The Passion Machine isn't a band, it's a theatre company founded in 1984 and still active today. The company is a project-based operation staging only original Irish work. Their first production was a rock musical by Paul Mercier titled "Drowning", with music by John Dunne and Paul Mercier. It was staged at the now defunct SFX in Dublin in the summer of 1984. The main character was played by Joe Savino (Max Quad Band, B.T.'s). The part of "Da" was played by Brendan Gleeson. Three of the cast form a band with five other musicians who were played in the original production by real musicians. The musical was recorded during sessions in December 1983. The musicians involved in the recording included Dave Sweeney (Max Quad Band, The Vipers, etc) on guitar, Paul Bushnell (The Commitments, The Partisans, The New Radicals, Faith Hill, etc) on bass and Dave Bell (The Epidemix, The Big Noise) on drums. Both Bushnell and Bell appeared in the production but Dave Sweeney did not. A single was released to promote the show in the summer of 1984. It's become quite collectable and increasingly difficult to find.
The musical was revived in 1991 in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and also toured to Glasgow. The Solid Records single of "Drowning" dates from this revival and is not a reissue of the earlier single. This 1991 single is not credited to The Passion Machine, understandable given that a different theatre company was involved, but I've listed it here for simplicity. The only copy I've seen is a test pressing without picture sleeve. The B-side "Heartland" was not recorded during the original 1984 sessions.
The Passion Machine's second production was Paul Mercier's Wasters.
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