Dublin 1979 - 1982
Line up 1979 - March /April 1980
Phil Byrne Vocals/Guitar
Steve Stingray Guitar
Richard Creswell Bass
Dave Moloney Drums
Teen Commandments became the "live" version of the "Reasons". Dave Moloney played drums for a short period from late '79 to March/April 1980. The Reasons were a studio project band formed after the break up of both Revolver & The Vipers. Pete Holidai was also heavily involved with the band, both producing and writing tracks.
After Dave, Richard & Steve left the band they continued as a trio, with Phil taking over on bass, & Kevin Reynolds on Drums.
"Somethings Better Than Nothing" featured on the "Just For Kicks" LP. This song is the first recording by a member of U2 (The Edge) with another band.
Baby Left Me would also appear on a compilation LP "Vinyl Verdict".
They also released "Private World/Italian Girls as a 7" single.
Image supplied by Johnny Bonnie
Philip Byrne "Pete (Pete Holidai) was around all the time, he produced, was involved in writing and co-writing and was just generally there at that time. Great guy. It was a really cool set of recording sessions".
Phil Byrne Vocals/Bass
Eammon Kelly Guitar
Kevin Reynolds Drums
My Baby Left me also appears on the Irish LP "Vinyl Verdict on Scoff Records DTLP006
Hot Press "Catlicks" March 1980 A speedy recovery to Teen Commandment vocalist Philip Byrne who’s in hospital as we write this suffering from a damaged pancreas (it sez here, in Byrne’s personally typed press release), incurred while practising the latest Chas Smash dance steps. There will be no ska in the Teen Commandment’s set when Byrne returns to the stage, the statement added......................
The Sweat, Teen Commandments Crofton Airport Hotel July 80
The vacant gazes and full glasses of disinterested rest on the dance floor tables. Girls cross their legs and look attractive, boys toss their hair and look. On stage the Teen Commandments are trying to be a pop group in a noisy and not so professional way. But the songs they sing endear them to me... eyes are shining, my feet are tapping, though I’m not about to take the dance floor on my own (coward).
Though no yet commanding the teen adulation they (oh so) obviously desire, Philip Byrne’s group of new pop merchants display a significant song writing ability that excited me and enraptured me for about five songs. They lost me as the heavy rock elements invaded the songs in riff and solo: although it is not yet strongly pronounced the Teen Commandments suffer from a problem that seems concurrent with other Dublin pop bands (Lookalikes, The Resistors); a tendency towards mid ‘70’s blow dried guitar. They lose the brittle vinyl magic of “Something’s Better Than Nothing” to the glam of pop rock.
I’m still prepared to love them a little though, as was the audience. There is something stirring there; if only they take their lessons in a chemistry class, they could learn to command the electric shockwaves they sometimes send through my heart. I’m excited. My eyes are open. Hot Press Neil McCormick
08/10/1980 Grand Cinema, Dublin with the Ramones. Hot Press review by Declan Lynch The Teen Commandments supported, and of the three members, one is called Philip Byrne. Despite getting their sensibilities in a twist, the Teen Commandments are not a lost cause. They resemble many things without ever really transcending them. Squeeze is one of the things they resemble, the Police what they would like to resemble. Basically, Philip Byrne has augmented his sixties wardrobe with some of todays pop fashions. The paradox between the toughness of the material, and the desire to create an image is where the difficulty lies. The Teen Commandments pop dream is double double edged, alternating between pop as aesthetic and pop as popular. If pushed, I’d say they’d choose the latter, especially in view of their musical competence. If pushed again, I’d say their musical and visual terms of reference are too well trodden. If pushed again, I’d leave quietly.
10/10/1980 Toners, Dublin The Teen Commandments are now a trio with Phil playing bass
10/10/1980 Belfield, UCD, Freshers Ball with Icarus, The Blades, Know Brothers
Hot Press review by Philip Owens
"We're making a barrier up here", said the lead mouth of The Teen Commandments, but it was neither the band nor the people that created the gap between the front row of people and the stage. It was, in point of fact, the disco next door.
Those of a weaker sense of purpose opted to pop next door to listen to a selection of records that could be heard in their entirety and with better sound on any day or night of the week on RTE Radio 2. How off putting it must be to a band who sweat their ass off trying to entertain a large group of people, the majority of whom would obviously not be challenged but would in preference retire to the safe and mentally undemanding yawn worthy complacency of a disco. Christ, how it gets me down.
Try as hard as they might, the Teen Commandments ultimately failed to compete with complacency exemplified. It's not as if they even deserve it - they're good with an upper case G. Memorable songs with memorable titles - "Italian Girl In Algiers", "I Was Only Thinking" and "Private World" stand out in my mind as some of the best stuff they presented on the night.
14/11/1980 Project Arts Centre with The Fuze
Hot Press review Senan Turnball
On their first excursion outside Galway the Fuze walked away with first prize at Tramore completion which, among other things, landed them a contract with Mulligan Records. On their second jaunt away from home they walked away with the prize for best Dublin debut by any band, which landed them with this “rave” review, and probably a kiss of death.
Together since November ’79 they have in a year established a very individual sound with definite influences from the Rats, U2 and even Madness in “I am A Soldier”. On a night when sound problems threatened to drown them out it was difficult to identify individual performances but Pat Coyne’s lyrics and vocal style revealed considerable potential, especially when he was joined on vocals by bassist Mike Staunton, John Fitzpatrick’s keyboards adds a lot of colour and ideas to the sound especially on their upcoming single “Stone Age Man” and the even superior “Sundays”. Instead “Stone Age Man” with a harder rock line is not really typical of their overall modern, Bowie influenced style, which can keep you dancing while listening to subtle underpinnings and off beat themes.
The point for now being that the Fuze have ideas and ability in abundance. Watch them go.
The Teen Commandments would benefit from the addition of a keyboard player/song writer to give a more expensive sound and add a few ideas to the material. At present the band are dominated by bassist, singer Philip Byrne, whose songs are interesting in isolation, but by the end of sixteen all that can be recalled are the titles, a few catchy lines or musical variations. Byrne has a strong voice and the drummer works hard, but the guitar playing seldom goes beyond basic rhythm work. Pete Holidai added a beefier sound and doubled up on vocals for “Private World” and the ensuing crazed jam on “Television Screen” – and his presence was a great help in relieving the tedium of the previous half hour. Anybody know an unemployed keyboard player? Just ring…
The Teen Commandments are undoubtedly, at this moment in time, one of the most original and refreshing bands in the entire history of the universe. They are dynamic, attractive, melodic, and essential to the survival of true pop music in this country. As well as that, there’s only tree of them and so your eyes don’t get tired following people around the stage al the time. Be smart! Tune yourself into this brand new sound while you can. Who knows, maybe these fab dudes will hit the jackpot and disappear forever from this ill favoured isle, never to be seen on these shores again, except for the odd one off gig in Toners on a Tuesday night. Wise up dudes, you know it makes sense. Catch this band now and live happily ever after. Ferdia MacAnna
During January & February 1981 the Teen Commandment and Highly Contagious have a residency Friday night at Toners. The Teens also have a Saturday night residency at the Cave in the Sportsmans Inn.