The Radiators rock Selinas !

It’s Australia Day 2006 And the Tarago melts the street With The Radiators on their way To Coogee Bay “Can’t you feel the Heat”?


To the Coogee Bay Hotel (once known as Selina’s) in Sydney is where the van was headed. I have to say “Sydney” for location purposes ’cause The Radiators tour this country so much! Like last week they were in Cairns!  So off to Coogee Bay Hotel where The Radiators were a part of an Australian Day Celebration of Australian Bands.  On the menu tonight was Keven Borich, Mal  Eastick, Bondi Cigars, The Radiators and The Angels Band.
The last two mentioned bands were once rivals in the early days
of  Australia’s cut throat Rock Industry, though this is not the case today, and the guys from both bands will enjoy a quick catch-up tonight.


In the Radiators van tonight they had the company of Myself, Paul (Hydge) the Rad’s 2IC Road Crew, and Geoff’s youngest son Mitch and his mate Adam.  Spirits were high.
It’s ALWAYS exciting going to a Rad’s show, yet tonight was a
special one and we all knew it. 

The night before The Radiators had played a show. There was
spilled oil from the fog machine on floor and Fess slipped and managed to not fall or kill himself.  Some of the oil must have been obviously on his boots and THEN taken
unknowingly onto the stage, where Brian (singer) proceeded to slip and go down HARD, falling scarily backward and onto the side of the drum kit.  It’s not like it looked THAT bad a fall and nor was it embarrassing in anyway, but he really injured himself in the process.  Bad bruising on his upper and lower back and he cut his sweet lip on the symbols on his way down.

Brian did not have much to say in the van most of the journey.
He sat in quiet discomfort for a time.  (I mention this injury of Brian’s here, because later when it was “Showtime”, he would, like a true professional shut out his pain, leap around the stage and do his thing without skipping a beat nor show any signs of discomfort, and no one would be none the wiser.)


Yet as we drew closer to where they were going to play with their old rivals the Angels Band (though Doc Neeson-less), I began to see a boyishness appear in Brian (singer), and also too in Fess (lead guitarist), and when we arrived and met up with the other two, Geoff (bass guitar) and Mark (drummer), they also appeared thus.  Yep, you bet a boyishness, AND a natural desire to be the best they could be.  Youthfulness may be more the word.  Confident. 
Yes, very confident.  Not only have The Radiators played continuously for 27 years due to demand, and their number of performances nudging the near 4000th show mark, but
they have had SO many hits and tonight their whole song set list was FULL of them.   Back to back HITS.  Each song an
entity in it’s own right with almost a life of it’s own.
So a lot of reasons attributed to their confidence, as they
almost itched to get out there and deliver their goods.
maybe I could be wrong.  Occasionally I have had that rare affliction.


The rooms tonight were in the new accommodation wing at the Coogee Bay Hotel behind the venue itself.  This is where the “before the show bit” takes place.  The guys were catching up with each other and friends dropping in, the footy was on the telly, drinks were on ice in a huge tub on the floor, and the room buzzed with that wonderful ambience of laughter, drinks clinking around and light conversation.

There was, however, quite an unusual and long walk to the stage door area from the room.  We gave ourselves enough time and when ready all made our way to the venue itself, making sure to keep an eye on someone ahead who knew the way.

I’ve found this part sometimes quite exciting.
Tonight it was an outside adventure, but there have been others
on the inside of the venues itself.

Yeah, “Spinal Tapp” at times, but always fodder for a dam
good laugh, because this is all part of the “before the show bit”
and it’s always a bit surreal anyway because, let’s face it, in that
moment in time, “we were on our way and just minutes away from a Radiators Show!”

I found myself setting out on the trek with Fess, Brian, Mitch and Adam, yet not far behind another meandering group.
We left the room, then down the lift, out doors at bottom, then
left along a bit and down a walk between 2 buildings and then up the stairs to the outside verandah that opened into the side stage room.  Don’t worry, I’ve often been inclined to drop breadcrumbs on times like these.

