On the weekend before St. Patrick’s day, while many people were going around dressed in green getting completely obliterated, I decided to celebrate a better way… by catching 70s Northern Ireland punks Protex. I headed to Philly’s Voltage Lounge, and unfortunately got there way too late as I missed openers Posers (who I raved out previously, seriously go check them out) and Crazy & The Brains but made it during Wyldlife’s set.
I haven’t heard of NYC’s Wyldlife before the show, but they played a set consisting of 70s protopunk/rock and roll similar to bands such as The New York Dolls or The Stooges. Wyldlife sounded tight and delivered an energetic show, with their songs sounding much heavier and grittier live than on record, which I definitely dug. Wyldlife is definitely one of those bands you need to see live in order to fully appreciate. If you dig bands like The Biters or really any protopunk band, you’ll dig Wyldlife.
Paul Collins is a man who probably needs little introduction, as even if you don’t know the name you definitely know his songs. One the founding members of the seminal 70s power-pop trio The Nerves (and if that doesn’t ring a bell, they wrote the song Hanging On The Telephone that was later covered and made popular by Blondie) and The Beat.
I wasn’t sure what to expect during his set, if he would be performing with a full band like he does with the Paul Collins Beat. Paul Collins took the stage alone, plugged in his guitar, took a seat and played a solid set consisting of some of his solo stuff and songs from both The Beat and The Nerves. Paul Collins is going to be embarking on a European tour soon, and I know a few of you readers are in Europe, so keep an eye out for that.
If you’ve never heard of Northern Ireland’s 70s punk band Protex, you’re seriously missing out. They are easily one of my most played bands, and I highly recommend you check out Strange Obsessions, a collection of songs they recorded between 1978-1981 for an album that never wound up happening and wasn’t released until 2010 (which is when they reunited).
Protex played older songs from Strange Obsessions with a few newer ones from their 2016 release Tightrope, and they ripped through a fun set with their catchy, incredibly melodic punk as the crowd sang and danced along. If you dig bands like The Buzzcocks, Protex is one that definitely needs to be on your list, and if you’re lucky enough that they come around your town go check them out.
Highlights (from what I remember)
A Place In Your Heart
Night Of Action
Look At Johnny
I Can Only Dream
Don’t Ring Me Up