EP 232: Radio Birdman

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Photo: Emmy Etie

Radio Birdman

Recorded and mixed by Branko Cosic
Recorded at The Tivoli, Brisbane, 23rd June 2017

Radio Birdman was one of the first Australian independent bands to carry the punk label. The name comes from a misheard The Stooges lyric from the song “1970” (the actual lyric is “radio burnin’”).

They formed in Sydney, 1974 with Deniz Tek and Rob Younger wanted to create a band that challenged the commercial mainstream whilst being completely uncompromising. With the addition of Pip Hoyle on keys, Ron Keeley playing drums and bassist Carl Rorke, Radio Birdman started playing DIY shows in rented garages and community spaces after being rejected from multiple venues.

Once signing with Trafalgar Records, the band released their debut, 1977’s Radios Appear to critical acclaim, leading them to expand their touring circuit to include Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide. When Sire Records president Seymour Stein came to Australia to sign Brisbane punk band The Saints, he saw Radio Birdman and immediately invited them to join his label.

The band moved their base of operations to London, and toured extensively in the UK and Europe, both headlining and as support for Sire label-mates the Flamin Groovies. Their overseas success was short-lived as Sire Records began having financial difficulties and were forced to drop Radio Birdman and many other bands from their label.

Without a label, with no tour support and no distribution for Radios Appear, the band continued on, while suffering deteriorating interpersonal relations. Radio Birdman played one last show at Oxford University in June 1978, after which the band split up – on the eve of an explosion of independent music in Australia, which they had played a large role in creating.

Airing details: Originally via Zed Digital, 7-8pm, Sunday 7th of January 2018.

Show production and engineering: Reuben Aptroot.

EP 231: Best of 2017 Pt 2

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Part 2 of our 2017 highlights special includes some of our favourite sets from 2017 featuring In Each Hand A Cutlass, Budd, I Heart Hiroshima, The Go-Betweens, Red Riders, Even, The Ocean Party, Clowns, The Dollar Bill Murrays, Grenadiers, FOAM and The Scientists.

Airing details: Originally via Zed Digital, 7-8pm, Sunday 31st of December 2017.

Show production and engineering: Branko Cosic.

EP 228: The Scientists

Ep 228 Instagram

Photo: Mark Louttit

The Scientists

Recorded and mixed by Branko Cosic
Recorded at The Triffid, Brisbane, 4th November 2017

The Scientists first formed in Perth as The Exterminators and then The Invaders in 1977. Once they became The Scientists in 1978, they then released their first single “Frantic Romantic”/”Shake (Together Tonight)” in June 1979 on the D.N.A. Records label. After a debut LP (commonly referred to as The Pink Album) and a number of lineup changes, the band relocated to Sydney in 1982.

This change in scenery and lineup also saw The Scientists change musical direction. Pop-infused punk rock was traded in for a more psychedelic style of swampy, blues rock n’ roll. The band was signed by Au Go Go Records who released two singles as well as the influential “Blood Red River” LP in the space of a year, making them one of Australia’s most popular independent bands at the time. But another move was soon on the cards.

Like many Australian bands, London came calling for The Scientists and they migrated to the UK recording and touring there from 1984 to 1987. In that time they released another five albums, finally returning home to tour The Human Jukebox LP and disbanding shortly after. The 1985 lineup reformed for a set of exclusive shows late in 2017.

Airing details: Originally via Zed Digital, 7-8pm, Sunday 19th of November 2017.

Show production and engineering: Reuben Aptroot.