Vendetta Records – (Label)

The first ever release by Mike Peters, Eddie Macdonald, Nigel Buckle and Dave Sharp was as Seventeen, the 7″ vinyl single Don’t Let Go on Vendetta Records. You may have heard Mike mention on the Big Night In and at other times, that their first single was released with the help of a dentist. That dentist was Jack Roberts who is credited as executive producer on the single

In 1978 the record industry in the UK was controlled by major record labels whose A&R departments were difficult to impress. Unknown bands had little chance of being signed up which Vendetta always felt was the final hurdle to getting heard. For this reason Vendetta Records was formed with the intention of signing up unsigned bands from around Great Britain and getting them on the Radio Stations.

Vendetta were
Jack Roberts : Executive Producer
Neil Richmond: Studio Production
Eric Gavin : A&R and Art Direction
Val Baker : Photography

Vendetta Records placed an advert in the Melody Maker asking for unsigned bands to send in cassettes of Demos with the proviso that they had not been signed to a label. We received over two hundred band’s efforts from around Great Britain and eventually picked the bands that are on the album that was to be titled: “BEST OF BRITISH STREET ROCK” This was then shortened to “Best of British”. Vendetta recorded the bands at “The Village” studio in Hounslow

The first band they decided to release was Seventeen with Don’t Let Go c/w Bank Holiday Weekend. What impressed Vendetta was their playing ability and tightness and we thought their music could get airplay. Seventeen had a good following in Rhyl, their hometown. They were a very young band, in their early twenties and managed by the drummer’s father. Seventeen were well-behaved and professional. vendetta managed to pick up airplay for the single on on John Peel’s show but couldn’t get it play listed and consequently it didn’t sell many copies. To get airplay, Eric had invented a secretary named Mandy Enytime who wrote to the Radio stations and had inadvertently left her shopping list in the letter, on it many personal feminine items and a copy of Seventeen’s single. The record code was VD001 and the catch phrase we used was: “Get a Dose of This. Their manager, Peter Buckle, however called Vendetta to complain about how the label had besmirched the clean characters of his boys and was up in arms about it. However, it caught John Peel’s attention and he even quoted the catch phrase when introducing the record on his show. The manager actually called us up and apologised

After the Seventeen single there were 2 further single releases on the label
VD002 was The Meanies with a single Waiting For You
CAR139 was The Runs with a single called Bun In the Oven

Vendetta ran over budget and never released the album as a result. Jack Roberts a dentist, whose brainchild it was, moved away from London to Leeds and continued to practice dentistry. Neil Richmond continued to produce and engineer various bands and artists until 2003 when he emigrated to Trinidad. Eric Gavin, also a dentist and singer, was signed to WEA records in 1982 and had a turntable hit with “Poverty Line”. He still records and produces bands in hi studio in Suffolk

The story of Vendetta Records doesn’t quiet end there, as in 2006 a Japanese reissue label called “1977 Records” released an album : Best Of British: Vendetta Records The Missing Hits 1979. This was a 10 track CD, catalogue number 1977-A012CD, featuring the songs from the 3 singles released, plus tracks from other acts that never saw a release when the labels budget ran out in 1980

1 .Special Guest – Basically
2. The Meanies – It’s True
3. The Runs – Bun In the Oven
4. Seventeen – Bank Holiday Weekend
5. Benzene Jag – Dopplegangers
6. The Items – Murder In The Hall Of Mirrors
7. Special Guest – Oh No
8. The Unknown Band – Something Going On
9. Seventeen – Don’t Let Go
10. The Meanies – Waiting For You

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