Today, the spotlight shines on the wildly influential post-punk group, That Petrol Emotion. Guitarist and songwriter Raymond Gorman and lead singer Steve Mack joined Spotlight On host Lawrence Peryer to mark the release of the band’s career-spanning box set, Every Beginning Has a Future: An Anthology 1984-1994.
Spawned from the ashes of the Northern Irish pop-punk group, The Undertones, the Petrols synthesized all of the music, culture and politics around them to create something vibrant and new. Across five albums - all given a fresh clean-up and augmented with singles, B-sides and rarities in the new box - the band combined 80’s indie/alt rock, post-punk, garage, dance and hip hop to innovate their way into becoming one of the most important and influential bands of their era.
Their genre-hopping and political identities came with a cost. While their fanbase was fervent and ever-growing, mainstream success eluded the band, as their sound was too difficult for marketers to pigeonhole and their politics - particularly their identification with Northern Ireland and other liberation struggles, made them untouchable and in some cases censored by the mainstream press of the time.
But the music and legacy is undeniable. That Petrol Emotion fits neatly on a record shelf with trailblazers like the Clash or Public Image Limited and you would be hard-pressed to imagine a BritPop or the Manchester scene without the path they forged.
Host Lawrence Peryer
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guitarist/songwriter with THAT PETROL EMOTION
singer/ guitarist/songwriter with THE EVERLASTING YEAH