The importance of the Radiators From Space can NOT be under estimated, they were, are critical to the Irish music scene, now and back in the mid seventies. Thin Lizzy & Horselips came before them and have had more success at home and internationally. But neither Thin Lizzy or Horselips inspired generations kids too pick up instruments and form bands. The Radiators songs hit a cord with the youth of Dublin, they understood and knew the dark and depressing Dublin that they were singing about.

It's hard to even estimate how bands sprang up in Dublin from 1976 - 1981. The only one of these bands you have probably herd of are U2, but there were many others, Revolver, The Vipers, The Blades, The Atrix, New Versions, Fabulous Fabrics, Scare Bleu, The Strougers, Berlin, Virgin Prunes, The Lookalikes, too name but a few.

It's even possible too argue that U2 may not have been the band they are today, without Stephen Averill of the Radiators, he gave them advice, their name, (would The Hype have been so successful?), designed their logo and their record sleeves and let them rehearse in his garage.

The Radiators history is full of what if's. They did a 30 date tour of the UK with Thin Lizzy in '77, while this built up their stage craft & gave them valuable experience of playing in front of large crowds. But on the flip side, this was not their audience, they had started too build up their own fan base in the UK and this tour took them away from their own fans. The Ghostown album was ready to be released 6 months after TV Tube Heart hit the streets, but due too the finances of their record label it was shelved.

Phil, Steve & Pete all worked with other up & coming Irish bands during the gaps when the Radiators were idol, writing, engineering & producing bands such as The Atrix, Teen Commandments, The Men They Couldn't Hang, The Pogues, Agness Bernelle, The Real Wild West, The Reasons, Modern Heirs, SM Corporation & Light A Big Fire.

Radiators From Space
Dublin 1976 - August 1977
1st Line up;
Steve Rapid Vocals
Phil Chevron Guitar & Vocals (R.I.P.)
Pete Holidai Guitar & Vocals
Mark Megaray Bass (R.I.P.)
Jimmy Crashe Drums

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Phil@ McGonagle's. Photo supplied by Patrick Brocklebank

Jackie Hayden (CBS Records) "My memories of that period was that the international success of The Boomtown Rats, coupled with Geldof's confrontational arrogance, inspired lots of Irish bands to go for it. When radio 2 (now 2fm), and Hot Press came into play there were more outlets for the bands to get coverage, and it tended to snowball from there on. The Radiators are my favourite band from that period. The album of early Irish rock covers they brought out this year (called Sound City Beat) still shows the defiance and uplifting creativity they had in their early years. It was a tough but exciting time for Irish music".

Pete Holidai "The Radiators from space were most definitely a garage band. We rehearsed every Sunday in Steve's garage. When we went off to the UK, some band called 'The Hype' moved in to OUR garage....What ever happened to them"

Ghostown the classic Irish album

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"No Irish band has ever attempted anything as ambitious as Ghostown, and no one ever will. Why should it? It has been done and, like Pet Sounds, it's a monument forever." 

- George Byrne, Sunday Times, 1998

Karl Tsigdinos (Hot Press reporter & DJ) If anyone asked me to describe Dublin in the 1970's, I would have handed them Ghostown.

1976, The Birth 

Ticket supplied by Pete Holidai

 

Ticket stub supplied by Pete Holidai

13/06/1976 Belfield, UCD with Eddie & The Hot Rods. The Radiators first gig, supporting high flying English band Eddie & The Hot Rods.

13/12/1976 Baggot Inn, Dublin

29/12/1976 CUS, Dublin

 

09/01/1977 Baggot Inn, Dublin with Arthur Phybes Band

16/01/1977 Asgard House, Howth The entire audience walk out, the band play on regardless and play their entire set twice.

23/01/1977 Baggot Inn, Dublin

20/02/1977 Baggot Inn, Dublin

21/02/1977 El Ruedo, Carlow. The Radiators are the first "Punk" band to play in Carlow, it's their gig outside of Dublin 

05/03/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin.

10/03/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with the Boomtown Rats. This was the Rats farewell Dublin concert, before going of to England. The gig was in aid of of Dublin's Project Arts Centre.

11/03/1977 University College Dublin with Roogalator. This is Roogalator's last Irish concert, before returning to England.

24/04/1977 Baggot Inn, Dublin (support is The Undertones, playing their first gig outside Derry).

29/04/1977 Stardust Club, Cork. A crowd of 2,000

09/05/1977 Esplanade, Bray, Co Wicklow. The Radiators play 12 songs in a half hour set, they are introduced by Jude Carr. The stage is so small that Phil has to sing in the audience. After their set the Radiator jam with the support band, they play Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode" with Jude Carr on drums. Jude Carr I remember the gig, Pete Sliverton, was over from Sounds, Jimmy left early. No idea who the support was, or who or what convinced me to get behind the traps. still I can add Radiators From Space to my C.V.!

14/05/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin

27/05/1977 El Ruedo Club, Carlow The first "punk" band to play this venue

10/06/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin

11/06/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin

24/06/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with Full Circle, Jimmy Selvin, Revolver, Ditch Cassidy & Roots

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“There’s a theory that the anti hero has become so deeply embedded in the Irish character that they’re unable to appreciate any other kind of hero”.  That’s Philip Chevron talking. He’s the mainspring and guitarist of Dublin’s own New Wave band, the Radiators From Space. We’re careering, Saturday night drunk, around a selection of Dublin’s watering holes.  As a respite from pumping me for first hand information on the London “scene” he’s explaining why we’re getting less than effusive welcomes in some bars.
Local boy made good, James Joyce, used to drink at the Bailey. Hoping to soak up a little culture with our stout, we gave it a try. No go. Ostensibly because we look under age. In reality, Phil reckons, because of my leather jacket and his emaciated phisog and quasi dole queue threads.
In Britain, no one any longer seems too worried by the New Wave (apart, that is, from the spectre of Johnny Rotten). Whatever pulls in lucre is worthy of respect. So out go the shock horror outrages and in come the grudging approvals. It ain’t that way yet over the Irish sea.
Phil and the rest of the band are still surrounded by “look what the cat brought in and hadn’t we better crack a few ribs to stop it happening again” looks and actions. Amazing what a pair of green rimmed plastic shades can provoke, innit?                        

The Radiators have only been together for a handful of months and 12 gigs but they’ve been stuck with this unpleasant atmosphere since they started and it’s intensified somewhat since the Irish Sunday World ran a par for the course punk put down on them. The paper itself is a fascinating cross breeding of the News of the World’s hypocritical horrified titillation and Record Mirror’s cheap colour and redeeming sense of humour. It’s fast becoming my favourite paper.
The journalist responsible did ring them up and apologise, claiming that the editor forced him to write it that way but he did mention that the Radiators had been none too polite about the Christian Brothers. And then the shit really hit the fan. The Christian Brothers have a lot of pull. They all but dominate male working class education in Ireland. Try and break their grip on minds of a generation and you don’t win any popularity polls.

