Formed in Belfast in mid-1977, Victim soon became familiar faces on the fast-emerging Belfast punk scene. Rehearsing in a garage, it wasn’t long before the neighbours objected and the band relocated to a printing works, but were soon in further trouble when worshippers at the church next door were forced to abandon an evening service due to ear-splitting noise of Victim rehearsing.
Following their appearance on the legendary UTV punk documentary ‘It Makes You Want To Spit’ and a rapidly increasing live following, Terri Hooley signed the band to his Good Vibrations label. The second release on the label, ‘Strange Thing By Night’ cost just £90 to record, it proved to be an excellent single it and has become something of a collectors item.
In early 1978, prompted by a lack of venues, Victim made a trip to a local Belfast city centre pub because they heard it had a stage! They secured a gig and the legendary Harp Bar was born as a punk venue.
In July 1979 Victim were offered a modest record deal by TJM Records and decided to depart to England, settling in Manchester. Early gigs saw them play with The Fall, Revillos, John Cooper-Clarke etc. as well as playing the legendary Factory club to accompany the screening of Shellshock Rock, a film on Irish punk featuring Victim.
Victim then released their second single ‘Why Are Fire Engines Red’ on TJM. It received numerous good reviews and plenty of radio support from John Peel. In November 1979 Victim supported The Damned (a package that also included The Misfits for a while) on an extensive UK tour.
A friendship was born and Rat Scabies produced the bands third single ‘The Teen Age’ released on Illuminated Records in 1980. A new drummer of Irish descent was recruited – Mike Joyce – who would later receive worldwide fame as drummer for The Smiths.
More gigs and a tour with Rudi followed, but in 1983 Mike Joyce left to join The Smiths, He was replaced by Kev Williams, drummer with Mick Hucknall’s Frantic Elevators. The band recorded several more tracks with the new line-up, which also included keyboard player Toni Isaac, but after a couple more years together they decided to call it a day.