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The Rock-itt : September 2009
to enjoy the night! We wish this legend all the best in his fight against his condition. To a jammed packed crowd eager to see the band, the Rads took the stage, giving us all what we wanted on this freezing winter's night - a 'Summer Holiday'! The band was really pumped after the Mick Cox benefit, with Brian wildly moving around the stage and the band delivering with inspiring energy, precision and tightness a set list of songs featuring most of the tracks from their first, and most famous, 1980 album 'Feel the Heat' as well as some other great hits. The band went on to play: 'Radiation', 'Roomful Of Diamonds', 'Bring on the Crazy', 'Nancy Can't Dance', 'Life's a Gamble', 'Hit and Run', 'Numbers', 'Bit of Pain Never Hurts', 'Gimme Head', 'No Tragedy', '17', and of course 'Comin' Home'. After a big drum solo by Mark Lucas and an encore the band went on to play a real crowd pleaser with the Beatles classic, 'Revolution'. 'Nancy Can't Dance' and 'Numbers' really got the crowd dancing wildly, particularly the front row of women that lined the stage! And of course the band's anthem 'Gimme Head' had the whole crowd singing together with great enthusiasm, fuelling everyone's dream to be 17 again! Not to be outdone their biggest hit 'Comin' Home' had everyone screaming the lyrics! A much smaller venue than the Rad's are accustomed to, provided a real intimate and powerful atmosphere for what was truly a memorable experience and feeling of closeness to the band.. ..as we all felt their heat! I caught up with Fess Parker (Rad's guitarist) recently for a chat. Dave: So Fess, what did you think about the Manly Steyne gig? Fess: It was great to play on local turf, close to home and great to see a lot of my friends turn up at the show! The Manly Corso is such a cosmopolitan place with such a busy transient population, you never know who will walk in off the Corso and watch the band and that adds an edge of excitement. Also the fact that it was such an intimate 'in your face' gig which added electricity to the night and only a few hours earlier we had played at the Mick Cox benefit concert at the Enmore Theatre, which really inspired and pumped us all on the night! Dave: After 30 years of playing with the Rads how does it feel nowadays? Fess: I'm really glad and thankful to be still here on stage and to play to great audiences when sadly so many of our great musicians and friends are dropping off! It's a Big Buzz every time we play, when being on stage takes you out of your ordinary existence of life, working and paying bills and lets you go into another world with the music. "That's what it's all about!" Dave: Tell me about some recent career highlights? Fess: For me, the chance to see other bands play and catch up with our fellow musician friends is a major highlight, where we are on the bill with lots of other bands and musicians to play at various celebratory, 80's revival and various benefit concerts. Back in the 80's we never got a chance to see many other bands because we were always so busy playing. For example, the Countdown Spectacular 2 National Tour 2007 saw us catch up with people like Martha Davis, The Knack, Supernaut, Rick Springfield, Doc Neeson, Richard Clapton to name a few; the Golden Stave 2009 charity concert at the Horden Pavilion with Jimmy Barnes, Mental as Anything, Tommy Emmanuel and of course the recent Mick Cox Benefit Concert. Dave: I notice that the official Radiators 30th Birthday Bash will be held in December this year and will feature Mi Sex who haven't been seen for over 20 years, Spy V Spy (Dave Wilkins ex Baby Animals & Utopian Babies on vocals), Screaming Jets and for the first time the original members of Radiators will reform for a one off performance to honour The Radiators achievements. Fess: What a huge night that will be! You know the guys from Mi-Sex haven't played since Steve Gilpin passed away and they are itching to play live again, Spy V Spy with new singer Dave Wilco and I am wrapped to play a few songs with the original members of the Rads; Keyboardist Brendon Callinan and Drummer Chris Tagg who I both see from time to time. Dave: I notice on your website you guys are really busy this year, including a national tour with legendary UK band The Sweet taking in all of November with 19 dates, October long weekend 4 dates with Rose Tattoo & Spy v Spy to name a few. Fess: Yes 2009 is the biggest this century and things are only getting stronger. Not like the 80's when one year we did 365 gigs! But we are seeing a big resurgence of 80's music where old fans have had their families and want to recapture their youth and crowds are only getting bigger as they bring their children with them. Dave: Are the Rads ever going to release a new song? Fess: There's always a chance we will. We are working on a rock n roll anthem at the moment! The Rads will be back at Dee Why RSL 26 September and Manly Fishos 9 October. For more information visit www.theradiators.com.au