Make no mistake! Peter And The Test Tube babies have written some of the best punk songs ever. In the early ’80s they stood out, above all other bands to emerge, with their tales of the hazards of being young punks in Brighton – “Banned From The Pubs”, “Intensive care”, “Run Like hell”, the list goes on…all had the Test Tubes hallmark, combining personal experiences, real cool tunes and, most important of all, maintaining a great sense of humour.
At the time, their gigs were fun filled events with electrifying tunes and plenty of entertainment. Harmless humour of those early gigs was captured on their debut album, “Pissed And Proud”. From those early gems, the Test Tubes just got better and better. The next crop of songs, “Jinx”, “Blown Out Again” and “September” all featured on “The Mating Sounds Of South American Frogs”, which stayed at number one for four months at the top of the independent charts. A US tour followed, climaxing with a 4,000 capacity sell out show at the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium.
The Test Tubes first US domestic release, “Soberphobia”, is probably one of their finest moments. The use of keyboards and sax on some tracks may not have been what people expected but it worked a treat. The much sought after CDs “Cringe” and “The $Hit Factory” again proved the Test Tubes unpredictability in the early ’90s.
The mid ’90s saw the release of “Supermodels” and the departure from the band of Trapper and Ogs (bass and drums). The band brought in fresh blood, the young and dynamic Cave man Dave and ‘H’ known to the band and a Brighton stalwart on drums and bass respectively.
On their 20th anniversary in 1998 the band flew to Germany to record the “Alien Pubduction” album.
Peter, Del, H and Dave hit the studio again in the twenty first century in 2005, after a seven year hiatus, the band released “A Foot Full of Bullets”, recorded at Ford Lane Studios, Ford, West Sussex. The album was definitely worth the long wait demonstrating a familiar core sound matched with smart self assurance gained from decades of experience. Storming on with characteristic vigour, the Test Tubes gained praise as “the best band of the weekend” (Lars Friedrickson) at the WASTED festival before closing the year with the annual German Xmas Tour 2005.
A remix of “A Foot Full of Bullets” was produced with contributions from Campino (Die Toten Hosen) and Olga (The Toy Dolls) at the start of 2006. “For a Few Bullets More” was released in August.
2010 and the band are back at at Ford Lane Studios in the midst of recording their latest offering ‘Grandad’s House’ (working Title).
The Test Tubes remain one of the best punk bands to come out of Europe. See them live if you get the chance !