But we made it, and so it seemed the others did too.  I like to keep a discreet body count in case a search party is required.
Quite a crowd was gathering out on the winding narrow verandah as I could hear “Bondi Cigars” playing inside.

The Radiators were on next and not long from now. So. . . .

The Unique Sound of the Radiators is Fess’s baby.
Tonight’s show was a little more important than others.
Only a little mind you, and he wanted to ensure that all was
conducive for them to sound their best.  Ah, I saw a competition was afoot, no matter how well it was disguised.!  I caught on
about here that tonight’s show was not just going to be good, it was going to be GREAT!

Fess went down into the venue before the show to check things out. I went with him.  He had concerns as to who was in charge of the Sound Desk for tonight’s event and who would glorify or crucify their Sound?  He walked through to the Sound & Lighting Desk and I followed a few paces behind.  A lady to my right said to her friend “that’s Fess from the Radiators”.

Alright!  As we moved through to the back middle of the floor, it soon became clear to Fess who it was.  He seemed to
relax instantly as the soft glow of the desk lights revealed the Master himself at the helm with the Angel’s soundman.
Mr Bob Masters.  Bobby, Bob, he answers to both and this man just happened to be The Radiators main Sound Man they use for all their shows!   Profound Sound doesn’t just happen you know.

It’s well crafted.  One of the Master Craftsmen involved in this process is Bob.  His knows the Radiators Sound so well, and Bobby is trusted completely to ensure they get the best sound available or possible.  Bob is a great guy too.  He allows me to leave my bag safe under his mixing desk so I can go and dance etc.

Though really, what man wouldn’t allow a long haired lanky 6ft lady bob up and down at his feet in the darkness under his desk?     

That sorted, we made our way to back stage and out onto the balcony once  again.

was really excited before the show this night. As I mentioned earlier, I knew the song set list that The Radiators were serving up for their guests tonight.  I have experienced this very show for near 2 years now, and the anticipation STILL sends shivers through me.  Let’s be real here, to be honest, “I just can’t wait”.

It’s such a high!  The music makes me feel goooood!  Though
if I used “feel good” Geoff would rather spit at this description
rather than have their music classified as THAT.

Be he would be misunderstanding me greatly

am led to believe that THAT is the whole and sole intention behind
calling themselves the Radiators?  To Radiate out upliftment and make folk feel good.  So I’d like to clarify that when I say the Rad’s music is “Feel Good”, I am just dissecting their ‘prime directive’, and am NOT classifying their music IN ANY WAY WHAT SO EVER as “pansy, new-agey” goop.  Oh no, most definitely NOT that.

Their music and sound makes me feel good!  It’s a turn-on, a high and an uplifting escape. They are all handsome, mature sexy men up there on the stage, all excelling at what each individually do best, and bloody kick-ass whilst they are at it.

So it’s such a bonus whilst experiencing this powerful and easily
digestible Rock of The Radiators, that they be aesthetically  leasing to the eye as they put on a show.

It’s a Performance rather.  It’s Beautiful. (Again, don’t think this description would pass the “spit” test either).


 Show time drew near, all outside on the balcony in the cool talking and catching up.  With events like these where more than a few bands are playing, there is then know such a thing as an “all areas stage pass”.

This all important stage pass will enable you to move around the
whole venue without being stopped.  It’s real cool.  Tonight
this pass came in the form of a yellow wrist band (one everyone got upon entering the Venue) but THIS special one had a red texta slash on it.  When arriving to shows with the Rad’s it’s always via way of back entrances and back stage to venue.
It is just the way of it.  Only tonight, without this ‘pass’, there would be NO WAY back stage again nor have access to the mezzanine level where I wanted to take photos.
Suddenly aware of this dilemma, the Rad’s entourage make a dash
for the yellow band with the red slash!  Fess gave me his.  Geoff
gave his to his wife Terry.  Needed two more.  Brian was willing
to give his band to Mitch if needed, and so that left one more to find for Adam.  They went off then back to the room to try and “make” one.  This is where I lost the two of them for a bit.

