“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).
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.