There are or have been 4 bands that go by the name of The Vipers.
Currently The Vipers are a garage-punk band hailing from Manchester, UK which was formed late 2006. They are influenced by classic garage, punk and rock. You can find their Last.FM page here: http://www.last.fm/music/The+Vipers+%28UK%29
Another band going by the name of The Vipers is an obscure ’80s band from New York that was transfixed with ’60s garage/proto-punk, often drawing comparisons to such similarly styled outfits as The Chesterfield Kings, The Cynics, and The Lyres. They were formed by vocalist/saxophonist Jon Weiss (who has been organising the Cavestomp garage rock festival in New York since 1997) after he was booted from The Fleshtones, guitarist David Mann, who had played bass with Television, second guitarist Paul Martin, drummer Patrick Brown and bassist Graham May. Although the band received some favorable press and reviews during their tenure together, the Vipers failed to break through to a larger audience.
Thirdly, another was one of the leading Irish new wave groups of the late 1970s. An incendiary live act fronted by Paul Boyle and virtuoso guitarist George Sweeney, they built up a loyal following in their home country and gigged with the likes of The Clash and The Jam.
A well received debut single “I’ve Got You”/”No Such Thing” (Mulligan LUNS 718) hit the streets in late 1978. This was heard and liked by the BBC’s John Peel who invited the band across the Irish Sea to do a session for his famous radio program, the Peel Sessions. A permanent move to London led to extensive UK tours with Boomtown Rats and Thin Lizzy as well as regular gigs on the circuit including the Marquee, Music Machine and Fulham Greyhound. A further single “Take Me” was released in early 1980. Although press was always positive a failure to secure long term record company support led to the band splitting up in London in late 1980.
The best known and most enduring line up was Boyle (lead vocals /gtr) Sweeney (lead guitar) Dolan Foley (bass) and Dave Moloney (drums). Hastings legend Bernie Smirnoff (ex Hollywood Killers) took over the drum stool from Moloney in late 1979. After the Vipers, Boyle ultimately switched to acting whilst his erstwhile colleagues stuck with music, Foley going on to Dublin legends The Blades, Moloney to The Cajun Kings and Sweeney to The Fat Lady Sings. Bernie Smirnoff went on to play for my eyes my eyes and now plays for KingBathmat.
In the ’50s the original (?) Vipers were a skiffle band, playing blues and country influenced music in London, most famously in the cellar of the “2 ‘I’s” coffee bar in London’s famous Soho, then the home of much of the UK’s music publishing industry and notorious for its red light district.
Their most famous record was “Don’t you rock me Daddio” but the die was already cast for rock n roll and its influence to overtake the skifflers’ boom, and t chest bass, washboards and jugs have rarely featured in popular music since.
Guitar, and some vocals, featured Wally Whyton, who went on to a career which included many tv appearances on children’s TV, mostly opposite the renowned Pussy Cat Willum and the delectable Muriel Young…
Edited by Mr-Jolly-Roger on 8 Sep 2012, 19:37
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