PictureVolume 3 of Dublin's "Heat" fanzine

So the Radiators are now scarcely tolerated, even more firmly entrenched in the anti hero category. All they got out of it was a song – “Sunday World” (natch) – with a double entente chorus that runs “Are you getting it every Sunday?”
Singer Stephen Rapid thought of selling it to them as an advertising jingle. But then that’s his job. He’s a designer in a ad agency. Recovering from my initial surprise on a New Waver working in that industry, I took solace in remembering that Dublin’s most renowned hero, Leopold Bloom himself, sold advertising space for a paper.
So now I know about Steve’s background and have heard Phil’s two pennyworth but it’s not until the next afternoon that I get down to examining the real question at hand – what are they like in action in front of an audience.
Some bands loosen up for show time with all manner of arcane chemicals. The Radiators (and me – no journalistic detachment here) play the dodgems – searching to destroy on four harmless rubber wheels. What else can a por boy do in Bray, a two street seaside resort ten miles or so south of Dublin?
The gig is in the side room of a hotel. It’s a typical venue. Totally unsuited to rock ‘n’ roll, barely suited to human habitation. The stage faces a blank wall not twelve feet away. The audience sit on either side. And drink. This is a Sunday afternoon pub gig. For the kids, y’understand? Even with the gear crammed into a smaller space than you can imagine, Steve has to sing down on the dance floor.
Cryptically introduced by Sounds’ local stringer, Jude Carr, as “Hugh Hefner’s tip for the top”, they slam straight into their new Chiswick single, “Television Screen”. B. Bumble and the Stingers meet Chuck Berry in downtown Bray. A strange admixture to be sure. Maybe a touch Mickey Mouse as someone claimed. But definitely sharp and hard. Live, it’s got even more fire than the record. They play as good as any but the best of the London New Wave.             Visually, the singer is always the logical focus. Talking to Steve, it was clear that he’s a rabid fan (he asked me even more questions about what’s going down this side of the Irish Sea than Phil did), seeing the Dolls and the Iguana as life’s breath itself. That’s how he comes over onstage. His voice ain’t up to much and his movements are decidedly re runs of others greatest hits but he’s so obviously getting off on living out his fantasy of being a rock ‘n’ roller that you’re irresistibly sucked in by his enthusiasm.
Now Phil, that’s a whole different kettle of inspiration. He’s the real show. Not since the first time I saw Joe Strummer have I been so struck by the immediacy of a performer – his almost manic concentration on what he was doing spoke volumes of belief and understanding.
He’s only 19 but he’s been in and out of bands since he was in an Irish Bay City Rollers at the tender age of 13. He’s produced an album of Brecht songs. And now he’s putting his vision to music with the Radiators. Clearly a man with intellectual interests, he reckons Joe Strummer as a latter day Sam Beckett (the geezer who wrote “Waiting For Godot” et al) with the same self assertive nihilism – everything is hell, you can’t do anything about it but you’ve still got to try.                                 

PictureImage supplied by Pete Holidai

Similar sentiments come over in his own songs. They might tread the same almost cliched dole queue as the English New Wave but they speak from a specific Irish standpoint and such knowledgeable down homeness is an undeniable strength. Anyway, Phil is on the dole. He gets a tenner in total. So he watches TV becomes obsessed by it’s awesome power over our lives. And writes songs about and for the 625 line generation. Like “Electric Shares” which is about the video totalling of Gary Gilmore. It fades on the déjà vu line “They’re selling postcards of the hanging.....”             Jimmy Crashe (drums) and Mark Megaray (bass) lay down a neccary and varied bottom line. Peter Holidai’s simple guitar work is a more than adequate counter point to Phil’s more aggressive more adventurous playing. They carom through a twelve song half hour set just the way it should be done, slinging in enough switches and changes to let you know you’re listening to an alive, kicking and real rock ‘n’ roll band not some lame bunch of art school renegades like the Subway Sect.
And it’s as obvious as an elephant in a dog kennel that, even if the Radiators break up tomorrow, you’re gonna hear about Phil Chevron (remember the name and where you read it first) again.
The crowd ain’t so sure though. The general vibe is one of “if this is punk rock, we’d rather dance to what we know”. It beats me how they can resist ace in the hole tight versions of “Teenage Head” and “Psychotic Reaction”? Who doesn’t feel like “Blitzing At The Ritz”?
And the management of the hotel, they don’t care about a band giving all they’ve got in such a short space of time – more in fact than most bands manage in 2 ½ hours. They want the time filled till seven o’clock or no money, see? Enter a ramshackle five guitar ensemble cobbled together from Radiators and the support act. They play a version of “Johnny B. Goode” so funny that I laugh half way to the airport.
The punters loved it. They started dancing for real at last, safe in the refuge of the known, proving actively Phil’s observation on the nature of Irish heroism. If he was as dead as Chuck Berry, they’d probably applauded and dance to his tunes just as enthusiastically.
The “jam” is falling even further apart – Jude Carr joins on drums (he should stick to writing) – as I leave a little stunned, as you should be by a good band, and happy to be free at last from all those incessant queries. If I’m over there again, I’ll just tell anyone who asks about London: “It’s much the same as Dublin. There’s good bad and awful”.
The Radiators have their own category – Dublin’s best.               

PictureImage supplied by Pete Holidai

Blowing out the sails of any new entity that wants to climb the rockpile is a game that you can easily get into. I mean, 99% of the musical papers are waving the 1984 Rock banner advocating mainstreet boot – hustler bands as the definitive solution to the wrinkles breaking out on Lady Rock’s treble chins.
She’s no high – school Madonna no more, the cracks in the plaster are showing through in the last couple of years.
Agreed, but shoving her into the geriatric division and trading her in for a new fresh – faced adolescent model is only sweeping the failure under the Wurlitzer and gets nobody nowhere fast.
Talent’s been the rock drain – not enough of it gettin’ through that is. From the 60’s acne – sprouting of the East End London bands, the Gasoline Alley rebel posers of ‘60’s have receded and grown up into flatulent Yves. St Laurent hobnob poncers. It’s an extreme treacle somersault, but that’s the trick. Like it or not, most people get a little bit older, a little bit more affluent and a little bit more removed from R&R.
All right, it’s ‘76/’77 full circle, the Rock almanac hasn’t done the full turn. Nothing happened. The clock chimed midnight. Lady Rock refused to throw in the rich grab and get her butt back where she once belonged. So you gotta get a stand – in. I mean, the streets are in a starvation stranglehold, young blood flowin’ through the city. It needs a sound, something that’s born from the basement, that crawls with a Gene Vincent limp on a starvation diet, because it holds out, doesn’t compromise, because it still wants to blow R&R more than clock a card or push a broom on a factory floor.
Big Brother on the media hotline calls it “punk”, “New Wave”. R&R answers, neatly packaged to file away, to become reference notes, appendix slot notes and asterix explanations a couple of years from now.
But for me the brakes go straight down on this one. The promotional balloon, that’s been zooming way into space has been trailing a lot of leeches who would never have seen the inside of a recording studio if it wasn’t for the hype circus of the media backing. My reaction? Kick out the scabo. The M.C. 5 would have done it. There’s a lot of high powered dreck attached to this whole new manufactured pose – the real stuff’s only gonna come out when the dust starts settling. If what comes out is genuine R&R talent, then the whole hobby horse ride has been worth the saddle sores. But whatever, at this stage we’ve gotta take a long calculated look at what’s goin’ down in the garden shed, the pages of the “Sniffin Glue” or The Ramones backyard if it’s all gonna survive in the long run.
The Clash, The Jam, The Vibrators all still leave me down on Desolation Row, ready to throw out an old folks clichéd spiel. I told you so. The dupes to me are ripping up The Kinks, Downliner Sect, The Pretty Things, bedwetting like some early Michael Philip jamming in with Alexis Korner. It reminds me of how good the originals really were. I’m sceptical of the whole bash and I’m the wrong side of 15 to boot.

