ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER SPACE
Re-formed 70s new wavers The Radiators From Space are back on the Chiswick label and celebrating homegrown sounds of an earlier vintage on their album Sound City Beat. Frontman Phil Chevron talks to Terry Staunton about Irish rock’s formative years
At the same time as the English music scene was beginning to attract worldwide attention, and “Swinging London” was generating thousands of newspaper column inches, there were more humble rumblings across the Irish Sea. In the cellar bars and youth club halls of Dublin, a slew of local bands were hoping to get in on the action, dreaming of rock star riches.
Dublin was the epicentre, but there were groups from Cork, Limerick, Mayo and across the border in Belfast, converging on the city. Some quickly fell by the wayside, others got tantalisingly close to fame by moving to England but still flopped, while others such as Van Morrison, Rory Gallagher, Phil Lynott and Gary Moore went on to greater things. Top dog among Dublin’s clubs was Sound City, the venue that lends its name to Sound City Beat, a covers collection of bygone Irish grooves by The Radiators From Space, the 70s new wavers who returned a few years ago.
Between his two stints in The Radiators, guitarist and singer Phil Chevron has spent 25 years with The Pogues (his song Thousands Are Sailing, a rousing fan favourite, is often wrongly credited to Shane MacGowan), but having reconvened his first band he’s looking back to the birth of the Irish scene – not just the 60s beat groups, but the more adventurous bands of the early 70s.