By this stage John was writing songs with Raymond, and inspired by the success
of The Left Bank they decided to form a band. And so That Petrol Emotion
was born. Having played some gigs with Liz Brown on vocals at the Gweedore
Bar they soon realized that if they were to make their mark London was calling.
Once there they teamed up with Ciaran McLaughlin who had previously deputized
in the Undertones on drums, Damian O Neill on Bass and American Steve Mack on
vocals. T.P.E received immediate critical acclaim, in no small part due to their
blistering live shows. However they never managed to turn this into record sales,
and after a few line up changes and a relatively successful career the band
finally split in 1994. Some would argue that they were ahead of their time in
mixing dance with rock, others that they failed to play the game. Alledgedly
their overt political stance in highlighting injustice in Northern Ireland did
not help their chances of airplay at the BBC. When a 'Best Of' compilation does
finally becomes available they may get the retrospective acclaim they undoubtedly
Emotion in fact took their name from the lyrics of a song performed by another
Derry band, Bam Bam And The Calling, who although
musically adventurous never really fulfilled their potential. Bam Bam also spent
some time in London and made an impression on the live circuit and in the music
press. Success however eluded them and today they remain virtually unknown outside
of Northern Ireland where they still perform occasionally.
Bam Bam were supported regularly by two other local bands Fear of God and
Tie the Boy. Tie the Boy were more pop orientated and it comes as no
surprise maybe that lead guitarist Peter Cunnah went on International success
as D-Ream. His biggest hit "Things can only get better" became
the "unofficial" anthem of New Labour. Surely when political parties embrace
pop stars it's a sign that another punk style revolution in music is long overdue!
YOU GOTTA AGITATE, EDUCATE, ORGANIZE.