PicturePhil Chevron

Shamrock Punk in the flesh is staring right at me – two deviants from the Planet Punkaloon, giving me the news that R&R has finally turned over. I go in game, rememberin’ Dr Zim’s words and roll with the changes. Philip Chevron and Pete Holidai fill in the bare knuckled goings on of the Radiators: “Television Screen”, the silver bullet single on Chiswick dented the English charts and has made No. 1 on the alternate New Wave charts. Sounds reviewed it a “record of the week”. Tony Parsons made a comment like “stooped title, stooped name”, but gave the sound a thumbs up. Philip Chevon comes on as the main mouth.
“I know a lot of people say, oh yeah, The Radiators are a load of copy crap, but for the past six we’ve been playing our present kind of music and that hasn’t changed. It’s still music inspired by The Velvets, Iggy Stooge, The M.C.5 “Punk Rock” as a label came along and that made it easier for us, but we’ve always been doing that, so it’s not English bandwagon jumping as the Irish media have coined us. We’d still be doing it even if reggae was the current thing...
“....It’s really only since last November that the present line have come overground, when we supported The Hot Rods at Belfield. Before that, we were Bent Fairy and The Punks – before that Greta Garbage and The Trash Cans. A lot of guys would come and go, who wanted to play Deep Purple. It wa impossible to get and keep a unit together, who were in touch with New York bands like Television, The Ramones, The Flamin’ Groovies”.
I start off innocently gettin’ a run down on the er, Celtic punkfield – what sort of effect have they been undercovering on the highways and byways?.
“Carlow started off as a gig. For the first couple of numbers the audience was just shoutin’ and slaggin’ us. We took it all and gave it back twice as bad”. Pete Holidai’s cockney accents voicing this time “.... and at the end of the gig we won – we left as a good band. They wanted us back. Maybe they’ll get up and do it the next time, instead of waiting for us. That’s what it should be all about – new happenings. New young bands playing their own material are worth a thousand R&R bands doing food versions of “Stairway To Heaven”. I mean, there’s at least four or five new bands coming through with their own personal style. There’s a group from Derry called The Undertones – they gigged with us at the Baggot. There’s another new band from Derry called Dick Tracy and The Green Disaster – they’re going to do a residency with us in July”.
Meanwhile I thinks.... C’mon, throw in Geldof, you’re way behind. Calm rappin’s nowhere. This isn’t an afternoon tea gossip corner.

PictureEarly publicity shot

The astronauts are already passin’ around a bottle of Bell’s whiskey and lookin’ bored, mean “n” ornery style. I mention The Rats.
Yeah, I’ve just hit the right aggro number. There’s a pained jacknifed silence.
“The Boomtown Rats would never claim to be New Wave”.
Chevron’s in for the wharf battle... “The Rats were R*R when New Wave became fashionable and they latched on to the trappings. Now, I don’t wanna talk about The Rats. I don’t wanna knock them either. It sounds like bitching. I think they’re great – they did something in Ireland which nobody did before in years and in many ways they opened the way for us”.
They also ripped off some of your ideas?...”i’m not going to wash the dirty linen, just to say, at the start, people put us down as sub Rats and that was a drawback. I mean, we used the flashing white lights, the slides, right from the beginning and predated The Rats”.
But Cockney’s breakin’ up the beefcake.... “Slagging – having a go at The Rats and any other New Wave band is negative. It’s going against what we believe in, ‘cos they’ve got a good band. They’ve gone out and done something worthwhile and we’re gonna back them up. Geldof, we hope, would do the same for us – it’s just petty bashin’ – it doesn’t fit”. Chevron’s back in....
“...............It doesn’t matter, like what happened in England. The Jam and The Clash did a tour together and they were supposed to back the tour for the fairly unknown bands who couldn’t afford it. The Jam got heavy about money and The Clash or CBS had to take on responsibility for the tour. They lost £17,000 and there's this great feud between The Clash and The Jam. It’s like what Tony Parsons said last week in N.M.E. ...... “While we’re feuding among ourselves, the real enemies are laughing....”
Right, the accents aren’t in the Lord Fauntelroy class, but they sure as hell aren’t monosyllabic grumblings. They ring clear, articulate, middle core, right side of the town clips and this turns the knife for me. This is one irony I can’t come to terms with – this whole swastika juice joint bovver breed. Vincent, Reed, M.C. 5 were authentic street hoods with no pretensions (Bet your ass on that one, Cannon? – Ed.) – uh duh numbers, the real muted punch drunk lingo specialists.
“No, that’s a load of crap, we’ve said it in interviews twice. We’re middle class – we’ve never claimed otherwise, never tried to hide anything. The Pistols have pretended, The Clash....” Chevron’s in on the dialectic attack....... “have pretended, and everyone who knows our hand knows we’re from Art School. R&R is a fantasy. It’s always been that way. Look at Jagger, he did the same. He was never working class. His father was a teacher. It’s not as if we’re comfortable, we’re not full time. We can’t afford to be in Ireland. We work part time toilet cleaning!”
It fits too snugly. I say it.

Picture“It’s not relevant”............. Chevron’s got his hair ruffled. “It is” – “No, it isn’t....” Suit yourself, stick it in the closet. Who gives a crap whether you’re a part time brain surgeon singing Rock Follies? I know I don’t uh, hum too “.......working class, middle class, is there any great distinction any more? We’re all forced to go through the educational machine. I mean, when I went to school, I didn’t go as much as I should. I went in 21/2 days a week. I went on the hop into town, purely for the reason that if I went in and did the work, I’d come out as a moron. I saw the people in the A classes – they were absolutely fucking morons – appalling people, just learning machines and now they haven’t got jobs and wonder why. They spent their entire lives working towards this and nothing happened. I just resisted the whole educational system. You’ve got to educate yourself or you come out with nothing – you know just lots of things about nothing. I mean, that’s the whole point of punk – it’s ignoring, doing the opposite to what you’re conditioned to do. You can even bring it back to Salvador Dali – he was the first punk. It’s personal anarchy, ignoring the conventions, the norm. There’s no formulated plan – unlike the hippy movement that got bogged down into peace and love and failed to realise the realities – which isn’t peace and love”.
Will the real Jean Paul Sartre please stand up! I’m movin’ on into music – it’s safer. This guy’s gonna get into punk metaphysics and start asking questions.
“Musically, we’re our own bosses. We’re not going to be dictated to by anyone, least of all the record company. Just take The Clash. The company are making tracks, not what the band wants, but what the company wants”. Pete Holidai takes it in on the home run.
“We’re starting the L.P. soon – basically just cutting single tracks like “Sunday World” at the moment and playing around. Chiswick’s always behind us in everything we do, but we really owe a lot to Eamon Carr. He took us up when we were not a viable proposition. He believed in us and still does. When everyone thought we were a joke, he knew we were capable of it”.

