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The Atrix

From: Dublin

Active: 1978-1983; 1985-86

Style: New Wave



The Atrix were a new wave rock band formed in mid-1978 by John Borrowman (guitar/vocals) and Chris Green (keyboards), both ex Berlin, with Alan Finney on bass (ex Schoolkids) and drummer Hugh Friel, ex Slow Motion Orchestra. This lineup made the first demo recording ("Circus Tragedy") and appeared at the Carnsore Point Ani-Nuclear Rally in 1978. Finney was later replaced by Dick Conroy.

The Atrix combined a strong theatrical element to quirky but memorable tunes, the most striking examples being the singles "The Moon Is Puce" and "Treasure on the Wasteland". In 1981 they released their debut album "Procession" which placed strongly in the Hot Press polls. Earlier on April 8th 1981 the band supported Toyah at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. This show was filmed by the BBC so presumably tapes exist somewhere. The band made at least one video ("I Wonder Why", filmed at Windmill Lane) and appeared on Irish TV many times.

The Atrix split in 1983. Borrowman & Friel's next project was to supply background music for a 1983 production of Sam Sheppards "Unseen Hand", which starred Marc Parry of Expresso Mambo. Borrowman was also reported to be working on a musical called "Fools" around the same time.

Borrowman & Green returned in 1985 as Very Much In Love, with Pat O'Connell (ex Max Von Rap) on bass and Mick Collins (also of Max Von Rap) on drums. This was a much smother, slicker, saxophone solo'd version of the band which some wags renamed Very Much In Debt. Borrowman's songwriting partner in Very Much In Love was Frank West (ex Eight And A Half, later in Laramie and Benny's Head). They recorded an excellent track called "Ball O' Malt Blues" which was played on Dave Fanning's show, as well as a cover of "Brand New Cadillac". Another unreleased track from this period was "Cashel". None of this material has been released.

Very Much In Love changed their name to The Atrix at the behest of Deke O'Brien, who was thinking of record sales, naturally enough, and so a couple more Atrix singles emerged in 1985-86. One of these was released in Denmark (Borrowman was living in Copenhagen) under the name Afghan Trucks.

John Borrowman also published two books of poetry, "Weak Ends" (self published in Dublin, 1977) and "Master Of None" (Beaver Row Press, Dublin, 1984) as well as some plays and a novel still in progress when he died in Copenhagen in 1992. He also made a couple of short films dealing with heroin addiction which are not that successful.

While there are no unreleased Scoff recordings, there is lots of unreleased material in existance, especially from the 1985-86 era, but as yet there are no plans to collate or release it.


• 2-6 July 1979 - Our Times TV special recorded • mid July 1979 - The Moon Is Puce released • Sunday 5 August 1979 - Dandelion Market
• Saturday 13 October 1979 - Dandelion Market
• Sunday 14 October 1979 - Dandelion Market


• 4-song demo tape March 1979

Recorded March 1979 at Keystone Studios with Phil Chevron producing and Johnny Byrne (New Versions) engineering.
tracks: I Wonder Why / I Feel For You / The Moon Is Puce / +1

• various artists - Just For Kicks
LP - Kick Records - KK-1 - IRL - 1979
See Compilations section for full track listing.

• The Moon Is Puce / Wendy's In Amsterdam
7" - Mulligan Records - LUNS 725 - IRL - July 1979 - PS

• Treasure On The Wasteland / Graphite Pile
7" - Double D Records - D DEE 8 - 1980 - PS
7" - Double D Records - D DEE 8 - 1980 - company PS
Produced by Midge Ure
Some copies come in foldover card cover with printed lyrics and a stapled company sleeve on the inside

• Procession / The Eleventh Hour
7" - Scoff Records - DT 011 - IRL - 16 October 1981 - PS, b&w label
7" - Scoff Records - DT 011 - IRL - 1981 - PS, colour label

• Procession
LP+K7 - Scoff Records - DTLP 012 - IRL - November 1981 - with cassette, booklet, inner sleeve
LP - Scoff/Sound Products Records - DTLP 012 - NL 1981 - inner sleeve

Produced by John Leckie. The version of "Treasure On The Wasteland" is the same recording as the Double D single version though its obviously been remixed and sounds much punchier.

The original Irish pressing came with a free cassette of the LP and a 16 page booklet containing photos, a cariciture of the band, a short biography and the lyrics to three LP tracks (which also appear on the inner sleeve) and the non-LP B-side "The 11th Hour".

A special promotional edition of the album included all of the above plus a copy of In Dublin magazine (issue 142?) with the band on the cover, a badge and a 2-page press release and bio, all housed in a clear PVC bag sealed with a sticker with the band logo on it.

Scoff Records signed a licensing deal with Regency Records in Los Angeles to release this LP is the US. Did this ever come out?

• Triad EP
7" - Scoff Records - DT016 - March 1982 - PS

• various artists - Non Stop Pop
LP - RTE Records - RTE 63 - IRL - 1982
See Compilations section for full track listing.

• various artists - Stock 'N Trade
LP - Scoff Records - DTLP30 - 1983
See Compilations section for full track listing.

• Very Much In Love / Continental Sites
7" - Scoff Records - DT038 - 1986 - no PS
Afghan Trucks - Continental Sites / Very Much In Love
7" - Tir Records - TIR 001 - Denmark - 1986 - PS, sides reversed, credited to Afghan Trucks

• Your Halo is Burning / The Going Away Party
7" - Scoff Records - DT039 - 1986 - no PS
A-side about Bono.

• various artists - Messthetics #5
CD - Hyped to Death - #45 - USA - 200?

• Home-made video covers for two John Borrowman films "A Silken Dream" (1996) and "Goodbye Forever" (1995).


We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.

See Also: Berlin, Expresso Mambo, Max Von Rap

External Links: The Moon Is Puce (live March 1982), I Wonder Why (Anything Goes 1981)

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