Formed in Belfast in 1978, Protex were one of the pioneers of the Belfast Punk Movement. They were soon signed to the famous Good Vibrations label, their debut release receiving great reviews and enjoying widespread airplay on the UK’s national Radio 1 station. They quickly came to the attention of Rough Trade Records, who released Don’t Ring Me Up to wide acclaim. This in turn led to the band signing for Polydor Records, who released the singles I Can’t Cope, followed by I Can Only Dream.
The 1980s saw the band take to the road with the Boomtown Rats, as well as embark on two extensive tours of their own thoughout the US and Canada.
An album was recorded with legendary producer Chas Chandler, who’d worked with, among others, Hendrix, The Animals and Slade. However, the band weren’t happy with the result and after a final release, A Place in Your Heart, the band and label parted ways, Protex spitting splitting soon after.
Fast Forward to 2010, when New York’s Sing Sing Records located the Polydor recordings and released ‘Strange Obsessions’ on vinyl, igniting renewed interest in the band.
Founders Aidan Murtagh and Dave McMaster reformed the band and shows followed in Ireland, Spain and Japan. 2014 saw Protex play shows in the UK, including London’s famous 100 Club, before being invited to play what were to become two of their most memorable shows, at Hotel Vegas in Austin at the South By South West festival. More European dates followed and march 2015 saw Protex back in the USA to play a sold out show in New York’s Grand Victory, followed by their first New Jersey show at Bruce Springsteen’s old stomping ground, Asbury Lanes. The tour finished back in Austin with four shows, culminating once again at Hotel Vegas, where the band played two highly charged gigs on the 17th
Next up is Stockholm, Sweden on 1st May, followed by Voodoo in Belfast on 18th May and with the band also due to record their first new material in 35 years, 2015 looks like being another busy year.