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Okay, good time plugs over. Back to the band scratch. “People criticise us for not having a main front man, but I think that’s our strongest point. The Radiators are five distinct ideas, but on the same level and going in the same direction. Jagger had Richard to bounce ideas off. It has to work like that to have a democratic music levelling. I mean, our music is 90% original.
Where do you place the roots?
“I dunno – ‘60’s? Not really. The 60’s had its its roots in the ‘50’s, the music of the ‘80’s will have roots in the ‘70’s. Our new single “Television Screen” is based on R&B, a 12 bar Chuck Berry idiom. It’s taking that theme and making it seem fresh, amphetamined to fit today. That’s Geldof’s idea as well – to take the music of the ‘50’s. ‘60’s, ‘70’s – Bowie, The Dolls, and merge them into late ‘70’s and ‘80’s. It’s an exercise in freshness. I think we’ve succeeded in following a direct line even to the beat boom of the ‘60’s. In Dublin, you had The Creatures, Peter Adler and The Action, The Greenbeats. There hasn’t been anyone since Adler who can walk down the street – he knew he was a local hero. Yeah, there have been heroes like Lynott and Gallagher, but who are too far removed from kids to be real. In fact without being big heads, we are the successors to Adler, because we know from reactions from our gigs that there is that sort of thing”.
How do you follow that one? I ain’t even gonna try. Hold back the ‘80’s! Mick Cannon

Belfield Poster

 

25/06/1977 Punk Festival at UCD, Dublin. The Radiators, The Undertones, Revolver, The Gamblers and The Vipers. At this concert Patrick Coultry (18) from Cabra, Dublin, was stabbed to death.

08/07/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with The Undertones
15/07/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with Revolver
22/07/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with DC Nien
29/07/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with Dick Tracy & The Green Disaster
05/08/1977 Marquee, Kilcullen, Co Kildare with Carnival, see the "Newspaper Cuttings" page for a review of this gig.

 

06/08/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with The Vipers
Heat Fanzine Review by Ray Gunne Along with the Rads the Vipers made this the best gig I ever pogoed to. They played good solid Rock 'n' Roll for almost three quarters of an hour. They had a good piss up and were well oiled ready to do the needy. Speaking of SEX....
This gig attracted lotza chicks... good cos the Irish punk scene is suffering from a shortage (see ad page 13) anyway..............
Vipers opened the gig with "I Can Tell" but nobody was ready to bop just yet. A couple of hip chicks were headbanging but I think that was from something ever Smiley played 'bout an hour earlier. A guitar string had broken and it was outta toon.....who cares? People were really bopping by the time they did "Knock On Wood" it had great drumming from Dave Moloney and great vocals from Paul Boyle. Sometimes Paul aped Bob Geldof a bit too much, but who cares??
Originals like "Strut It" and "You Had Your Chance" the latter being Terry Lean's choice of single of the year (if the Vipers get that together). Were great catchy toons, while Paul Boyle's claim that "Too Rough" was the best pop song ever written; was not that far wrong. They topped the gig with Rods "Teenage Depression" before playing a well deserved encore. Not bad for gig number 2 huh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
M.M.M. welcome back the Radiators and what a welcome. When the band came on lead singer Steve Rapid told the crowd "we want tonite to be FUN" They kicked of with "Love Detective" continued with Groovies (or is it the Stooges ha!). Had fave "Teenage Head" & "Enemies" due to be the bands next single in Britain... but they were not playing well. Chevron was too low and they seemed hesitant.......... nerves? Then when it looked for one awful moment that they might blow it they came back with a vengeance! The songs from the new album sounded BRILLIANT. "Prison Bars" "Contact" the reggae funk punk of "Press Gang" "Great Expectations" the forthcoming Irish HIT 45! "Sunday World" "Blitzing At The Ritz" the longer, slower "Television Screen" etc etc. If the album is a patch on this gig it'll be a gem... and from what we hear it will be better. On the newer song Steve does not take as much of the vocals and spends the time pogoing... encore after encore after encore included a crazy version of Marty Wilde's "Teenager In Love" done a la Ramones. They did "Psychotic Reaction" as Moran's exploded in leaps 'n' bounds! Pogotime, GREAT NITE, GREAT GIG, GREAT GROUP! and that's how it should be.
Epilogue
Did we need Smiley Bolgers inane remarks like "If ya want them back on we'll want more violence" That's pretty sick.... Takes a sick mind. Still I really look forward to seeing them again with the Sex Pistols and Boomtown Rats in Dalymount. Be there.

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Hot Press Review Liam Mackey The Radiators/Vipers gig in Moran’s last Saturday week was probably one of the most important Irish gigs of the year so far.
In recent weeks while the sour taste of Belfield lingered on in the mouths of many people, the Radiators were in the studio recording a album and attempting to pick up the pieces. At the same time I guess they realised that the genuine test would come when they returned to the stage. At this point I can only say that it was a complete triumph on as many levels as you’d care to mention.
Firstly though, full marks to the Much More Music people for not only playing host when so many others would have refused, but also for going out of their way to ensure that the bands could operate in just the right atmosphere. The “M.M.M. Welcome Back The Radiators” banner draped across the back of the stage bore witness to their efforts.
The Vipers who opened the show get my vote as the most improved band I’ve seen all year. Whereas in Belfield they’d been sloppy and seemingly ill-rehearsed, which had made their hard core punk stance all the more ridiculous, at Moran's they were tight, hard and inventive. “Inventive” may not be a word you’d often associate with the New Wave but no other could describe what these guys did with the curtain raiser “I Can Tell” and the encore “Pool Hall Richard.” In between they rampaged through originals like “You Had Your Chance” and “No Such Thing,” plus “Too Rough” introduced as “the best punk song ever written.” By the end of the set the crowd were going ape and it began to look like the Vipers might damn near steel the show.
When the Radiators took the stage, kicking off with “Love Detective,” it seemed as if those suspicions were about to be confirmed. They sounded very sluggish in the guitars were so submerged in the mix that the great linking riff was virtually inaudible. But their experience (in New Wave terms I guess that constitutes a matter of months) came to their rescue and by “Teenage Head” they were in top gear and from then on they only got better.
For some of the songs from the new album Steve Rapid took a backseat while Pete Hollidai and Phil Chevron took care of vocals. The album trailers include a slower version of “Television Screen” bearing the indelible stamp of Mark Megaray’s pumping bass runs, two numbers concerning the media “Enemies” and “Press Gang” the latter boasting a brilliant “sing song” chorus of “Press or Herald, Herald or Press Gang”.
“Sunday World,” “Blitzin’ at the Ritz,” “Psychotic Reaction” and the original “Television Screen” had the crowd pogoing, bouncing off the walls, spilling beer and generally having a party. Got that? A Party. In fact it got to a stage where it became a real endurance feat to remain upright on the heaving floor.
The highlight? It just had to be their suitably manic version of “Teenager in Love” replete with a chorus of – wait for it -  “Gabba Gabba Hey.” Now how can you fail to love them?
Oh, just in case a Sunday World person is reading this, you might like to know that at the end of the night a guy with a hairstyle that wouldn’t have gone amiss in San Francisco ten years ago, poured a half pint of beer over himself. Run along now and write a piece about “Self mutilation.”
Right now the Radiators have the energy and class to appeal to all rock fans. It’s your own fault if you miss out. Morans was for me at any rate, a watershed gig, in that the past seems to have been firmly left behind and only way left for the Vipers and The Radiators is marked “up.”
Help keep it that way. 

