The Starjets were originally formed in Belfast in the summer of 76 by vocalist/guitarist Terry Sharpe, bassist Sean Martin, vocalist/giutarist Paul Bowen and drummer Liam L'Estrange, John Paul and Liam all having previously being in a pop band called Spikes.
At that time, gigs in Northen Ireland were few and far between and when bands did get them they were 'obliged' to mix their own songs with well known cover versions. The Starjets covered the like of the Archies 'Sugar Sugar' and the Beatles 'Please Please Me' in their set and even supported the Bay City Rollers and the Glitter Band before taking the collective decision to relocate to London in november 1977. Gigs in and around London with the likes of the Fabulous Poodles, The Rezillos, the Brakes, The Late Show and the Banned eventually led to a deal with Epic Records. The Starjets becoming the first band signed by Muff Winwood, now one of the worlds foremost A&R men, who saw then perform at Islingtons Hope And Anchor and immediately got the band to record some demos. their first 'release' for Epic was December 1978's 'Here She Comes Again / Watch Out' but though copies were pressed the single was scrapped in favour of Januarys 1979's 'It Really Doesnt Matter / Schooldays', neither 45's coming with a picture sleeve. March 1979 saw the release of a third single 'Run With the Past / Watch Out' and a healthy amount of coverage in teen pop magazines who looked upon the Starjets as being 'the Bay City Rollers of Punk !'
The summer of 79 brought the release of the single 'Ten Years / One More World' and then saw the band touring the UK with both The Tubes and Stiff Little fingers (SLF's drummer at the time, Jim Reilly, having been suggested for the job in the first place by the Starjets). This extra exposure resulted in the brilliant 'War Stories / Do the Push' single reaching no 51 in the Uk charts. Their debut album 'God Bless the Starjets' somehow missed the album charts even though the band had appeared on Top of the Pops, Crackerjack and Roundabout and recorded Radio 1 sessions with Kid Jensen and Mike Read. A new rockier version of 'Schooldays' was issued in November 1979 and was followed in March 1980 by the last Starjets release 'Shiraleo / Standby 19'. Paul Bowen left soon after its release and was replaced by Pat Gribben as the Starjets changed their name to Tango Brigade for the 1980 release 'Donegal / In Vain'. when this failed to chart disagreements over the musical direction to go in lead to the band splitting for good in late 1980. Sean Martin later worked with ex SLF frontman Jake Burns in the Big Wheel whilst Terry helped out on vocals on the Angelic Upstarts 'Live' album before forming The Adventures with Pat Gribben. Most recently Terry has been playing with the Belfast based band Dead Handsomes as well as working on some new Adventures material.
Thanks to Mark Brennan of Oi Records for writing this article.
If you wish to purchase the Starjets CD for £8.99 inc UK postage and packing or any other punk records please visit the fantastic Oi Records website at WWW.CAPTAINOI.COM
First ever Starjets CD is a 21 track round up of all their releases for Epic Records. Their debut LP "God Bless The Starjets" is joined by every A and B side they issued in the late 70`s including the UK hit single - and Punk classic - "War Stories". Lyrics to all the songs, sleeve notes, a full discography and pictures of each record are all a feature of the 12 page booklet. Schooldays / Any Danger Love / Ten Years / Run With The Pack / What A Life / Smart Boys / It`s A Shame / I`m So Glad / War Is Over / War Stories / Sitting On Top Of The World BONUS TRACKS Here She Comes Again / Watch Out / It Really Doesn`t Matter / Schooldays (B side version) / One More Word / Do The Push / Shiraleo / Standby 19 / Donegal (as Tango Brigade) / In Vain (as Tango Brigade)
Title Year Format Cat Number
Here She Comes Again/Watch Out 1978 7" EPC6902 It Really Doesnt Matter/Schooldays 1979 7" EPC6968
Run With The Pack/Watchout 1979 7" EPC7123
Schooldays/What A Life 1979 7" EPC7986
Ten Years/One More Word 1979 7" EPC7417
War Stories/Do The Push 1979 7" EPC7770 Shiraleo/Stand By 19 1980 7" EPC8276
God Bless The Starjets 1979 LP EPC83534 God Bless Starjets Punk Collection 1999 CD AHOY CD99