TV Tube Heart was recorded in Lombard Studios in July 1977 and released in Ireland on CBS and on Chiswick in the UK in October of that year. The album was produced by Roger Armstrong and garnered positive reviews on it’s release. “A collection of 13 Spirited rock ‘n’ roll performances” – Sounds. Each song comes across as a classic … the album as an album is stunning” – Mark Perry. “A great debut … stands head and shoulders above so much currently going down” – Hot Press.
An opinion not shared by the house engineer who walked out of the session declaring he wasn’t going to work on this “shit”. A move which promoted tape-op Johnny Byrne to that position. Some 38 years later the album got it’s first airing in its original running order in Toners in Baggot Street. A street where the band had often played in the Baggot Inn in those heady days of ’77.
Founding Radiators from Space members Pete Holidai and Steve Rapid still head the band now called Trouble Pilgrims (after their third album and in acknowledgement that the loss of founding member, co-writer and friend Philip Chevron made continuing under the original name an impossibility given Philip’s major contribution to the band). The duo were accompanied by long-time drummer Johnny Bonnie and recent recruits Tony St Ledger and the latest in a long line of bass players Bren Lynott. Bren was in the audience for that performance but joined the band shortly after. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the band played those songs with fire and passion.
However it had never been the policy of the band to look backwards and new material was constantly being written or sourced. The Trouble Pilgrims first release was a double A-sided 7″ single with a Pete Holidai original Animal Gang Blues sharing the spotlight with a explosive cover of the Bo Diddley classic Who Do You Love?. The band subsequently went into the studio to recording tracks for the debut Trouble Pilgrims album to be released in 2016.
At the request of John Foley of MCD, Trouble Pilgrims were asked to again (for the what could well be last time) perform the TV Tube Heart album in it’s entirety while supporting the Boomtown Rats in the prestigious Olympia Theatre in Dublin (a venue that had previously played for the #chevronlives – Philip Chevron Testimonial). The Rats were doing the 40th anniversary. Pete Holidai and Steve Rapid were also sharing a 40th anniversary of working together as Greta Garbage and the Trash Cans back in 1975.
Being the punks that they are the decided to following their instincts and ditch the final album track Party Line in favor of a brand new song written collaboration by Steve Rapid and Tony St Ledger. Instant Polaroid (The Man On The Bridge). A recording that had been released via iTunes just four weeks before with a superb media response and air play from Paul McLoon, Pat James and Dave Fanning. The reaction confirmed that they were “the best new old band in Ireland” as one fan had posted. It was an exciting evening for the band who delivered the set with energy and conviction following a introduction from their friend and supporter Mr. BP Fallon. A good time was had by all with a lot more to come in the coming year. You can’t run from trouble there ain’t no place that far.
Gerry “BITZY” Fitzgerald gets the final word.
Ok, so no one has bothered to write a review of The Trouble Pilgrims gig last Sunday….I ain’t seen any “journos” penning a review…so here goes…
The Rads/Pilgrims took to the stage shortly after 8pm to great anticipation…master of ceremonies BP Fallon eloquently introduced them…”I believe in trouble pilgrims”…
Q Phillip Chevrons ear splitting feedback intro into TV Screen and we were off…Hardly time to take a breath before Prison Bars and Great Expectations were scorched out in quick succession…Remember this was the last time this seminal Irish Debut was to be heard in its entirety…There was hardly any time for between song banter as the songs punctuated the Olympia like a machine gun…the crowd loved it…lapped it up…old men threw down their walking sticks and pogoed for all it was worth…the playing was superb….tight as a camels arse in a sandstorm…The band looked great….Steve rapid resplendent in a white 10 gallon hat accompanied by Pete Holidai in rock n roll jacket and specs…Enemies was the highlight along with Sunday World….Blitzin at the Ritz a cracker…Phillip must have been looking down on them…The Olympia being the last stage he was on…out with the old in with the new in the shape of Instant Polaroid….a classic stomping new record by the pilgrims…then they were gone…14 songs in under 40 minutes….as Steve Rapid closed with “we’re still alive” …and then some…if ya missed it…Tough!!
Gerry “BITZY” Fitzgerald