Sunday, July 11, 2010

Protex - Don't Ring Me Up

A1. Don't Ring Me Up

B1. Just Want (Your Attention)

B2. Listening In

PROTEX (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Don't Ring Me Up b/w Just Want (Your Attention)/Listening In
Rough Trade (RT/GOT-1), 1978

Aidan Murtagh and Owen McFadden started playing together in the Incredibly Boring Band in 1977, primarily doing covers. After witnessing Clash's debut performance in Belfast, they formed Protex Blue (titled after the Clash's song) along with David McMaster and Paul Maxwell in the Spring of 1978. They started doing original, energetic pop material, although they did incorporate some covers into their set. They eventually dropped the "Blue" in their name to differentiate themselves from their favorite band.

Their first EP was released on Terri Hooley's tremendous Good Vibrations label in November of that year and quickly reissued on Rough Trade to keep up with demand (pictured above). Following the success of the single, as well as their session on Great Britain's Radio One Show, Protex was approached by several English record companies before signing with Polydor.

While the band was still in school, they were flown out to London to record their "I Can't Cope" single in early '79, but they had to get back to Belfast to complete their A-Levels (Advanced Levels). By that summer, the band decided to take up residency in London and focus more on their music.

The band released their third single, "I Can Only Dream," before going in the studio with legendary musician/manager/producer Chas Chandler. Unforunately no one was pleased with the end result and the record was shelved.

The band released one more single, "A Place In Your Heart," before heading off on a US tour. John T. Davis thankfully made a 15 minute film of the band at a show they played in New York at Hurrah's on St Patrick's Day (most of which could be seen on Youtube). Unfortunately, it wasn't long after when the band called it quits.

Every song the band did was outstanding. One of the youngest and greatest power pop bands there ever was. Their songs were featured on compilations such as Made In Britain, Bloodstains, Powerpearls and others. Also, two different bootleg LPs exist collecting variations of their recorded material. Sing Sing Records is supposed to be releasing an "official" LP of unheard Protex music this month.

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