It didn’t stop with Final Flame.
Sure, TPE called it a day, but individually and collectively the petrols kept the fire going on a number of different side projects, and even though it’s been fairly on the qt, some of us are still playing out, working in the studio, and staying busy. Here’s a list of other projects, in no particular order:
- The Undertones – This one was slightly surprising but pretty much a no-brainer. The boys got offered a ton of money to play a reunion gig, and they decided to give it a shot, sans Feargal. They had so much fun they decided to keep it going, and they’ve put out a handful of albums in the last few years.
- Wavewalkers – Wavewalkers was originally the project name for a new band featuring Raymond, Damian and Brendan. With Ciaran on sabbatical they roped in fellow Derry born drummer Kevin Sharkey in ’96 and played 6 gigs in total in London, Derry and Paris – 3 of which are now considered “legendary” by those lucky enough to have been in attendance. Their Parisian debut at Le Theatre Dunois remains one of Raymond’s fave ever gigs and in London they supported Love/Arthur Lee (another personal triumph for Raymond – Lee being one of his heroes). This line-up promised much and even recorded together but unfortunately never released anything officially and disbanded in disarray and disappointment even though record label interest (Nude) at the time was evident. Many expressed their dismay that such a potentially potent musical force should fall at the first hurdle. Licking his wounds somewhat from the experience Raymond took a few years before resurfacing in solo acoustic troubadour mode to sing some of the same songs again and also some more recent original material. He reckons that WW MK 1 breaking up was a much more traumatic and distressing experience than TPE breaking up in ’94. He was re-inspired to write and perform again after witnessing Ciaran give an absolute solo singer-songwriter masterclass one balmy summer’s evening in the Blue Posts pub in Soho,London. One man – ten songs – all killer,no filler. Buoyed by the experience the pair later ran an acoustic club there along with friends Steve and Alison for about 9 mths which is remembered fondly by the dozens who attended. For Raymond’s 40th birthday in June 2001 Ciaran, Brendan and Damian joined him onstage to play a set of his original WW songs and perhaps the seeds of the future TPE reunion were sown on that evening as it was deemed great craic and a real success.Documentary evidence exists of this event and can be accessed on YouTube – five songs in fact – including a very different and equally wonderful interpretation of “Abandon”. Just type in WAVEWALKERS on youtube.com. Raymond still has plans eventually to release music under the Wavewalkers moniker and has a site at http://www.myspace.com/wavewalker7
- Ciaran never stopped writing in the interim and also has a site showcasing some of his fab solo material– http://myspace.com/ciaranmclaughlin
- Anodyne/Marfa Lights – Meanwhile over in Seattle, Steve was writing songs with Harris Thurmond, which eventually materialized an album in 1997. They had to release the album under the name Marfa Lights in the UK/Ireland, since the name Anodyne was already being used.
- O’Neill – When the petrols split up, the gear got divided up amongst the members, and Damian ended up with enough studio toys to write an instrumental album which was eventually put out by Alan McGhee.
- Cantona – Steve has been “permanent part-time bassist” with Seattle pop-group Cantona for the last few years. They have an album scheduled to come out shortly. (Cantona’s MySpace page)