The Radiators From Space Biography:
THE RADIATORS RELEASE THEIR FIRST ALBUM IN 28 YEARS! .. One of the most exciting recent developments in Irish music has been the re-emergence of legendary Dublin punk pioneers The RADIATORS From SPACE as a recording and performing force. This regrouping reaches a new peak with the October 20th release of the bands third studio album Trouble Pilgrim. Comprising fourteen brand new songs, seven written by Pete Holidai, the rest by Philip Chevron, the album was produced by Pete Holidai this summer at Grouse Lodge Studios in Co Westmeath, Ireland.
With Johnny Bonnie now firmly in command of the drumkit and bass player Jesse Booth in as a solid permanent replacement for Cait ORiordan, who left the band a year ago to pursue other projects, Steve Rapid, Pete Holidai and Philip Chevron continue the adventure they began in the mid-1970s when, along with Jimmy Crashe (drums) and Mark Megaray (bass), the Radiators from Space first elbowed their way onto the moribund Irish music scene.
In early 1977, the Radiators’ debut 45 “Television Screen” was the first Top 20 punk single anywhere in the world and was lauded by Rolling Stone magazine as the best of all the early punk singles. Their first album TV Tube Heart served notice that beyond the fast-and-furious sound lay a couple of major songwriting talents in Chevron and Holidai and included the classic “Enemies”. They left Dublin for a UK promotional trip and to take up Philip Lynnot’s offer of a support spot on Thin Lizzy’s 1977 UK tour. Naively perhaps, they thought they’d be back, but they never did return except, like so many emigrants before them, “for the Christmas”.
When Steve Rapid chose to stay behind and concentrate on building up the Dublin scene rather than move to London with the others, he soon showed he had not lost his aptitude for striking band names. He advised Dublin band The Hype to change their name to U2. Steve (aka Steve Averill) also designed the sleeve of the band’s debut U23 EP and has remained centrally involved in their design process ever since… Within weeks of their arrival in London, The Radiators began work on a new album in Soho with David Bowie/Marc Bolan producer Tony Visconti.
The resulting record Ghostown was a unique event in Irish music: ambivalent visions of Dublin trapped in a childhood jam-jar and unleashed in exile, as they had to be. The breathtaking scale of the material could be seen when “Million Dollar Hero” became the great lost hit single, the late Agnes Bernelle performed “Kitty Ricketts” in her West End show and Christy Moore (and then Moving Hearts) adopted “Faithful Departed” as the perfect song with which to launch his own new vision of Irish music.
When the album was reissued on CD in 2005, Brian Boyd, writing in The Irish Times recalled that “Musically, the album was audacious for its time; lyrically, it’s never been bettered. Ghostown represents the first time in Irish cultural life that a rock music 33rpm could sit pretty alongside the country’s literary and dramatic output.
Quite simply: a monumental artistic achievement.” .. But it would be a few more years before Britain would be quite ready to listen to a band who sought to express a new generation’s radical view of its Irishness. By then, Philip Chevron was (and still is) himself a member of that band, The Pogues, going on to tour the world and sell millions of records, including the single “Fairytale Of New York” which has been a UK smash hit on three occasions, most recently reaching No 3 in 2005 and now part of the platinum-selling The Pogues: The Ultimate Collection. Meanwhile, Pete Holidai joined Light A Big Fire before concentrating on nurturing new Irish talent as a teacher at BCFE, and as a record producer, for which he won the Hot Press/Smithwicks Award in 1991.
The Radiators previously reformed for a benefit gig in Dublin in 1987 and for two new recordings in 1988. But this latest reunion began in December 2003 when the participants spontaneously agreed to play two songs at a Tribute To Joe Strummer in Dublin. Since then the Radiators have played a number of selected shows in Ireland, including the Oxegen Festival in 2004. In 2005, the band opened for U2 at Croke Park and also played its first UK show since 1978 in front of a hugely appreciative crowd at Londons Dingwalls Dancehall.
Following the release, on their own label, of two four-track CDs in 2004 and 2005, The Rads are delighted to consolidate their shared experience, together and apart, with the new Trouble Pilgrim album. The track listing is as follows: Trouble Pilgrim, The Concierge, Second Avenue, Joe Strummer, Heaven, Words, The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs, Tell Me Why, Hinterland, She Says Im A Loser, A Package From Home, Huguenot, Dont Walk Away and We Are So Beautiful. The album is again on the band’s own imprint (The 625 Label, RADCDLP 003) and is distributed in Ireland by RMGChart Entertainment Ltd. .. The RADIATORS From Space: Resistance is Futile!
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