Eugene were a promising band who played a lot around Dublin during 1982-83. Jil Turner, Dave McGinley & Gerry Forde had all previously been in Fugitive. Derek Ennis & Martin Murphy had previously been with jazzrock outfit Foul Play.
Eugene won the very first Stag/Hot Press Best Unrecorded Act Award in early 1982, the prize for which was supposed to be a Phil Lynott produced single. This was announced in the pages of Hot Press as "I Dream In Red" / "Eire Nua". Not for the last time in the Stag/Hot Press (later Carling/Hot Press) Awards, no such single ever emerged.
Phil Lynott did invite the band as special guests on the first Irish date of his Solo In Soho tour at the TV Club (exact details unknown; this tour included Lisdoonvarna '82, where some members of the audience bottled Lynott, though it was nothing like the avalanche that greeted Classics Nouveaux). During 1982 Eugene appeared on Non Stop Pop on RTE Television on February 20th; supported New Order at the SFX in Dublin on March 5th, which was in fact their debut live gig; appeared at the 5th Hot Press Benefit held at Punchestown Racecourse on July 18th, with Rory Gallagher, Simple Minds, U2, Big Self and opening act The Alsatians; and the second Occasion at the Castle outdoor festival in Castlebar on August 1st, supporting headliners the Boomtown Rats and Thin Lizzy (who were second on the bill).
The bands debut single "Julie Cries" / "Castles in the Air" finally emerged on their own No Scam label the following year. Note there is no Lynott connection to these recordings. This single has become quite difficult to find.
Many more demos were recorded were recording during the bands lifetime, including "Oceanside" and "The Art Of Conversation", but nothing further was released.
Derek Ennis was replaced by Paul Hallion and the band moved to London around 1986 but
further success eluded them and they returned to Dublin a year later and split up.
Jil Turner & Dave McGinley later formed East of Eden who were joined in the studio on occasion by Derek Ennis (and Martin Murphy?). Dave McGinley was later in Precious Stones. Martin Murphy joined An Emotional Fish. Gerry Forde works in the equipment supply side of the music business. Paul Hallion is now a photographer.
Update: Dave McGinley (guitar), Jil Turner (bass/vocals), Pat Fitzpatrick (ex Katmandu) (keyboards) and Paul Byrne (ex In Tua Nua) (drums) appeared on the Late Late Show in 2007 backing Debbie Harry.
Notes: The aborted Stag/Hot Press Award single was never released. "Eire Nua" was reputedly produced by Phil Lynott. If these recordings exist anywhere, we'd love to hear them.
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