Radkey @ The Bodega, 30/10/15

Back touring the UK were three piece American garage punk band Radkey.  They played at Bodega on Friday night with support from Wolverhampton duo God Damn.

Luckily I arrived at Bodega in good time to see opening two piece God Damn’s set.  From the off they were loud in your face garage punk.  I loved that they managed to create such a full sound for a two piece, most noticeable on tracks like ‘Heavy Money’.  Occasionally the vocals were sometimes lost in the noise but they were a really enjoyable band to watch and I’d definitely recommend catching these guys if you can.  For fans of Nirvana, The Wytches, Pale Angels and Royal Blood.

Next up were headliners, Radkey from Missouri, USA; the band that the 100 or so strong crowd had come to see.  Two of Radkey came on wearing shades, with Isiah the bassist taking them off straight away and singer Dee keeping them on through the whole set. Effortlessly cool.

The three brothers filled their set with a lot of songs, and with two EPs to boot as well as a newly released album ‘Dark Black Makeup’, they now have a lot to choose from. The crowd were always kept interested as their songs range from the innocence of tracks like ‘Le Song’ to the more dark ‘Start Freaking Out’. New single ‘Love Spills’ got the crowd in a frenzy and by adding in a cleverly reworked cover of Personal Jesus it meant that they had all the ingredients of a super set.

They came off stage for thirty seconds, the crowd shouted a bit and they were back on for an encore.  They aren’t a band that are gonna mess about, you can tell they want to play as many songs as possible; this is echoed with the fact that they have minimal talk between songs.  Bassist Isiah does the talking between the songs, and he’s extremely likable.  He cracked a joke about George Bush as well as dedicating a song to their favourite character from Dragonball-Z.  And on stage Isiah resembles Wilko Johnson with his jittery movements and his looks into the crowd whilst Dee Radkey’s haunting voice sounds like a mixture of Josh Homme and Glenn Danzig.

The highlight for me was their encore, in which they played ‘N.I.G.G.A (Not Okay)’ with several people in the crowd shouting the lyrics ‘HEY YOU, YOU KNOW IT’S NOT OKAY’ and raising their fists in the air. They then followed this with the great build up song ‘Romance Dawn’ which ended the set.  The songs are great to sing along to, so much that if you don’t know the words you’ll find yourself singing and cheering along to it anyway.

These guys are still young, with drummer Solomon the youngest of the three brothers at 18 and with a first album already under their belt it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.  Friday was yet more evidence that they have already gathered a big live following and that there isn’t another band quite like them around at the moment.

By Sam Bigwood



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