1978

Released in October 1978, this was the song that showed The Jam had left their punk roots far behind. As did their third album, All Mod Cons, from which it was taken.

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Wire – I Am The Fly

3rd April 2023 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

This is one of the first – maybe even the very first – songs I played for my children when they were very small.

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In April 1978 my favourite group of that time, The Only Ones, released their eponymous* debut album. Everyone’s favourite track was Another Girl, Another Planet. Except me.

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I was never too sure about The Depressions. Unconvincing in both look and sound, they were described cruelly but accurately by the NME as being one of the last bands to jump on the punk bandwagon – “just as the wheels were coming off.”

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Here’s another oddity from the depths of my singles collection. It’s either by Chris Sievey or by The Freshies, depending on how you look at it.

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Xdreamysts were signed up by Polydor at the same gig as Protex. Their single, Right Way Home, was one of the first releases on the Bad Vibrations but unlike most of their labelmates they didn’t even pretend to be punks.

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The Outcasts, a kind of rootsier Undertones also featuring three brothers, were another of the first wave of Ulster bands, but bad luck blighted their career. One of them was killed and another badly injured in two separate car crashes.

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Long-forgotten by all but hardcore punks, Belfast band Victim were the second group to put out a single on the city’s Bad Vibrations label. This is it.

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So here is, to mark the 65th birthday this week of Jake Burns – the very first punk single to come out of Northern Ireland exactly 45 years ago.

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Here’s another slice of Ulster punk from Protex. With their primal power pop sound they were Belfast’s answer to Buzzcocks. And with their ear for a good tune – like this, their debut on Good Vibrations – it’s a surprise they weren’t bigger.

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