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May Lloyd, Phil Bowering, Lawrence Sampson, Tony Richards. Photo by Wendy Rivers. Upper Cuba Street.
Background information
Origin Wellington
Genres pseudo punk newish wave
Years active 1980 - 1982
Labels Bunk Records BUNK 003
Associated acts Domestic Blitz, Shoes This High, The Normals, The Wallsockets Condemned Sector
Past members

Phil Bowering, Lawrence Sampson,

May Lloyd, Tony Richards


The Protons formed in Wellington in June 1980. Initially a high energy three piece consisting of Tony Richards (guitar, vocals), Phil Bowering (bass, vocals) and Lawrence Sampson (drums), later in the year May Lloyd joined as lead vocalist. The band played all original punk/new wave material written by Tony and Phil. Although the band received some negative reaction from local punks and remained outsiders to the Terrace Scene they still managed to play many gigs including support for Toy Love in August 1980, for the Mockers, Coup d'Etat and the Valentinos at the Last Resort in Courtenay Place. They played at the Battle of the Sounds contest but were unplaced.

Still relatively unknown, the band secured a last minute spot on the main stage at the 1981 Nambassa Festival where the saw-edged sound of the band was well received by a crowd used to jazz, blues and folk music. The festival went bust and the Protons arrived in Auckland to record a single at Harlequin Studios without the money they were to have been paid for the Nambassa gig. They played at Mainstreet on Queen Street in Auckland.

Returning to Wellington, the band played support to Pop Mechanix at Victoria University Union Hall and in March 1981 recorded more songs on the four track at Sausage Studios in Thorndon. By the time these recordings were made the Protons had become a snappy four piece with an extensive and diverse repertoire of original songs, incorporating quirky off-beat rhythms, elements of punk, funk, reggae and jazz and lyrics which ranged from satire to irreverence. The single Lights On/Modern Homes was released on Bunk Records in early 1981 and the band made a video clip of Lights On at TVNZ's Avalon Studios before disbanding.

Using the Protons recording of Wolves of Power, Phil Bowering released Wolves of Power/Mutants (as a result of nuclear fallout) as a single under his own name in 1982 to coincide with the second visit of the USS Truxtun to Wellington.

Tony Richards went on to form Carnival Din with Eddie Vaughan (bass), Roger Hayden (guitar) and Clarke Gregory (drums), and later, Brendan Fitzgerald (drums).


  • Lights On b/w Modern Homes, (1981), 7" vinyl


Protons: 1.Mutants (as a result of nuclear fallout), 2.Not My Style, 3.Wolves of Power

Error: file Mutants_asaresultofnuclearfallout.mp3 not found


Phil Bowerings website