Interview : Pete Holidai, Iconic musician/producer



Déshabillé chats to rock musician Pete Holidai from legendary band The Radiators From Space. Now in The Trouble Pilgrims, Pete talks about early influences, Philip Chevron and future plans.




Q. Who were your early musical influences?


Pete :  From an early age I would have been aware of Irish ballads via my parents record collection. The Dubliners and The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem were the most memorable.

I was born in Dublin but raised in London , which was the centre of the Universe in the 60s when I was there. The most significant event during this period was seeing The Beatles arrive at a local theatre in Fulham to record for USA tv programme Shindig. That's the moment my ambition changed from playing for Chelsea football club to playing guitar in a band.

During this period just before the family returned to Dublin I saw Marc Bolan's band Tyrannosaurus Rex performing at a festival just months before they broke through as T. Rex and also saw Alice Cooper supported by Roxy Music in 1972.

1972 proved to be the most significant year of influence as all the following LPs were released:
Roxy Music, Ziggy Stardust/ Bowie, Transformer/ Lou Reed, Electric Warrior/ T. Rex and New York Dolls. All highly influential to me and most of my peers, punks and poets.


Radiators From Space



Q. As a founder member of The Radiators from Space, what was it like being in such an iconic band with Philip Chevron?


Pete : Philip and I had a very good overall working relationship, Steve Rapid and I had a long running ambition to get a high energy band with attitude together and we eventually joined forces with Philip, who we recognised as a very talented, focused and driven individual. He developed into, I think Ireland's most literate rock songwriter and should have a bridge named after him in recognition plus a plaque under Cleary's Clock [his greatest work].



Q. You also played with another great Dublin band, Light A Big Fire, what are your memories of that?


Pete :  I was initially recruited into LABF as guitarist/ backing vocalist mainly for live shows after they had been signed to Siren, a subsidery of Virgin Records. I must have done 350+ plus live shows with them over a two year period. I rated the band very highly and enjoyed playing with them very much as they were an excellent live band. I was involved in recording an album for Siren but that record was never released due to a variety of circumstances.




Q. You're back with Steve Rapid in the Trouble Pilgrims now and have recently released the group's debut album,  how's that going?


Pete :  After Philip passed away Steve and I along with Johnny Bonnie decided to retire The Radiators from Space as a going concern, however we wished to continue performing live and write and record new songs. Initially we performed Rads songs as part of our set but quickly introduced new material as much and as quickly as possible.
We recorded and released our debut album Dark Shadows and Rust in 2017 to very enthusiastic responses, we managed to licence the album to Ace Records for worldwide manufacture and distribution. They released it on the Chiswick label to sit alongside The Radiators albums, which was a nice bit of continuity.
Trouble Pilgrims are a developing band and we try hard to be perceived as so and not a 'legacy' band.

The album has just been released [2018] as a limited edition RED vinyl on our own Pilgrim Sounds label.


The Trouble Pilgrims



Q. What are your future plans and ambitions?


Pete :  To continue writing and performing with Trouble Pilgrims, working on a follow up album

To develop my own label as I'm interested in recording singer songwriters as part of a series of solo with instrument releases that focus entirely on the purity of song and performance with a creaky chair as backing.






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