It was nearing time for the Radiators to go on, I stood beside
the outside stage doors and found myself in conversation with a man I’d just met.  I was calmly containing SO much unbridled excitement by this stage, just minutes before show time.

But still, . . . . .how easily I can innocently and unintentionally be a
DILL, and choke on my foot in my mouth.  You see, The Radiators have now spanned a 27year non-stop career, and they seem to know EVERYONE!  I guess it’s assumed that I do too, or at least aware of who’s who sort of thing.  But I don’t.  This gentleman who
stood beside me at the door was opening a conversation with me and we spoke of this Venue being open again for live rock & roll.
I spoke of not ever having been here before and SO looking
forward to the show.  This, I’m afraid, was the uncoiling of my containment and I expressed with great passion (as I’m want to do) how much I was looking forward to The Radiators tonight and exclaimed in awe how their whole set list tonight were ALL HITS, back to back!  I don’t recall this man’s response to that last bit.
You see, I DON’T really know ANYONE at all, and ESPECIALLY NOT
The Angels Band manager I was just talking to!  

Twit!  I didn’t mean to sound like a prat and I do apologise.
But excitement and anticipation can do that, you know, make one speak before the brain is engag

Okay, it’s SHOWTIME!   Yeeeeeeeeee!  Haaaaaaaaaa!

All said our “see ya’s out there” and lifting feet well, wound our way behind the stage curtains and sharp left down some steep stairs and out into the Venue.

As I stood side of the floor, the intro song is playing.  This song is played as the lead up piece whilst the guys take their stage and prepare themselves.  One of the guys quoted this moment as being quite a mystical time.  A special time of unity and camaraderie.

The song playing is Wayne Cornell JR and His Orchestra’s Swing version of The Radiators famous song “Comin’ Home”.
This is a brilliant piece and the band uses it religiously as
their intro song for every show they do.  It works so well.  Each
time I hear this piece, it excites me (though what seems to not?).
For one it’s a mighty clever and groovy version Wayne’s
written, two, this song means The Radiators are nearly on!!!, and three, well it’s a great music score to go with my imaginings of what the boys are doing right at that moment as they gather beside the stage door, ready to step out onto the darkness of the stage and take their places.  All the actors in
this performance tonight were near ready for the curtains to go up and the lights to go on and the music to pound.
So it’s these moments I speak of that I consider their
“Sacred Space” and I truly respect that, for it’s during this time
they step into their enigmatic selves who are Australian Rock Legends, and like the Magician Musician’s that they are, are near ready to weave, and leave all spellbound.

I’ll NEVER know this space of the moment I’m referring to, and nor do I ever really want to.  Because like any good fantasy, the excitement lies in the imagination.

Wayne Cornell is Radiator family, and was with them tonight.
As his song was playing he walked past me, and so doing what I
always do when his song is playing and he is there, I clink drinks with him and a toast to his every success.

And this young man is successful and a genius.

He commands a ten-piece orchestra and using Classic Australian
Rock Songs, has rearranged them in his unique and very contemporary style of Swing.   His music comfortably grooves, snaps and slides so unpredictably and effortlessly; that it’s pure cleverness could only have been written by a genius.
Out now is the current CD by  “Wayne Cornell JR & His Orchestra” and it’s title is “COVER STORY”. This CD is a passionate collection of these master pieces, and is selling well, really well in fact, and so Wayne and his Orchestra are off touring in March starting March 3rd, 2006.

Check his website , and you’ll find his tour dates.  I really hope he comes to a town near you, I guarantee you’ll enjoy the experience.

Tonight however, being a different event, toward the end if the song it was turned down, and out bursts Sydney’s 2mmm radio announcer, the Legendary Rob Duckworth!

 Rob and the Rad’s go WAY back together, and tonight he was MC and proudly brought home the Radiators.  Earlier, I saw him in a jovial conversation with Fess and heard them discussing
what would be the estimated number of shows they have done in their 27 year career and at what number would tonight’s show come in at?  Numbers were calculated and multiplied and tossed around like a garden salad.  I mean, really, who knows?  A FACT
that The Radiators ARE Australia’s Most Toured Band expanding a 27year period of consistent playing, would explain the difficulty these two were having in settling on a figure to put beside that question.

