The Radiators from Space: Trouble Pilgrim

The Radiators from Space were (are) a band way ahead of their time. They were the first Irish punk band – formed in Dublin back in the mid-seventies. Their first 7” single “Television Screen” is a major punk classic and the first punk single to break the top 20 anywhere in the world. Rolling Stone Magazine ranks “Television Screen” as the best of all the early punk singles. The band released 2 classic LP’s the fast and furious “TV Tube Heart” and the very clever “Ghostown” – unfortunately by the time “Ghostown” hit the shelves punk was dead or at least it’s openness to new ideas was dead and the Rads were way too cleaver for the cartoon punk had become. The band members went their separate ways. Phil Chevron (guitar and vocals) as you all know joined The Pogues, Pete Holidai (guitar) became a member of great 80’s band Light a Big Fire (and the first band I ever saw live at the age of 14 in Arnotts Department Store of all places) and Steve Rapid (vocals) told some band from Dublin called The Hype their name sucked and they should try something cool like “U2” as a name – they did and Bono’s being annoying us since.

In 2003 the band decided to get back together and put out a couple of CD EPs of re-recorded versions of their early classics including an explosive live version of “Television Screen” and “Kitty Ricketts” with new (and now since departed) bass player Cait O’Riordan handling vocals giving the song an extra snarling sleazy edge.

28 years after the release of “Ghostown” the Rad’s have released their 3rd CD, “Trouble Pilgrim” and what a great CD it is. Possibly the best real rock CD I’ll hear this year or next. Everything is about this CD is first class – the songs, the lyrics, the playing, the production. The music is trashy punk, heavily influenced by the early 70’s American punk sound (Iggy & The Stooges, The MC5 and The New York Dolls) mixed with classic British glam (Bowie, Mott the Hoople and T Rex) and 60’s bubble gum pop (Beatles, Byrds). The Joe Strummer tribute “Joe Strummer” is a must hear as is “Huguenot” and the re-recorded “Hinterland”.

Dated? No, not at all, in fact if the Rads weren’t a bunch of Irish men, aged 50 plus but say 25 year old Glaswegians they would be on the cover of Rolling Stone today as the future of Rock’n’Roll. Any justice in this world? No, but let just be thankful that great bands like The Radiators from Space are still making great music for the love of it because it’s music that needs to be heard.

Paddy Rollingstone

PS Check out this indepth and spot on review of “Trouble Pilgrim” by Boz of The Steam Pig – Rabble Rouser Reviews and Sean Holland excellent review of “The Very Best of” for Shite’n’Onions


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