Sunday, 16 February 2014

Protex ‎– Don't Ring Me Up - 7" promo cover


In 1977, four schoolfriends formed the Incredibly Boring Band and did a few gigs playing covers of Thin Lizzy and Dr Feelgood songs. However, they were soon smitten by the punk bug and decided that they wanted to play energic pop like the Buzzcocks and the Ramones. So they started to write their own songs and then decided to change the band name to Protex Blue(the name coming from the title of a song of the Clash). The band - Aidan Murtagh(guitar/vocals), David McMaster(guitar/vocals), Paul Maxwell(bass/vocals) and Owen McFadden(drums) - played their 1st gig under the new name on 4.7.78 at Knock Methodist Church Hall.
They went on to play at various venues around Belfast and soon earned the reputation of being an excellent live band, and somewhere along the lines at this time they shortened the band name to just PROTEX. Shortly after recording a session for Downtown Radio, they were watched by Terri Hooley, performing at the Glenmachan Hotel and it wasn’t long before Hooley had them in the studio recording their debut single for the Good Vibrations label. They went on to record a session for The Kid Jensen Show on BBC Radio and shortly afterwards, A&R men from London came over to see them play live with the X-Dreamysts in Portrush. At this stage the band were still in sixth form at school, studying for their A-Levels.
Both PROTEX and the X-Dreamysts were signed to Polydor Records and during the Easter holidays in ‘79, PROTEX went to London to record “Ican’t cope” as the first single for their new label. By thistime, the A-Levels had started to take a bit of a back seat and by the summer of ‘79 they had uprooted and moved to London. They toured with The Boomtown Rats and this was followed by various club tours and two tours of the USA. During a tour of the States in 1980, the band were filmed live in concert at New York’s Hurrah Club on St. Patricks Day, by John T.Davis of “Shell Shock Rock” fame. This film was given the title “Sham rock”!

PROTEX went on to release two singles for Polydor. They also recorded an album “Strange Obsessions”
(Side A: Strange things-T’ll never stop-A place in your heart-Nigh of action-You don’t know me-Look out Johnny)
(Side B: I can only dream-Forever-Don’t ring me up-Smile and say goodbye-Private lives-Strange obsessions)
which was produced by Chas Chandler. Unfortunately the album was never releasedas nobody was particularly happy with the end result! They also contributed tracks to various compilation albums in both the UK and the USA.


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