Radical Dance Faction play The Empire Bar, London 23rd March 2019
RDF claim the stage in the bar of Hackney Empire, London
Colouring night, these musicians are alarming the air with attack,
Chris Bowsher’s vibrancy, long earnt, longer sought for
Across wrack and ruin, affords thoughts construction
To reconstitute what life lacks. His singular vision is smeared
Across the new album they herald; Daydream Dystopia blazing
While the young and trendy just preen.
Here are seasoned hands,
Older throats seeking danger’s affirmation
As each groove scars and troubles
Society’s self regard and false dream.
Feel Dread starts to fray, its stuttering ska chiming changes
Murph’s guitar like a jacknife, slicing the air and song beat,
As Bowsher exhorts, music’s exhaust pipe ploughs and furrows,
Upturning earth as it passes, these feelings of fear stoke hearts’ heat.
Dream a Lot poems it, as Steve Cruickshank power drums,
Bowsher’s howling, Hungerford tones primed by poison
And the curative found in verse.
Working Class Hero storms in, angrier even than Lennon
Whose stark condemnation is in this faction’s view even worse.
The appeal from the streets and clashing guitar
Makes words hammer, aping the drum track that dances and arcs on its own,
In these expert hands comes the hymn of dance
Fed by protest as a near ambient echo
Halters and haunts every step spent on the small floor
With a passion impelled afterglow.
Beast in the Door is grunge scorched as Murphs guitar digs the trenches
Dan Foster’s bass underpinning like a river and pulse through the wound.
Notes shimmer like gold as in the lyric’s lost treasure,
The reverberation of spirit darkened and dealt all too soon.
Here in Hackney, the new form of Radical Dance has been fashioned
From a loyal crowd whose ripped conscience can even be seen in their clothes
As Old Man’s Eyes crashes in Bowsher calls for both the Pope and Prince Phillip;
He’s calling them to task in a moment and he wants repaid all that’s owed.
Nimble guitar lines, deep bass, Drums like a warning.
Karen Rickett’s soul fedbacking vocals echoing passion calls.
Here is the Eastern twinge uniting East and South London
To find new directions to Babylon straight from Deptford
As attendant trees wither and accusation’s leaves pierce and fall.
RU1 reggaes through. Chris’s dreads like song tendrils, linking him
Back to Marley; maybe this time protest sparks,
As the song settles and soars and the refrain speaks of blindness
Murph’s near arabic guitar break entrances, snake charming us back
Into dark. War Dream powers us. Its call for change is an anthem.
Cruickshank’s drums, like throats rattled at the chance of change and the taste
Of victory sensed even as the groove settles. Foster’s sway gracing fingers
Saving every precious move from noise waste.
What the Man Made of Stone’s poison line corrupts the bar’s star spiked lager,
The dance reveals swagger as it lurches and fills the hot space,
Here is the punkish protest evolved in a Youth fed arrangement,
Bowsher’s word wound warnings spiralling out and across his charged face.
Riverwise, Borderlline, Surplus People, Rogue Trooper, each new song
From the album carves and reshapes wisdom’s thoughts
These comes from a life lived in direct opposition and the discovery
That 2000AD, once a future was just as hope starved as Orwell’s 1984.
Paris concludes the album and gig
Joining the radical dance to mind movement
In the empire location and the kingdoms we create
In our head. Here is a band and a view that made in age
Achieves wisdom; Present worry confirming
That those who can’t think are the dead.
We let the privileged bury us and thus allow our removal.
The Radical Dance is survival.
And the faction we have can’t be blessed.
But there is still one to seek and in London tonight here the soundtrack
To a new form and movement and a fresh way for time to repent.
David Erdos 24th March 2019