Saigon formed in early 1980 when Eamonn Keyes joined the band that up until then had been known as Crisis. This change in guitarist/vocalist altered their sound and so they decided to change their name. Saigon gigged heavily for a couple years across the country and they recorded a number of demos which were broadcast on the radio but like many bands they never seemed to get the break they were looking for. Drummer Michael Sands left to form a covers band (The Chevys) and was replaced by Barry Walker.
Success finally seemed to be theirs when they were invited to feature in BBC Northern Ireland's Green Rock TV series devoted to local bands. This included filming a support slot at the Ulster Hall. The fee for the show was enough to finance the recording of an album but alas, it was not to be. Hunger striker Bobby Sands died the night before the gig was scheduled and the BBC pulled the plug on the project, leaving the band with nothing. The plans to record an album were scuppered. The band decided to persevere with the recording of a single. Tom Clyde left at this point and the keyboard parts on the single were played by Eamonn P.Keyes. The single was released on the bands own Heartbeat Records in 1981.
In 1982 the band regrouped with new member John Bleakley (guitar/vocals) and Eamonn P.Keyes switching to keyboards. This lineup had a poppier sound and wrote a lot of new material. They recorded 5 tracks at Homestead studios in May, a session they dubbed the "Saigon Chartbusters Vol.2". These were never released.
The band supported Perfect Crime (and vice versa on home turf) several times. Perfect Crime singer Gregory Grey (AKA Paul Lerwill) rated Saigon and may have considered switching bands at one point. Barry Walker later became Perfect Crime's drummer. They also played regularly with The Vedettes (who later became True Colours). Jeanine Mullally joined Saigon as vocalist in the summer of 1982 while Eamonn P.Keyes left in late 1982. Saigon split soon after.
Jeanine Mullally, Ross McClelland and Barry Walker later formed VHF. Eamonn P.Keyes guested with VHF and went into production work. See his website for more details. Barry Walker was also later in Perfect Crime and Ten Past Seven.
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