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Image supplied by Stephen Rapid

21/08/1977 Dalymount Park, Dublin This is Ireland's first open air rock festival with Thin Lizzy, Graham Parker and The Rumour, The Boomtown Rats, Fairport Convention, Stepaside, The Radiators and Stagalee.
This is Stephen Rapid's last gig with the band. He chooses to stay behind in Dublin with his family while the band prepares to move to London. He will remain an important guiding light in the Irish music scene.

22/08/1977 Jordanstown Poly, Belfast. This is the first gig the Radiators play without Stephen Rapid. Support is local Belfast band Dick Tracy & the Green Disaster

23/08/1977 Derry

16/09/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin with The Vipers, Revolver, Fabulous Fabrics Heat Review by Pete Nasty Radiators.... first gig as a four piece, since the departure of Stephen Rapid. They got "star" treatment a bouncing ovation as soon as they came on which they always deserved. Played the usual style set but none of the less exciting for that. Still visualy very strong. Tho' Pete missed Steve, Phil Chervon 'n' Holidai share centre stage and both look fit to collapse as they come to a close Steve singer joins for an encore of Iggy's "Feel Alright" and get a very special, warm reception, he urges the kids to form bands, and its announced that hes getting a band together called (Deep Breath). Norman Normal and the circus!!! To sum up the night, brilliant!

PictureWith Johnny Thunders @ the Music Machine, London

Hot Press review by Bill Graham
Last Saturday night, the Radiators played their Dublin date in the grease and sweat pit of Moran’s.
If it’s a weekend away from a wake for the venue, it’s a coming out party for Dublin’s Punks. Any previous night so far there’s always been a hard core minority of anti punks. Not on this occasion, as punk garb and badges outnumbered the competition and any minority was neutral, not hostile.
But the night was dedicated to the Radiators. Their last gig in Dublin but also a beginning since it was their first set without singer Steve Rapid which explained and excused the tentative start.
Now that Peter and Philip share the vocal load, they both must stick close to the microphone so they’ve got less opportunities for guitar duo duelling. And as with The Vipers, sound problems plagued them – the guitars could have been amplified through a pillow. At one point, Peter Holidai stepped back to play a crashing chord and he was inaudible, as if he was miming for Top of the Pops.
But the balance improved and the crowd willed them on to end the early nerves. The Radiators’ strength in song writing means that their instantly recognisable numbers keep them afloat, even if their playing is still a little ragged.
They don’t have any fillers. “Television Screen”, “Press Gang”, “Party Line”, “Sunday World”, “Ripped and Torn” – the band are incapable of writing anything that isn’t distinctively minted by a sensibility that’s punk plus.

Take “Part Line”. No other of their contemporaries would slip in a Horslips derived riff – and it’s that cheeky scavenging that means the Radiators aren’t going to be among the also rans. While Johnny Rotten and Mick Jones complain that the Second Wave can’t go beyond the guidelines set down by the Pistols and the Clash, the Radiators aren’t ever going to be categorised as imitators.
“Party Line” might just be a fluky steal but the Radiators keep coming up with the touches of a similar calibre. The guitars laying out after the chorus on “Ripped and Torn” to let Mark Megarry’s bass turbine through to the next verse shows a rare command of dynamics.
Similarly Philip’s guitar on “Television Screen”, both the “Nut Rocker” intro and the manic solo and the choruses of “Press Gang” and “Sunday World” – all confirm that the Radiators From Space are in another stratosphere.
At Moran’s, they power through the encore with Steve Rapid leaping on stage for “Psychotic Reaction”. Steve has been scurrying around all evening acting as D.J. and all round stage manager.
All his pent up energy explodes into “Psychotic Reaction”. He won’t be the forgotten boy.

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18/09/1977 Bagenalstown Ballroom

A telex from the Boomtown Rats welcoming the Radiators From Space to London.

Image supplied by Pete Holidai and taken from the Phil Chevron archive (many thanks to Deborah Blacoe).

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Advert from New Musical Express
27/09/1977 Vortex, London with Dead Fingers Talk, Tanya Hyde & The Tormentors, Wrist Action. This was the Radiators first London gig.
The Vortex was opened in July '77, by Andy Czezowski a former partner in London's original & most famous "Punk" venue "The Roxy". Most of the support bands would play for free, just for the chance to play, this allowed the club to put on 3 or 4 bands each night.
The Vortex was a hard core "Punk" venue, even it's logo was made up to look like a ransom note. Known for it's violence, many of the bouncers were ex army, and most of these were mercenaries, fighting in places like Angola.
Many of the leading lights of the "Punk" movement played here including, The Police, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Generation X, Screwdriver, Chelsea, Sham 69, The Slits, X Ray Spex, Wayne County, Eater, Johnny Moped, The Ants.
The opening night on 4th July '77 the line up was the Buzzcocks, The Fall, John Cooper Clarke, Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers
The Venue was only open for 9 months and had gigs two nights a week.

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Photo supplied by Pete Holidai. On stage with Johnny Thunders.
28/09/1977 Music Machine, London (Johnny Thunders guests on guitar) with New Hearts, Crabs Philip Chevron Hot Press 1980 "I wish we hadn't been so enamoured of him, he just went on for ages and I just wish we'd fucked him off stage - but we were very young and we were very green and we were just pleased to be playing at all"
Heat Fanzine review by Robbie Riot We got there early, about 8.30. The gig wouldn't be starting till 10.30. The place is huge, stage about 20 feet off the floor. You wanna be good to create an atmosphere in this place. After a few gargles, the first band, The Crabs, come on. The went down OK; they had their own fans they pogoed all over the place. Next New Hearts - real slick, the singer wore a red suit. They looked like a cross over between The Jam and The Rods. The singer never stopped his Barrie Masters routine they do all their own material, but as the sound was so bad, we couldn't make out much song titles. At the end they storm off very angry the drummer throws his sticks at the lights, and the singer throws the mike stand down into the ground. Their manager later accused the Rads of sabotaging their sound.
Finally, The Radiators hit the stage. Straight into "Television Screen" sounds as good as ever. Next comes "Love Detective"  roughly the same set as their last Morans gig "Enemies" "Prison Bars" "Roxy Girl" "Party Line" "Sunday World" etc. At the night's end Chevron announced that Johnny Thunder was getting up to play with the! This woke up the posers! Thunders came on dressed totally in leathers... really cool lookin'. He plugged into Pete's amp, Pete taking lead vocals. They went through "Psychotic Reaction" next came "T.V. Screen" much better: Pete rolling all over the stage - great. Thunders was really enjoyin' it. Kept prowling around and doing his guitar hero pose. The set finished with what sounded like "Johnny B Goode" to me, but I think everybody was playing something different.
The crowds in these places, thou are only posers. They come in dressed to kill, but they never dance, maybe it's all that masochist gear hurting them, their not worth talkin' about.   

