Radio Birdman documentary to screen in Ballarat

Goin' down into the maelstrom: The mercurial and influential Radio Birdman formed in the early 1970s and broke up in 1978. They reformed and toured in July this year.

Goin' down into the maelstrom: The mercurial and influential Radio Birdman formed in the early 1970s and broke up in 1978. They reformed and toured in July this year.

There are many bands who claim that they are Australia’s hardest, fastest and loudest. Radio Birdman never claimed anything about themselves. But they most likely owned that title, daylight second.

A screening of the acclaimed documentary about the band, Descent into the Maelstrom, will take place at the Regent Cinema in Ballarat next Tuesday August 22.

Though they existed for just a few short years, released just one EP and one LP, and broke up in acrimony, Radio Birdman remain a seminal influence on Australian rock.

Radio Birdman - Aloha Steve and Danno

"The potency of Australian rock stalwarts Radio Birdman cannot be denied. They were energy-fuelled rule breakers, and very much staunch believers in creating a positive albeit rowdy impact on an otherwise safe and rather beige music scene of the time” Ballarat-based music publicist Lou Ridsdale said. 

"I was fortunate to see this documentary last month at Melbourne’s Cinema Nova with Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman’s guitarist) delivering a Q&A afterward, and it is really what good documentary making is all about. 

"Ballarat cinema goers are in for a real treat. It paints a brutally honest picture of a touring band, particularly back then when the music business had tenuous infrastructure and bands often burnt out or turned on each other. Radio Birdman did both. You don’t have to be a huge Radio Birdman fan to watch this film, it’s an excellent time capsule of what the world was like in the late 70’s and early 80’s in Australia, with a turning political and cultural tide.”

Radio Birdman live

Radio Birdman existed before punk, and took the influences of surf music and bands like The Stooges with Iggy Pop to forge a hard-driving sound, presented in gigs of almost unbearable intensity and barely suppressed violence. The have reformed for occasional tours, but the documentary shows how frightening they were at their peak.

Descent Into the Maelstrom will have a one-off screening at Regent Cinema on Tuesday August 22 at 7.05pm. The screening will only take place if 40 tickets in total are sold by August 12 at 10am. Tickets available via https://fan-force.com/screenings/descent-into-the-maelstrom-regent-cinemas-ballarat-vic/

Radio Birdman - Into the maelstrom