RADIOS APPEAR IN ITALY
Trezzo sull’Adda (Milano) Live Club, September 29, 2006
& Cesena, Vidia, September 30, 2006
By ROBERTO CALABRO’
Three years after their first Eurostrike since 1978, Radios (re)Appear. This time with a brand new album and a bunch of wonderful new songs to be tasted in their live dimension.
Two shows in the weekend – Friday and Sat’day nights – and they’re not to be missed.
I leave Rome the day before their first Italian show and go to Milan by train. Here I find my long-time best friend with whom I saw and met Deniz Tek for the first time (Rome 1996: in that DTG line-up with Mr. Jim Dickson playing the bass!). The following day we move to Trezzo sull’Adda, outside Milan. When we get in the Live Club the band are sound-checking.
We meet and talk to John Needham (“Mr Citadel you’re a nice bloke as always!!!”) and after that we briefly meet Rob, Pip and Jim. I can’t see Deniz who’s backstage. No problem, I’ll see him on stage and I’ll meet him after the show, I think. (Later it won’t be possible thanks to the security guards, real brainless arseholes!!!). We meet some friends and go out for a pizza. When we return to the venue the support band are playing some useless hard-rock. I became impatient. I’m here for the Birdman!!!
Half-an-hour later the guys appear on stage. The club is pretty crowded - about 400 people, most of them are real Birdman fans. I fight to be in the first line, just in front of Chris and Rob. They seem in good shape, like the years have never passed for them.
The band opens its attack with “Burn My Eye” and it’s like a tornado. Other anthems follow: “Do The Pop”, “Non Stop Girls”, “I-94” and “What Gives?”. Deniz and “Klondike” play with surgery precision, Jim Dickson and Rusty Hopkinson are the best and most powerful rhythm section for a rock ’n’ roll band. The elegant Pip Hoyle enriches the band’s sound, while Rob Younger is the magnetic and charismatic frontman we have known with The New Christs too.
After that there’s a string of new songs – and what I was waiting for in “Die Like April” and the wonderfully punchy “You Just Make It Worse” (a potential hit!) They’re followed by a trio of wonderful numbers: the classic “Alone In The Endzone”, the new “We’ve Come So Far” and the hypnotic “Subterfuge”, probably the highest high off “Zeno Beach”. But it’s not enough for the Birdman nor for their astonished and happy audience. The magic of “Descent Into the Maelstrom” merges into the epic sound of “Heyday”, the punk energy of “Hand of Law” and “Anglo Girl Desire”.
“Locked Up” is a new classic as well as the old “Aloha Steve And Danno”. When the band get off the stage, their fans scream and shout. They want some encores and the band don’t disappoint them.
“The Brotherhood of Al Wazah” is just a moment of quiet…and then here comes the earthquake: “Smith & Wesson Blues”, “Murder City Nights” and the long-awaited “New Race”. What energy…what a punch right in our faces!!!
These guys kick all the young (20-something) new bands with style, attitude, hi-energy r’n’r and fantastic tunes. Do you want more???
After the show I’m waiting for the band. No one comes from the backstage. No one can goes in.
So I say “see you tomorrow” to my old pal John Needham (cheering him with a bottle of Calabrian limoncello) and go away in the night. Happy and satisfied.
Saturday (late) morning, I wake up in Milan, made a run to the train station just in time to get my train. Radio Birdman are still buzzin’ in my head…I can hear all the yesterdays’ songs and I look forward to see the band in action again.
It takes two hours to get Bologna where my friends Gianluca (coming from Rome) and Agnese are waiting for me outside the station. We went to Massimo’s (Agnese’s boyfriend) rock ’n’ roll barbershop and move to Cesena by car.
Cesena seems to have a different, warmer atmosphere than Milan. The venue (Vidia) is beautiful and two hours before the show it’s already crowded. We meet John Needham near the backstage exit. I’d like to say hello to Deniz but he runs to the hotel, as well as the rest of the band. Except for Jim Dickson, that is, who sits with our group of friends and fans outside the club. We spend more than one hour talking with this charming, nice and interesting guy. A real gentleman.
Then it ’s show time. We get in. It’s the night that leads to my birthday (October 1st) and I wanna celebrate it in the best way. Could I dream of a better way than a Radio Birdman concert?
I’m in the frontline…this time at the right, in front of Rob and Deniz. The band seem to be more powerful and in good shape than yesterday. The show is a blitzkrieg. They get no prisoners. The crowd slam and dance and do the pogo. There’s a full circle of energy.
The setlist is pretty the same than the day before, except for the encores. This time Radio Birdman go back to the stage to play legendary “Man With Golden Helmet”, a fantastic wah-wah fuelled version of “Hangin’ On”, the surf-oriented “Zeno Beach” before ending with the classic anthem: “New Race”.
After the show a nice Jim Dickson wishes me “happy birthday”. Agnese and I go backstage to say hello and thank the band for the great emotions, good vibes and fantastic music they’ve just given us as a present. Pip is on the van, studying a map…we call on him and we have a funny chat. He’s so nice so as to “escort” us in the backstage where we meet Rob (magnetic on stage and so shy in private), Chris “Klondike” Masuak and Russell (who tells me he’ll be back in Italy in 15 days with You Am I). But where’s Deniz?
When we go outside my friends tell me he’s just gone after spending half an hour signing autographs and chatting with the fans. Oh shit! I can’t believe it. I’ve gone to both show and I couldn’t see him…See you next time, mate!!! And thanks a lot for these two days of real rock’n’roll madness!!!