uncompromising sound through vintage valve amps and guitars with sounds ranging from full on rock & roll punk to subtle ballad.

The songs are sharply observed, with cryptic blasts of autobiographical anecdote, searing wit and social observation.

The punk ethic, the great rockabilly guitar players, the English music scene - these are all influences. VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING sit in the same broad park as bands like the Smiths & Gang of Four