LIVE REVIEW: Radkey @ Night & Day Cafe, Manchester (03/03/2014)
“This band are gonna be big”.
Possibly the most overused phrase decried by sweaty pundits after an intimate gig. And yet, tonight, after Radkey incited an audience into kamikaze barrel-rolls and stage invasions in a café (!), it might have been said with some justifcation.
With 2 EPs under their belt (the excellent “Cat & Mouse” + “Devil Fruit”) this Missouri trio are only just getting started. The three Radke brothers have evaded the media eye since they supported angst-ridden upstarts Drenge and somehow bagging an unprecedented appearance on Jools Holland last autumn. Yet hanging around in dingy venues and assimilating their grot doesn’t seem to be doing this band any harm.
Tonight Radkey were the embodiment of Rock & Roll. All Who-like spidery bass-lines, chained to the splintery guitar wreckage Misfits would be proud to call their own and cloaked in the glowering voodoo vocals of 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster slung together by dreadlocked frontman, Dee.
Clad in cut off denim and each donning a couldn’t-give-a-shit haircut, in which it would be impossible to decide is the coolest, this band look, and are every bit the part. After every song a “fuck yeah” as testament to the adrenaline flowing through their veins.
In 45 minutes, the trio ripped through the frenzied melee of “Cat & Mouse” to which the crowd went ballistic, whilst during “Start Freaking Out”, well…
One final blast of 3-minute punk energy for an encore and it became all too much. The crowd took the situation into their own hands. Literally. Desperate for the gig not to end, fans turned Isaiah’s fearless headfirst stage dive into a lynching, grabbing the bassist and scarpering out of the venue as he rode above them. And then the singer. And the drummer.
As rock’n’roll currently goes through the motions, it’s difficult to think of a band that captures its essence in the way Radkey did tonight. Dare I say it? This band are gonna be big.