There was one year the Radiators performed just over 365 shows
alone!    They finally agreed upon an estimation.
So Rob’s enthusiastic introduction of The Radiators, announced
this night of Australia Day 2006, at The Coogee Bay Hotel, their 3
thousandth, seven hundred and eighty-sixth live performance. That’s  3, 786!

As Rob and the intro song finish, all lights go down to black, the sounds of seagulls and surf echo through the house. With the first sound the lights illuminate the men all clad in their dark sunglasses as Geoff yells out “Let’s hit the beach!”  The crowd, needing to hear only the first few bars of their legendary wonder riff, all surged forward out of the shadows to fill the dance floor and whole downstairs area and then back up again to the shadows  themselves.  Yes, “Summer Holiday” will do that every time!

 These men who now stood before me upon the stage, who have somehow grown larger than life, proceed to spark and crackle with that Magical energy, THEIR energy, for they ARE the Magician’s here tonight.  It’s gutsy, punchy and raunchy.
It’s mature.  It’s youthful.  It’s extremely humorous.  It’s very sexy.

 So when all conditions are right like tonight, I try to stay in the moment and absorb all of it, as if it’s my very first show and as if it might perhaps be my last.  This energy is delicious to be around and most of all to watch and experience.

 This song “Summer Holiday” alone, first one in the ring tonight, has already blown minds, they know, they smirk, for THEY know
that they haven’t even warmed up yet!  Consider it a ‘sound check’.

Mind you, this IS all only my observations.

The guys themselves are quite oblivious to, nor care about “who” they are, and wouldn’t waste valuable kitchen-time in the discussion of it.

On occasions like tonight when this special set list is presented, it is done so on a platter!  Like watching a whole bunch of people get punched in the stomach at once.  This is what happened again tonight as each and every song blasted out it’s heralding signature riff and the impact of everyone synchronized with their song recognition and their shared thrill and disbelief that they were about to hear yet another legendary hit song, would blow them side ways.  It’s in awe and stunned amazement that most folk experience the Radiators.  I believe it’s due to their past battle with the publicity machine, and what not, but for some reason, just like myself at my first gig awhile back, we all hear each song played and KNOW them to be hits but we DIDN’T KNOW THE RADIATORS DID THEM! Around me again tonight I hear the predicted words excitedly scream “My god! I didn’t know
they did THIS one? Or THIS one?  Shit!  Not THIS one too? F—k!”

And there’s more! You’ll find that when you hear them you’ll recall
that you really DID like these songs before, you’ll stand there
stunned, and with a growing respect for the band that you’ve come to see tonight, and by the time you’ve heard them do these songs LIVE with raw potent power, you will leave with an incredibly new perspective about The Radiators. This was my experience too.
On my first show I came along to, I thought ahead as to the 3-4
songs I knew of theirs.  This number of hits alone, by the way, is incredible for any band to have under their belt as not many do. I didn’t question further as I like surprises.

      I was more than surprised I was jaw dropped!  Song after song I seemed to know and NOT know that the Radiators did them!

Watching this same response from the crowd around me tonight, I am returned once again to that first incredible high of acknowledgement.  And you think I’m just dancin’ down there?

I took a few photos from down on the floor but the stage seemed unusually high, so with my trusty “all areas pass” I dashed up to the mezzanine level.  It opened up into a spacious uncrowded area where only the privileged  “all areas passed” folk could go.
This level had a railing and looked down over the stage, and I
understood now why I had thought it higher than normal, as this was for the benefit of the mezzanine.  Best
spot to find oneself and another, cause only a few feet away from me, watching over the railing, was Mitch and Adam!!!
AND they both wore the yellow wristband with the “red slash”!

