Radiators From Space: Sound City Beat

Ex Pogues man’s Dublin Ups.

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Formed in the white heat of punk, the Radiators From Space were Dublin’s first spiky band, with an edge of Brecht and Weill that gave them a slight edge (no pun intended) over their contemporaries and successors.

Their best-known song, TV Screen, doesn’t represent the breadth of their musical scope. Their best-known member, Phil Chevron, has had a very unpunk career, first releasing the superb Dominic Behan cover The Captains And The Kings and then becoming a mainstay of The Pogues (his Thousands Are Sailing remains a highlight of their occasional shows).

Now, some 400 years after they split up, the Radiators are back with what they describe as their version of David Bowie’s Pin-Ups; a collection of Irish classics from the mid-to late 1960s.

As such a lot of these songs will be unfamiliar to the casual English rock fan (although there is a nifty take on Them’s Gloria, and Rory Gallagher gets a couple of songs), but that doesn’t matter.

With a robustness steeped in R&B and years of playing, the band range from the early twang of 6.10 Special (The Hootenannys) to Thin Lizzy’s Dublin, via all manner of pscyhedelia, country rock, bubblegum soul and everything you didn’t know you always wanted to hear in Irish guitar music. A very decent album indeed.

David Quantick

David Quantick is an English novelist, comedy writer and critic, who has worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A former staff writer for the music magazine NME, his writing credits have included On the HourBlue JamTV Burp and Veep; for the latter of these he won an Emmy in 2015.