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Picture by Stephen White (London)

29/09/1977 Roxy, London with The Outsiders. The Roxy was London's original and best "Punk" venue. In it's short career (it was only open for about 18 months) all the top names played there including Iggy Pop, The Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, Sham 69, Siouxsie Sue & The Banshees, Ultravox.

30/09/1977 Roxy, London with Sham 69, Crass, Dole Q. Sham 69 are the headline act tonight.

01/10/1977 Red Cow, London  (Holidai gets mugged by Teddy Boys before gig- He plays gig with rapidly swelling eye).

Stephen White (London) Shot that picture at a small gig in a collage bar or room in central London I vaguely recall, I visited with Pete Silverton. There might be more but I suspect that the one reproduced is the only one worth printing as all those early gigs had crap lighting and I didn’t want to use flash.

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Poster supplied by Pete Holidai

04/10/1977 Hope & Anchor, London

05/10/1977 Rock Garden, London

06/10/1977 Naggs Head, High Wyckham

07/10/1977 North London Poly

09/10/1977 (Afternoon) Roundhouse, London with Ultravox

09/10/1977 (Evening) Rochester Castle, London

10/10/1977 Nashville Room, London with Neo. This famous old venue is now known as the Famous 3 Kings.

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Poster supplied by Pete Holidai

13/10/1977 Rebbacas, Birmingham

14/10/1977 Peterborough Technical College. The Radiators are a late replacement for "Bethnal".

15/10/1977 Marquee, London with The Sneakers

16/10/1977 Roundhouse, London with The Vibrators, 999

17/10/1977 Dingwalls, London

20/10/1977 Frankfurt. The Radiators first concert outside of Ireland & the UK.

21/10/1977 Kasseler Kunsthockschule, Kassel, Germany (Afternoon/Evening)

22/10/1977 Kasseler Kunsthockschule, Kassel, Germany (Afternoon/Evening)

23/10/1977 Berlin

25/10/1977 Edinburgh

26/10/1977 J.B.'s, Dundee

27/10/1977 Falkirk

29/10/1977 Coventry

01/11/1977 Plymouth

02/11/1977 Torquay

03/11/1977 Barnstable

04/11/1977 Marquee, London

09/11/1977 Newport

Bad Reputation UK Tour with Thin Lizzy

11/11/1977 City Hall, Newcastle Pete Holidai After driving from London to Newcastle we (The Radiators FS) waited patiently to do the first sound check of our support slot with Thin Lizzy on the Bad Reputation 1977 UK. While we set up and nervously went through a couple of songs, Philip Lynott stood by our sound guy, Chris Pollard, nodding and giving the thumbs up. He later told his road crew to "Look after these guys" Thanks Philip RIP. "Big" Charlie McClennan was their tour manager at the time. He scared the shit out of us. We could hear his footsteps as he approached our dressing room "Radiators on stage...now!" became the familiar roar. Great guy.. I think he liked us.
12-13/11/1977 Apollo, Glasgow
14/11/1977 Odeon, Edinburgh
16-17/11/1977 Empire, Liverpool
18/11/1977 Spa, Bridlington
19/11/1977 New Theatre, Oxford
21/11/1977 Colston Hall, Bristol
23/11/1977 City Hall, Sheffield
24/11/1977 St George's Hall, Bradford
25-26/11/1977 Free Trade Hall, Manchester
28/11/1977 Dome, Brighton
29/11/1977 Guildhall, Portsmouth
30/11/1977 Winter Garden, Bournemouth
02-03/12/1977 Odeon, Birmingham
04/12/1977 Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
05/12/1977 De Montfort Hall, Leicester
06/12/1977 Nashville Room, London. This is an extra gig, not part of the Thin Lizzy tour.
07/12/1977 Gaumont, Southampton.
08/12/1977 Capital, Cardiff
10-11/12/1977 Hammersmith Odeon, London Mention must be made too of the Radiators who supported. No encores but their negotiation of the potentially unnerving hurdle of their first major London performance must aid their confidence when they return to the clubs, although they will have to beef up what is too often a thin guitar sound.
Nevertheless, their return to Ireland will see a much tighter outfit now they've been though the regimen of more regular work than they ever got at home. For the Radiators, the experience of the tour has been a blooding that will stand to them for the future. Bill Graham review Hot Press.

13/12/1977 Odeon Theatre, Lewisham These gigs were added to the tour after the Hammersmith Odeon gigs sold out.
14/12/1977 Odean Theatre, Lewisham These gigs were added to the tour after the Hammersmith Odeon gigs sold out.
17/12/1977 Kursaal Ballroom, Southend This was the last concert to be held at the Kursaal Ballroom. The Radiators set was recorded and released on yellow vinyl LP in 2005. Live at the Southend Kursaal '77, Rejected Records. Tracks are Sunday World, Roxy Girl, Press Gang, Prison Bars, Electric Shares, T.V. Screen, Party Line, Psychotic Reaction, Enemies.

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Image supplied by Pete Holidai

23/12/1977 Downtown Kampus, Cork with Sacre Bleu

24/12/1977 Moran's Hotel, Dublin The Radiators, Rats & Horslips jam

11/01/1978 Trinity College, Dublin with The Vipers

12/01/1978 Trinity College, Dublin with The Vipers. If an alien happened upon a punk gig as his first experience of the human species, he might be temped to jump back in his interplanetary craft and F.O. in his U.F.O.
On the other hand, the alien might see spitting as an involuntary spasm of the salivary function, have a hearing facility to unscramble the muddy sound and best of all a decoding device to understand the lyrics in a welter of noice.
At The Radiators From Space gig in the JCR of Trinity College last week. I felt like an alien without those vital extra senses. Mind you, it's not the Radiators fault. I'm too old for punk, because I can't relate emotionally or even instinctively. I honestly believe the Radiators write good lyrics, but what is the point in writting an angry song, if no one can hear the words to know what you are angry about.
I told you I was too old.
Anyway, I went to see the Radiators because in my crystal ball gazing for 1978, I queried the staying power of the Radiators and their lack of a definite charismatic image. An angry Philip Chevron demanded that I go to the gig. I did.
Musically, the Radiators were tight. The sound was muddy, especially in the bass department, but I could hear strong hooks, catchy riffs and genuine inventiveness in the melodies. I liked the fiant impression of the songs that penertrated the wall of noice.
The set wasn't long. The safety of knowing the words of "Sunday World" helped me get through several less familiar songs. "Press Gang" also got to me. The tempo never let up. "Roxy Girl" gave way to a new song, which according to Chevron, may be the next single. Called "Walking Home Alone Again", it has the hooks and the bass to succeed. Another new song "Billy's No Hero" came later and it too had the basic ingredients. The set finished with "Enemies" and I left before the encores, because I still don't know if the Radiators are going to be big.
I can't knock the music. It is melodic and I heard it all in my time at a slightly slower pace. A random selection of four veterans would produce a tighter sound than the Radiators, but no amount of persuasion would induce the kids to like them. Punk is obviously not about being angry at all. It's about being young.
The Radiators are relying on Chevron and Pete Holidai to transcend the footlights and evoke the reaction from the crowd. Holidai is smugly menacing and Chevron is almost endearing. Maybe if he wore a leprechaun suit, he could capitalise on an impish presence. In the role of heretic and rabble rouser, he lacks the brash arrogance of Geldof. I don't doubt for a moment that Philip is as arrogant as Geldof, but that pose is now imitative and dull. So is looking menacing.
How the hell would I know anyway? The kids seem to like the Radiators. I want to listen to their records and secipher the messages. If they find their own special wrinkle which will distinguish them from the rest, they have the songs and the music. I love the punk movement for inspiring kids to form bands. The Radiators are an example of the good by product.
As an alien, I can't see any Nicaraguan beauties and Rolls Royces in the Radiators future yet. I hope I'm blind as a bat.Shay Healy Starlight Magazine

