There are things coming full circle here – and it’s not just that Chiswick released the Radiators’ first single, back in 1977, and eagerly promote the re-formed group now, though the symmetry appeals. It’s also that, inspired by Bowie’s Pin Ups, they’ve gone back to their own roots, thought about the covers they played in founder-member Steve Rapid’s garage as punk came to the boil, and put together a rip-roaring collection of reworks.
Further symmetry: what they’ve recorded is a swathe of music from their Irish rock ancestors – Them, Thin Lizzy, Horslips et al; the giants whose shoulders they’ve stood on. We can’t help but feel that – punk rock evolving into Celtic-folk rock, when they cover Andwella’s Behind The Painted Screen – they illuminate a kinship with others such as The Saw Doctors as well.
As Phil Chevron notes, the Radiators even recorded covers of covers, grabbing The Hootenannys’ interpretation of I’m A King Bee for instance, or treating a song in a particular way because of the way they once heard a different band take hold of another song altogether. It’s a real conflagration of influences, passions and respect that’s being delivered at breakneck pace on these 18 humdingers.