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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Lost in space

In early 1977, The Radiators From Space first 45", "Television Screen", was also the first Top 20 punk single anywhere in the world, and a band which disappeared almost as quickly as it had formed, looked set to rock the world.
Their debut album "TV Tube Heart" served notice that beyond the fast-and-furious sound lay a couple of major songwriting talents in Philip Chevron and Pete Holidai.
They left Dublin for a UK promotional trip and to take up Phil 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".
Within four months of their arrival in London, The Radiators (they symbolically dropped the "from Space" bit as soon as it became clear they were staying) were working on a new album in Soho with producer Tony Visconti. The resulting record "Ghostown" was a unique outpouring of love, frustration, anger and heartbreak. Visions of Dublin and Ireland trapped in a childhood jam-jar and unleashed in exile, as they had to be. The sheer 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 later Moving Hearts) adopted "Faithful Departed" as the perfect song with which to launch his own new vision of Irish music.
Commercially, the album bombed. It would be a few more years before Britain would be ready for a band who sought to express a new generation's view of Irishness.
By then, Philip Chevron was himself a member of that band, The Pogues, along with bass player Cait O'Riordan. Now Philip and Cait have come together again in a new line up of The Radiators which also stars founder-membes Steve Rapid and Pete Holidai, and new Dublin drummer Johnnie Bonnie .
This new combo - The Radiators (plan 9) - formed to play two songs at a Joe Strummer memorial concert in Dublin last December and liked the experience enough to try some more.
Cait and Johnnie, and the return of Steve Rapid, have brought a new vitality to the band and they are all working on new material, some of which they hope to unveil at The Village on Wednesday June 16th - the 100th Anniversary of Joyce's Bloomsday, that famous 24 Hours that was a significant influence on "Ghostown".
Apart from a one-off benefit show in 1987, this will be the first show anywhere by The Radiators in 24 years.

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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006