14/01/1978 Downtown Kampus, Cork with The Vipers

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Advert from Time Out

20/01/1978 Barbarella's, Birmingham with Neon Hearts Andrew Semple To my shame, the only time I saw you. Will always remember what a great night, from memory you must have sound checked late because I could hear you outside, but my shouts of "It's the radiators!!! where met with bemused looks. Great times x

Pete Holidai I remember those Barbarellas gigs as well....our car broke down at Northampton and we had to get a taxi to Birmingham. The driver was so starstruck he missed the turn off and didn't realise it till we were heading for Leicester...so BIG u turn..still made it on time!
   
Dale Michelsohn I had a mate that went to see you guys there. I remember him raving about the gig  

21/01/1978 Barbarella's, Birmingham with Neon Hearts

23/01/1978 Music Machine, London

27/01/1978 Lafeyette, Wolverhampton

28/01/1978 Eric's Liverpool

02/02/1978 Mr George's, Coventry

03/02/1978 Rock Garden, Middlesbrough

04/02/1978 P. G.'s, Harrowgate

07/02/1978 Nikker's, Keighley

09/02/1978 Outlook, Doncaster

11/02/1978 J. B's, Dudley

13/02/1978 Top Of The World, Stafford

15/02/1978 Polytechnic, Sheffield

17/02/1978 Bedford College, London

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19/02/1978 Roundhouse, London with Deaf School, The Doctors, Johnny Moped

23/02/1978 Mr Digby's, Birkenhead

24/02/1978 New Regent, Brighton

25/02/1978 City Hall, St Albans

26/02/1978 Chancellor Hall, Chelmsford  see the "Newspaper Cuttings" page for a review of this concert.

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28/02/1978 Nikker's, Keighley

07/03/1978 Marquee, London

10/03/1978 Lyceum Ballroom, London with Buzzocks, The Slits

11/03/1978 Maxwell Hall, Friars, Aylesbury with Motorhead Pete Holidai Motorhead were louder in their dressing room than we were on stage! plus we played to about 1950 bikers and 50 very pale looking punks. The bikers didn't kill us so that was a triumph

16/03/1978 Dingwalls, London

07/04/1978 Marquee, London

31/10/1978 Electric Ballroom, London with Stiff Little Fingers

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Photo's taken @ McGonagle's by Patrick Brocklebank. Supplied by Pete Holidai

27/12/1978 The Gem, Drogheda Ex Revolver guitarist Billy Morley joins the Radiators for these six gigs.

28/12/1978 Downtown Kampus, Cork with Adolf Grunt

29/12/1978 El Ruedo, Carlow

30/12/1978 Chester's, Portrush

31/12/1978 Manhatten Bar, Galway

01/01/1979 McGonagle's, Dublin. Billed as The Meanies, a group made up for a one off gig, by members of Horselips, The Radiators plus Billy Morley & Paul Verner.
The Radiators play two shows today at McGonagle's the first, starting at 5pm is alcohol free for the under 18's fans.

Pete Holidai "The Rads afternoon show was a blast, however at the evening show was stopped after three songs due to a bomb scare. We all had to wait outside in freezing weather for an hour, after which we started our set from the top". See the "Newspaper Cuttings" page for a review of this concert. 

Mark Megaray (bass) & Billy Morley (guitar) leave the band in January 1979. Mark joined the Eric Bell band, while Billy, unhappy living in London, returned home to Ireland.

Tour De Force 1980

PicturePoster supplied by Pete Holidai

The Radiators had by this time dropped the "From Space" from their name, they also had a line up change for this tour. Nick Hurt on keyboards & Neil Whiffen on bass guitar joining Chevron, Holidai & Crashe.

22/10/1980 RTC, Carlow

23/10/1980 Bulgaden Castle Lounge, Kilmallock with The Experts James Dundon Tonight I just tripped across the poster of the Radiators 1980 tour of Ireland , a little punk band from Limerick called The Experts did the support in Kilmallock , Nenagh and Limerick , I was their "manager" and think I applied to the band to get the support for my buddies , I kept a lot of posters of the time but not this one and have not seen it in 35 years
The Radiators were perfect gents and gave us marvellous support on the nights , I became a life long fan of the band and we got to Phil's last stand in the Olympia which was a very special evening

The gigs were not well attended at the time which was unfortunately very common down the country with punk or even rock being a bit hit and miss but if you look at the list of dates that they tried they were really trail blazing , no band or artist would even attempt it nowadays

