Our Music

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The Band History

The Free Radicals were formed in the mid-nineties way back in the last millennium, in the days when no-one else had thought of the name and few knew what free radicals were. The original members were Chris Kershaw, Mike Gibbs and Jon Atkins. Jon had previously played for Exeter based oufit Meet My Shorts whilst Mike and Chris had formed bands including The Dodgy Jammers and Kurt Kurtain & The Curtains.

The free festival scene and impromptu parties in the woods were where the genesis of the band took place, with Mike and Chris having honed their sound busking on the streets of Guildford and Jon having sailed the Atlantic, torturing his ship-mates with an out of tune mandolin. At the Anchor pub in Godalming, whilst playing at an open mic night for Busker's Express, the band first played with spoonsman Brian Hammersley and the band became a foursome. In 2001 the debut album, Out Of The Hedge, was recorded in a limited run of 200 copies which have ended up all over the world, from Canada to Portugal to Australia and anywhere in between. Brian left the band in 2005 and an old school friend of Chris and Mike, Richard Johnston, joined, bringing with him a wealth of percussion instruments and a variety of hats.

In 2007 after much haranguing by 'fans' the band decided it was time to record a second album - 'Hydon's Ball' (named after a local hill fort) which was completed in May 2008. At the end of 2008, Jon left for Geelong, Australia where he joined short-lived Aussie rockers D.A.E.T.E.D. before returning to these shores some years later to become a woodsman and spend the time telling everyone he meets how he dragged the other 3 Rads out of obscurity.

Following Jon's departure, Chris, Mike and Richard spent a year 'writing new material' before they happened upon a new bassist and talented all round musician, Luke Nathan (who also happened to own a lot of gear!). Since then, The Free Radicals have gone from strength to strength, establishing a regular slot at local festivals and playing at a variety of pubs in Surrey and Sussex. They have added a few of their own compositions to their reportoire of songs, jigs and reels, and are working on a new album 'Hidden In The Alder' to be released in 2017.

Having given up trying to become famous a long time ago, the band just want to enjoy themselves, not screw up (that is why we all have such serious expressions on stage), and give the audience a great time!

THE FREE RADICALS