I was SO pleased so see they both got their passes, so they could rage out in what was like your own lounge room, and watch The Radiators down below.  Couldn’t have been
more perfect.  Nor could I have asked for better fun company, as Mitch, Adam & I danced, yelled and let loose!  I moved
around to find some good vantage points for a photo, and whilst doing so, I enjoyed watching Mitch, who was proudly watching his dad, down there on the stage below, and taking in the scene before him.  The crowd was just “going off” and “electric”.
I stopped for a moment and realized that for Mitch who at age 23,
was born smack bang in the middle of the height of the Radiators fame, and the beginning of it’s 27 year career, and unlike any of the others, Mitch Turner knows a life no different.
In all those years, it’s only been the last 5 of them however,
that he’s been of legal age to be in a venue and experience watching his dad and the Rad’s from the front, a whole new experience in and of itself.  As all this dashed
through my awareness, I tried best I could to capture a moment in time for him, with him in it, and dad’s Legendary Rock Band playing below.  A memory for the future.

After what seemed like a delicious forever, yet rudely no time at all, The Radiators experience was coming to a close.

Knowing this, the three of us dashed downstairs heading for the dance floor.  By the time the last few songs of the show come, the energy amongst the packed danced floor is something NOT to be missed!  It’s an unpredictable time of the night where almost anything can happen, especially the nights like tonight when, not only are all their songs back to back hits, but in the very placement OF those hits, seems to me (please correct me if I’m wrong here) that they manipulate and build the energy in the house and as the crowd response returns this same energy to twist back upon itself and then back out to the crowd again.  When all conditions are right, it’s a very powerful experience, and herein lies the upliftment of what they Radiate.  They pull it in, weave it, kiss it and slam it back out through their pungent punchy valve amps!  You sit there thinking this girl is exaggerating?
I think not.  This lanky chick is not easy pleased.

Passion is the energy that The Radiators seem to have a secret key to magically open.  They weave it and swirl it however they please whilst the crowd surge with it’s flow and the whole “right and here and now” suddenly becomes “all there is”, and let’s face it, all that really matters”.

So, by the last few songs in the swirl of their spell casting, the power is just tangible and it’s vortex is Brian.  You may think he’s just doing a great job singing and looking good, but I see him moving around and controlling an awfully HUGE amount of raw energy that would light a small town!

And so what happens to this energy as it is coaxed and built to a  crescendo of expression, say the last few songs? Almost absolutely anything can go here, and thus is why we have all three gone down to experience this crescendo of energy.

And didn’t it go off tonight!  The Radiators signed off. Kapow! Reality.

The magic that had just held the crowd captive in a timeless space, was now slowly dissipating, leaving the fine sparking mists of illusion to hover and disappear, making all question if the Rad’s really had been here?

The after the show bit is the next bit.  Rad’s entourage split and move in all directions for a period of time, this time being for however long it takes for the guys to come down, cool down and adjust to reality again.  Bit like what’s going on outside with everyone else really.  But it’s NOT like everyone else, again, this is another “Inner Sanctum” moment, and so for this short time, as and after they come off stage, it’s strictly closed ranks to near most.

The dressing room doors did not stay closed for too long tonight.
They couldn’t wait to get out and share their buzz with everyone.  Tonight was a wonderful success and a real Tribute to their Legendary Status as AUSTRALIAN ROCK LEGENDS.  Rock

The Angel’s Band was in fine form, and we were lucky enough to watch 3 of their songs before we had to gather the troupes to leave.  Brian’s long trek back home to the Blue Mountains after EVERY show is always taken into consideration.

About 4 years ago, before I went to a Radiators show and got bitten with the “Rad’s addiction”, I had asked Fess about how he felt about playing all these years doing the same songs etc blah blah and did he tire of it?   You are taking into consideration that this was pre-Rad’s bitten – so I know NOW it was a STUPID question but not then!

Fess just beamed as his face lit up. “No. GOD no” he replied. “I STILL get to do what I LOVE to do more than anything else in the world BECAUSE of those hits! And”, he added, “Each venue we play is different.  Different acoustics, different crowd, different vibe, and ALWAYS after 27 years touring this country, each night there is always different friends rocking up to a show out of the blue”.  He finalized it & said, “So, no Bren, I never tire of it at

God, how I DO understand that now.

By Brenda Joy Star!














FreemanX - AUS___________________



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