Roddy Radiation, Guitarist for The Specials, to Perform Intimate Set in Providence

Roddy Radiation Providence

Even if you don’t know him by name, you know Roddy “Radiation” Byers and his signature guitar style. Byers is one of two guitarists (Lynval Golding being the other) for pioneering two-tone era ska band The Specials. He’s credited with writing such classics such as “Concrete Jungle,” “Hey Little Rich Girl,” and “Rat Race.” Byers flexes his rockabilly chops such as The Tearjerkers and The Bonediggers. Currently, he leads The Skabilly Rebels, a band that mixes ska rhythms with rockabilly guitars. On this first solo tour of the eastern United States with The Scotch Bonnets, Roddy will be playing the songs he penned for The Specials, as well as songs from his solo projects and choice covers.

Tonight–and forgive us for the late notice on this one–he’ll play a rare set at The Parlour in Providence. The Parlour is very friendly to the ska and reggae sounds; the sound engineer is top notch, the food is great, and the draft selection is perfect. It’s well worth the drive out. (Having said that, I don’t have a car. Drop jake(at)bostonska(dot)net if you’re traveling from Boston!)

Backing Roddy for this tour is The Scotch Bonnets, a Baltimore ska and reggae band, not to be confused with Boston’s Scotch Bonnet Band. They will perform an opening set and are currently promoting their “Quest” EP. Duff Guide To Ska has a review of the record that features HR of Bad Brains. Watch a music video for their cover of Rancid’s “Tropical London” below.

Our good friends The Copacetics will provide local support for the bill. Read our review of their recently released self-titled EP here.


Tonight, Sunday, April 26: Tickets are $12 and doors are at 7pm. Join the Facebook event.  The Parlour is located at 1119 N. Main Street in Providence. I can’t stress it enough, this is a deal for seeing a living legend in an intimate venue. Watch a clip below of Roddy Radiation and The Scotch Bonnets performing The Specials’ classic “Rat Race” in New York last night.

Roddy Radiation & The Scotch Bonnets – “Rat Race” – Fontana’s, NYC, 4/25/15

The Scotch Bonnets – “Tropical London” (Rancid Cover)

Listen to the original version by Rancid.

The Copacetics – “Soulful Strut, Summer’s Coming, Bend Down Low” – The Midway Cafe, JP, 4/4/14

You can find shows like this and more on our calendar.