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The Radio Dept Live in Singapore | Review


Now where do I begin about The Radio Dept’s one night only show at TAB last week.
Being a huge fan of the Swedish dreampop trio, I was ecstatic when I heard the news that the band was returning to Singapore and would be playing songs from their last album, Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010.  I caught their first show in Singapore at Zouk in 2010 and although they played many songs from my favourite Radio Dept albums, I felt that the show was disappointingly too short. The time we waited for the band to start was equivalent to the duration of the show. Hence, I was really looking forward to the show at TAB.

Leisurely getting on stage after fans waited patiently for 30 minutes for the band’s arrival, The Radio Dept opened the show with my personal favourite “Always A Relief”  from their 2006 album.  The serenity of the guitar riffs in the introduction of the song mixed with the tranquility of Johan Duncanson’s voice soothe the hearts of many fans who were immediately drifted into a delirium of blissful shoegazing. The mood on the stage was at minimal with only red spotlight shined on the band members, hence most in the audience only saw the band’s silhouettes, and a great deal of smoke from the smoke machine boosted up the dreampop experience for fans.



The setlist for the show was refreshing as the band rotated between new and old songs from various albums. The Radio Dept went from  introducing their new single “Good Cop, Gay Cop”, to playing old favourites such as “I Wanted You To Feel The Same” and “Heaven’s On Fire”. Did I also mention that I was on the brink of tears when the outro of “A Token Of Gratitude” was playing?

We noticed that a new female member(who kicked ass!) was introduced on guitars and  Daniel Tjäder was not present at the show. I overheard some fans, who were seeing them for the first time, discussing in between songs about how they were put off with how the band hardly interacted with the crowd. To be honest, I think Johan and crew are just humbly shy and in my opinion, their dreamy music definitely makes up for the lack of crowd interaction hands down!



The Radio Dept closed the show with “David” from their 2010 album, Clinging On A Scheme, ending a few minutes before 10pm with no encore despite the constant cheers from fans for the next 15 minutes. Honestly, although I expected that there would not be an encore(same thing happened in the 2010 show), it was sad watching the hopeful faces of fans who were slightly crushed with disappointment.

Strange things did not happen at this show. The Radio Dept broke my heart, twice.
I have concluded that the band probably love making brilliant music more than performing them. Nevertheless, The Radio Dept forever remains in my heart as the band who performs the soundtrack of my life. Hopefully their 3rd show here in future will be gratifying, instead of leaving fans in a state of “Pet Grief”.




Text by: Erin Riduan
Images by: Trisno Dimas




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