24/10/1980 Joey Mahers, Drogheda

25/10/1980 Old Crescent, Limerick with The Experts

26/10/1980 Savoy Cinema, Cork

28/10/1980 Imperial Hotel, Dundalk

29/10/1980 Showboat, Waterford

30/10/1980 Sportsmans Inn, Dublin with The End

31/10/1980 Queen's University, Belfast

PictureAdvert from Hot Press

01/11/1980 Project Arts Centre, Dublin with Chant! Chant! Chant! These were the first two Dublin dates for The Radiators in almost two years. In the intervening period we’ve had the album “Ghostown” and the singles from it and two singles recorded since then to keep us going, but no activity on the live front. Add the lack of live activity to the various line up changes in the past couple of years and the uncertainty hanging over the future of the unit – near mind the hassles they’ve had in recording and releasing material – and one could have been forgiven for looking at the prospect of this current tour with some trepidation a couple of weeks ago.
Any fears or doubt were banished by the Project gig – a couple of the weaknesses uncovered in the Sportsman’s were still present, but overall strength of last Saturday night’s gig establishes The Radiators as a real force in live terms.
The set was almost identical on both nights – most of “Ghostown” with “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Dancing Years” thrown in, then a sprint for home with “Electric Chairs”, Enemies” and “Sunday World” and “Dancing Years” again. The core of Chevron, Holidai and Crash has been augmented by Nick Hurt on keyboards and Neil Whiffen of guitar.
Hurt’s contributions were strong but never overstated, although his scope would obviously broadened were he to add a synthesiser to his armoury. Whiffen’s bass playing is first class tto, tight when it should be, yet with a distinctive style which is shown to best effect on the band’s more adventurous numbers. Crash’s drumming is, as always, precise and economical yet far from rudimentary.
And Chevron and Holidai? If blame had to be attributed for the flawed Sportsmans gig, much of it would be theirs. Despite committed performances by both, some of the vocals were more than shaky, occasionally straining to hit notes, sometimes going badly off key. But as with all aspects of life you take the rough with the smooth.
For example, twenty minutes into the set they destroyed “Dead The Beast, Dead The Poison”, then played a brilliantly reworked version of “Song Of The Faithful Departed”. Yet, to be fair, they were working against a very dodgy sound mix which threw the vocals out much louder than the instruments, distorted the guitars and often left the drums almost inaudible. They also, rather dubiously to me, left the “oldies” till last, then whipped through them in a fashion which only served to highlight the inadequacies of the ’77 songs when compared with the brilliant “Ghostown” material.
So I was glad to get a chance to see the band again at The Project, looking forward to better sound and vision and, indeed, atmosphere.
Gone were the sound gremlins, the occasional vocal and instrumental fox passes and in their place were confident, almost exuberant performances well matched by an enthusiastic crowd response. The sound was clear (most of the time) and there were few, if any, mistakes. This time “Dead The Beast” was one of the highlights while the power of “Faithful Departed” sent shivers up my spine and convinced me of what I’ve long thought about the song – a better Irish rock lyric has yet to be written.
The Radiators are among the best – not your best, my best or our best, the best – and if they make another album as good as “Ghostown” and tie its release in with a tour or two where gigs are of the standard of their Project set, it won’t be long before places like the Project won’t be able to hold more than a fraction of their audience. Ross Fitzsimonds Hot Press Review

'Before a packed audience in the Project, they played a fine set that made a mockery of their fruitless search for gold across the water.' (Joe Breen Irish Times Nov 4)

PictureAdvert from Hot Press

02/11/1980 Town Hall, Nenagh with The Experts

03/11/1980 Blue Lagoon, Sligo "In the Blue Lagoon in Sligo, The Radiators were somewhat taken aback when a note was handed to them on stage, requesting they perform their hit single "Working For The Yankee". We're also informed that the San Bernidino showband, repeatedly asked the Rads for Tony Visconti's phone number, in the interest of procuring the producer for their next vinyl outing....." Hot Press

04/11/1980 Downtown, Letterkenny

05/11/1980 Trinity College, Dublin

PictureAdvert from Hot Press

06/11/1980 Tavern Sounds, Tralee Hot Press review by Liam Mackey A late substitution in the 1980 Radiators of Ireland, the Tavern Sounds in Tralee represented something of a blood test for the band who'd last visited this country, with a different line up, two years ago. Despite their assuring me that they'd some odd gigs prior to hitting the Kingdom capital, it became increasingly obvious, in the minutes running up to their stage call, that the night would hold out a formidable challenge.
For one thing, it was only upon arriving at the venue, that the Radiators learned they were prime participants in a rock ' n roll baptism - the toothy Paddy Reilly posters splashed around the walls earmarked the Tavern Sound's primary stock trade. A Thursday night too, and the modest audience comprised of the proverbial mixed bag: elderly socialisers, mid week regulars, entertainment seeking couples and, wonderfully conspicuous, a handful of late arriving leather jacketed souls, who definitely hadn't come for the cabaret ol' son.
Earlier, the Radiators' soundcheck had been uncomfortable to watch, essentially owing to the fact that Philip Chevron's recurring laryngitis was causing him strain agonizingly for the upper register. Visibly shaken, he departed, coughing, for the dressing room, before the support act, obviously a familiar local brew, strode on to a generous reception. A trio of electric and acoustic guitars and saxophone/flute, they traded a neat line in country harmonies, while also managing a strumalonga Brucie version of "Racing In The Streets" and a strictly un-roots reading of Peter Tosh's "Keep On Walkin', Don't Look Back". More generous applause and away they went.
A thumbnail survey of the clientèle revealed the expected paucity of knowledge about the evening's star attractions. "I haven't an iota", was the fairly representative comment offered by a guy seated on my left. A glance upwards at the big-top styled ceiling and around at the saloon bar tables and chairs, then back to the stage where the Radiators had quietly materialised. I hurriedly noted down "Stranger Than Fiction" as my catch-all phrase for the evening's proceedings, before calling, please, for a pint.
Peter Holdai's ringing guitar sounded the entry of "Million Dollar Heroes" followed quickly by the current (and thoroughly excellent) single "The Dancing Tears". Let's Talk About The Weather" completed a trio of, commercially speaking, misses that should have hit, in the process erasing all my doubts and preconceptions while eliciting a surprised and appreciative audience enthusiasm for the later show stoppers of "Faithful Departed" and "Kitty Ricketts".

PicturePicture from Hot Press

I contrast to the uninspiring Sportsman's Inn gig of a few days before, the Tavern Sounds caught the Radiators on one of those memorable nights when the sound was crystal clear, the audience unprejudiced, and in a position when earlier, their backs had seemed hopelessly pinned to the wall, the Radiators exhibited a previously unattained professionalism, establishing the current line up as a special force, some light years removed from all previous incarnations.
The combined, extensive experience of new recruits Nick Hurt (keyboards) and Neil Whiffen (Bass) was/is undoubtedly a mayor stabilising factor, but crucially, despite or perhaps because of the repeated buffeting by hostile winds in the last couple of years, the original trio odd Philip Chevron, Pete Holidai and Jimmy Crashe have emerged as a fist tight nucleus growing in strength and stature almost in inverse proportion to their bad business luck. Professionalism is the keyword, but it's a professionalism which isn't merely content with giving the public what the public wants, but rather of a kind which acts as a solid foundation, allowing the band as group and individuals, a freedom to improvise and indeed re-structure, on a level they'd scarcely have considered feasible a year ago.
"Faithful Departed", overhauled for the fourth time, was a case in point, Whiffen's elastic, fretless playing and Holidai's sparse, incisive guitar, lending new, sharp definition to the epic "Ghostown" track which Chevron, with theatricality that didn't sacrifice passion for effect, declaimed fiercely. The international buoyancy of "Kitty Ricket" converted the most hardened sceptics, aided in its task by "Looting In The Town Tonight" (bodhran replacing tympani in an oddly human touch) and the pop(s) tones of Holidai's "Confidential". The Closing gallop of "Prison Bars" (superbly refurbished with a Stax-derived bass/piano line) "Sunday World", "Enemies" and "TV Screen" endeared them to the hearts of the faithful existing, but created a slightly disconcerting imbalance in an otherwise superlative set.
Finally "Dancing Years" made its necessary promotional re-appearance (no complaints) and five Radiators left the stage in celebratory mood. "Very loud, very good and different to the usual thing" was the representative apres gig comment. Nodding in agreement, I noted down two other points, which read as follows; "(1) The Tavern Sounds is a potentially major Southern venue; (2) The Radiators; The Best Kept Secret In The West". And that's all I wrote.

07/11/1980 Aula Maxima, University College, Galway with Blaze X

08/11/1980 Crofton Airport Hotel, Dublin with Teen Commandments Liam Mackey Hot Press "Proberly the best gig of 1980"

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