From ExoticA

Origin Copenhagen, Denmark
Genre Rock'n'Roll / Bitpop
Years Active 1999 - Present
Theo Engell-Nielsen, Uffe Friis Lichtenberg, André Tischer Poulsen, Jesper Holm Olsen, Martin Koch, Søren Trautner Madsen

PRESS PLAY ON TAPE, is a revival and tribute rock band to the music used in games on the 1980s' Commodore 64 home computer. The six-member band, hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, has released three albums and has done several concerts in Britain, Norway, Germany and their home country Denmark. Fans are found all over the globe and some fans have even travelled from far away to attend the band's concerts. Pirated versions of their albums can even be found in some Asian countries[1].

The band's name comes from the message "PRESS PLAY ON TAPE" that the Commodore 64 displayed when the user issued a command to load a program from the tape drive. Upon pressing the play button on the tape drive, the program would then load. Sometimes PRESS PLAY ON TAPE is referenced as PPOT, pronounced 'pE'pät.

PRESS PLAY ON TAPE have performed live with some of the original composers, namely Rob Hubbard, Ben Daglish[2], Jon Hare, and Reyn Ouwehand[3].


Press Play on Tape was formed in the fall of 2000. At first regarded as a mere prank by themselves but soon it became obvious that they had hit a soft spot in quite many people[4]. The game tunes from the C64 had for a few years prior to the band's existence been interpreted by numerous remixers as dance club music or techno music. PPOT was the first band to perform C64 game themes live and as rock. PPOT's first public concert was in December 1999 at the demo competition event The Party in Aars, Denmark. Since then they have performed on national TV and radio and been featured on DVDs and interviewed for several media. The band has been said to be one of the most prolific within the genre[5] The members met at the Department of Computer Science at The University of Copenhagen. They have now all graduated and work with computer games at Deadline Games, IO Interactive and NDS Group.

After the band formed video game music's sound has grown more and more popular being widely used in contemporary popmusic, and too awareness of video game theme bands has grown in Europe and the US. Specifically this has reached many of the people in Europe that had a C64 in their early youth (the number of C64s is unknown but lies somewhere between 16 and 20 million units sold) making existence possible for a band that plays music from a home computer that had its prime in the mid 80s.

  • In 2000 the band formed.
  • In 2001 their first album, Loading Ready Run, was released.
  • In 2002 the band released their first music video which was a spoof boy band video based on the C64 classic Comic Bakery by Martin Galway.
  • In 2002 the band performs together with composer Ben Daglish for the first time[6].
  • In 2003 the band performs together with composers Ben Daglish and Rob Hubbard for the first time[7][5].
  • In 2004 their second album, RUN/STOP RESTORE, was released. This year also saw a live performance at St.Luke's Cathedral, London, where the band was again joined on stage by Ben Daglish on flute, as well as Mark 'Madfiddler' Knight on violin.[8]
  • In October 2005 PRESS PLAY ON TAPE performed as warm up band to Danish band Mew, playing at two of Denmark's largest concert venues[9].
  • In November 2005 the band hosted the concert Copenhagen Retro Concert (CRC 2005) in Copenhagen, Denmark. This event featured the bands Visa Röster, Stuck in d'Eighties, Axes Denied and Rob Hubbard. It was at this event PPOT introduced their performance of Cannon Fodder played solely on game controllers using proprietary software[10]. They performed this with composer Jon Hare. They also performed together with Rob Hubbard for the second time[11].
  • PRESS PLAY ON TAPE performed at the 2008 Roskilde Festival[12]
  • In 2009 the band performs together with composer Reyn Ouwehand for the first time[13].
  • In 2010 PPOT celebrated their 10th year anniversary[14].
  • In 2012 their third album, HOME COMPUTER, was released.


Loading Ready Run

Press Play on Tape's first album title comes from the text sequence in the Commodore 64's loading sequence: Loading Ready Run. After pressing the tape drive's play button, the computer would display "Loading" while transferring the program into the computer memory. At completion, the prompt "Ready." would appear, and the user could then "Run" the program. Loading Ready Run was released in December, 2001, at[15]. Loading Ready Run received generally favourable reviews[16]. The editorial and independent reviews gave it an 8/10, respectively 9/10 rating, awarding it one Silver and one Gold Seal of Approval. [17]

Track list:

  1. Rambo: First Blood Part II - Martin Galway
  2. Ghosts'n Goblins - Mark Cooksey
  3. Warhawk - Rob Hubbard
  4. Monty on the Run - Rob Hubbard
  5. Beyond the Ice Palace - David Whittaker
  6. Wizardry - Mike Alsop
  7. Commando - Rob Hubbard
  8. Thing on a Spring - Rob Hubbard
  9. Aztec Challenge - Paul Norman
  10. Auf Wiedersehen Monty - Rob Hubbard and Ben Daglish
  11. Paperboy/Game Over - Mark Cooksey/Martin Galway
  12. Krakout - Ben Daglish
  13. Thrust - Rob Hubbard
  14. Master of Magic - Rob Hubbard/Larry Fast


The second album's title, RUN/STOP RESTORE, refers to two specific keys on the C64 keyboard. Run/Stop was the button to stop a Basic program's execution. Restore was used in combination with RUN/STOP to break ongoing interrupt loops, restore the corresponding interrupt vectors, and reenter the operating system at a known program location (all this constituting a "warm start"), thus (hopefully) bringing the C64 back to a responsive state. Run/Stop Restore was released in January, 2004. RUN/STOP RESTORE received generally positive reviews[18]. It was awarded the Gold Seal of Approval, given a 9.5/10 score.[19]

Track list:

  1. Hypa-ball vs Mission AD - Keith Tinman/Fred Gray
  2. Arkanoid - Martin Galway
  3. Tiger Mission - Johannes Bjerregaard
  4. Phantom (of the Asteroid) - Rob Hubbard
  5. Kettle - Ben Daglish
  6. Bionic Commando - Tim Follin
  7. Comic Bakery (PPOT remix remix) - Martin Galway
  8. Nemesis the Warlock - Rob Hubbard
  9. The Way of the Exploding Fist - Neil Brennan
  10. Fairlight - Mike Alsop
  11. Star Paws - Rob Hubbard
  12. Flimbo's Quest - Reyn Ouwehand
  13. Defender of the Crown - Jim Cuomo/Richard Joseph
  14. Roland's Rat Race - Martin Galway
  15. Wizball Game Over - Martin Galway
  16. Wizball High Score - Martin Galway
  17. Sacred Armour of Antiriad - Richard Joseph
  18. Crazy Comets - Rob Hubbard


  • PPOT made a music video for Comic Bakery as a boy band spoof music video[20]. The main idea was to make fun of the boy band genre which the video clearly shows. Released in 2001 before YouTube this became a internet download craze but now the video can be seen on YouTube as well[21]. Later in 2007 this music video has been subject for pop culture and media analysis[22] by professor Jaakko Suominen, University of Turku.


Covered tunes

The list of tunes covered by PPOT can be seen below. The list is supposed to be complete[23].



  • An easter egg reference to PRESS PLAY ON TAPE can be found in the computer game Hitman: Blood Money, where an in-game newspaper reads the headline "PPOT Rocks! The Commodore 64 revival band gets major breakthru in the U.S." [24]
  • Their remake of "Outrun: Magical Sound Shower" has been downloaded 59.000 times since its release in 2001 (as of August 2010) [25]
  • Their remake of the Monkey Island has been viewed by more than 700,000 on YouTube[26].
  • For the 25th anniversary for the Commodore 64 PPOT was interviewed by numerous media, including CNN.

External links


  2. Rydling, T (2006) "Blandband", Super PLAY #125, p. 55
  3. PRESS PLAY ON TAPE, concerts page
  4. Computerworld interview
  5. 5.0 5.1 Retro Gamer Dawes, A. (2004) "Play it again SID", (ISSN 1742 3155), issue 4 , p. 32
  6. Back in Time concert, Soho
  7. Back In Time concert, Brighton
  8. Fisher, A. (2004) "Back In Time Live 2004 - the ultimate 8-bit music event", Retro Gamer (ISSN 1742 3155), issue 9 , p. 73
  9. Gaffa, review
  10. Cannon Fodder, YouTube video
  11. Copenhagen Retro Concert 2005
  12. Roskilde Festival: PRESS PLAY ON TAPE - 2008
  13. Concert w/Reyn Ouwehand
  14. Anniversary concert
  15. Loading Ready Run at (label)
  16. Review of Loading Ready Run at
  17. Review of Loading Ready Run at
  18. Review of RUN/STOP RESTORE at Lemon64
  19. Review of RUN/STOP RESTORE at
  20. Comic Bakery, The Making of, Band website
  21. Comic Bakery, YouTube video
  22. Suominen, J. (2007), The Past as the Future? Nostalgia and Retrogaming in Digital Cluture, Department of Digital Culture, University of Turku, p. 6 - Paper
  24. PPOT featured in Hitman: Blood Money,
  26. Monkey Island, YouTube video