I head out for my first gig of the year on a cold Saturday night in January. I don’t really feel like going out – it’s cold and I would prefer to stay at home, in the company of my cats, in the warm. Saturday night TV, however, usually manages to drive me out – tonight is no exception. We are off to see Radical Dance Faction, a punk/dub/ska band that have been going since the mid-80s. They have been through various incarnations. Only vocalist Chris Bowsher remains of the original line-up.

Bowsher is in a good mood and keeps it together, unlike a previous gig at Bearded Theory festival, when he was particularly down. There is no going off on rants, and the tunes are as upbeat as they can be with Radical Dance Faction. There is a fair bit of chatting going on at the back, so we gravitate towards the front and eventually find ourselves dancing – far more enjoyable than standing at the back being grumpy towards the minority of talkers.

Radical Dance Faction brought a new album out in November 2018, following a Kickstarter campaign in October. Called 'Daydream Dystopia', the album was recorded with Youth from Killing Joke. As well as new material, it featured some older numbers, most noticeably ‘Surplus People’, which they play as the last song in the encore tonight. They also play ‘What Man Made of Stone’, a new tune from the new album, whereas many of the other tracks are old tracks given a rework and a new lease of life.

It felt odd seeing them in the confines of the Trades Club, rather than in a field somewhere at a festival, like my previous experiences. It was a good gig though, with an interesting light show, and the DJs before and after were enjoyable. I was sorry to have missed the support band, Buff, but they are playing Bearded Theory later in the year, so I’ll try and catch them there.

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Commenting On: Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, 19/1/2019 - Radical Dance Faction

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