Edit: Congrats to Claire C – MCD will be in touch!
The nice people at MCD want to let you and a mate see Radkey for free!
Support comes from New Valley Wolves
Academy 2, 26th June
Tickets on sale now from €15 includes booking fee
Over 14s show, no alcohol served
Radkey are a band of brothers from St Joseph, Missouri. The Radke siblings Dee (20, guitar, vocals), Isaiah (18, bass) and Solomon (16, drums) make explosive, thrilling alt-rock anthems.
Things are taking off for the three-piece. In the past few months alone, there have been electrifying performances on Later… With Jools Holland and Berlin’s JOIZ TV, a sold-out tour of the UK with fellow noise-mongers Drenge and packed shows in Germany and Holland, whilst Radio 1 tastemaker Zane Lowe has also been a vociferous supporter of the group. Radkey are a band exhilaratingly on the edge of a big breakthrough.
The three brothers’ upbringing in St. Joseph was soundtracked by their dad Matt Radke’s record collection. It was only a matter of time before they were bitten by the bug. For oldest brother Dee, it was Nirvana who made him want to pick up a guitar. Middle brother Isaiah remembers being mesmerised by the Foo Fighters’ track Monkey Wrench, “the first song I ever knew the words to.” For youngest sibling Solomon, the record that stood out was Weezer’s Blue album. It’s no surprise that each of those bands match snarling riffs with indelible pop melodies, a way of making music that Isaiah says has “burrowed its way into our brains.” The same characteristics define every Radkey song: sometimes hooks are buried in a blitzkrieg of distortion; at others, riffs are put on a leash so the melody can lead the way.
Dad Matt became their manager and soon they had booked their first gig, supporting veteran ska-punks Fishbone. Their ages ranged from 13-17 at the time, but the promoter hadn’t asked. He simply enquired as to whether they had enough material to play for 30 minutes. They lied and said they did. “We had to go away and write a bunch of songs,” says Isaiah. “There was a pretty good turnout and having our first show being supporting Fishbone helped us get other gigs.” “It was insane,” says Dee. “We played in front of 100 people and we were super nervous, but we got to hang out with them afterwards and see them argue.” Radkey have no designated peacemaker in the group: Dee claims that they have never argued about music.
From out of that triumphant first show, they perfected their live performance with more dates and kept writing new songs. By mid-2013, their intensive course in being a rock band was gaining momentum. They played their first UK show at the intimidating Download festival.
Each of their releases so far have out-swaggered its predecessor. The summer’s Cat & Mouse EP was an attention-grabbing introduction: the malevolent stomp and jittery riffs of its title track, the crackling surge of Out Here In My Head and rolling bubblegum growl of Pretty Things were the sound of the vitality of youth in all its raw power. Closing song N.I.G.G.A. (Not Okay), meanwhile, tackled the band’s shock at the casual racism in their high school and showed that it wasn’t just the music that was head-on. The Devil Fruit EP, released in October, honed and widened their sound.
Their next release is another aggressive charge forward. Feed My Brain is their most accomplished song yet, a swooping rock singalong that swings from a stripped-down, understated verse into a juddering, hooky chorus. “It’s the best song we’ve written,” says Isaiah. “Our evolution as songwriters has been on record and you can tell the difference. The more we write, the better the songs are getting.” For Solomon, Feed My Brain is a marker in the sand not just for the band’s career but for his whole life. “It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had, listening back to that when we finished recording it.”
They are three ambitious young men who want the next show and the next song to be better than the last. They’re in it together: there are no tyrannical egos in Radkey. “We’re not the type of band that has one guy leave and you’re fucked,” says Isaiah. “If any of us leave, we’re equally screwed.” Next, they’ll turn their sights towards their debut album. “It will have lots of loud guitars and be rocking,” adds Dee. “We wanna make it rock and make it catchy, something we can be proud of,” says Isaiah. Of course it will rock. Of course it will be catchy. These are the things that come naturally to Radkey.
Very special guests on the night comes from local rock band, New Valley Wolves are Jonny Lucey and Baz Joyce. Just guitar and drums but played with the gusto of 27 charging Spanish bulls. Think bone shakin’ rock ‘n’ roll the way it’s meant to be played: Hard, Fast and Hard.
With New Valley Wolves
ACADEMY 2, 26TH JUNE