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Punked-up brothers get a taste for the mature

“Journalists have asked, ’cause we were home-schooled: ‘So you fuck your mom?’”

Radkey’s bassist/vocalist Isaiah Radke grins, as they introduce Feed My Brain – ode to a teacher-student affair. “Man! Don’t ask me that! Of course I fuck my mom…” At this mid-set point, it’s clear who’s the mouthpiece here. They barely look old enough to drive, but there’s a subtle darkness to Radkey’s music.

It makes their punk-meets-hard rock cocktail – with nods to Motörhead – a little more ‘grown-up’. Not too grown up, though. And while they’ve hit much bigger stages at festivals, this upstairs-at-a-pub setting does their punky vibe no harm. Out Here In My Head, Le Song and Solomon’s Song make a frenetic opening trio, but it’s the likes of Parade It and Love Spills that mark the matured songwriting of debut LP Dark Black Makeup – a work of heavier, groovier monsters than previous singles (think The Damned shacked up with Foo Fighters).

Dee heads up a family affair

Dee heads up a family affair (Image credit: Tina Korhonen)

Singer/guitarist Dee Radke propels the night with a startlingly deep voice, of which Dave Vanian would be proud. When he’s not pogoing around he’s an oddly commanding presence, while 18-year-old drummer Solomon could be your hyperactive little cousin, vehemently assaulting his kit. Romance Dawn wraps things up, and Isaiah crowdsurfs to the bar (a short journey; he’s tall and the space is tiny). Good, raucous fun.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.