Radical Dance Faction

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Radical Dance Faction (RDF), originally Military Surplus, is a band from Hungerford, Berkshire, UK.


Radical Dance Faction (RDF) were founded by Chris Bowsher in Hungerford in 1986. Originally known as 'Military Surplus',.[1] the band has experienced many line up changes, with at least thirty different people having been part of the band at one time or another. Chris is the only person who has been in every line up of the band.

RDF's music combines punk, dub, and ska, while Bowsher's lyrics, spoken rather than sung, deal mainly with political issues, such as the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in the song "Chinese Poem". Bowsher also witnessed first hand the Hungerford massacre, describing his experience in the song "Hot on the Wire".

In 1990 they signed to Southern records, releasing two albums on their own imprint Earthzone and going on to tour Germany and other parts of Europe. One tour was as the support act to Rebel MC and they also supported Ziggy Marley at one point. RDF appeared at the huge Summerjam festival in Germany, July 1993.

RDF were a regular act on the UK free festival scene prior to the 1994 Criminal Justice Act, and were part of the crusty/anarcho punk movement until they called it day in the mid 1990s. Their final album (until reformation) Raggamuffin Statement was a mixture of live recordings and remixes with new songs, including "Martin Foran", about the wrongly convicted prisoner.[2]

The band reformed in 2006 playing various festivals around the UK during 2007. They reformed again in 2012 and appeared at the Bearded Theory festival in Derby. The band commenced a short tour in October 2012 to promote new album - Ammunition.[3] In recent years they have performed at the likes of Glastonbury, Boomtown, Rebellion, Willow Man and Green Gathering festivals.

Related bands[edit]

  • Steve Swann, one of RDF's original line-up, co-founded the Revolutionary Dub Warriors and was a member of the reformed, dub/ska band Dub The Earth.
  • Phil left RDF in 1995, and together with other ex-RDF members and John from AOS3, formed P.A.I.N.
  • Linda and Graham Spey went on to form the band DF118.
  • Mark McCarthy joined The Wonder Stuff in 2004.
  • Murph joined The Rhythmites.
  • Bowsher released an album, Infinitive Splits, in 2010 as Chris Bowsher and The Faction - including versions of RDF songs.[4]

Current Lineup 2016[edit]

  • Chris Bowsher ( vocals)
  • Shanks (Drums)
  • Murph (Guitar)
  • Dan Foster (Bass)

Past Members[edit]

  • Linda Goodman (Vocals)
  • Steve Swann (Vocals, Bass)
  • Fred Johnson (Bass)
  • Karen Woodhead (Backing Vocals)
  • Graham Usher (Drums)
  • Sid Wobble (Harmonica)
  • Mark McCarthy (Bass)
  • Richard Paterson (Keyboards)
  • Phil Astronaut (guitar)
  • Mike Cooper (guitar
  • Sarah Edwards (violin)
  • Tim Hill (saxophone)
  • Kevin Vernon (Percussion)
  • Paul McCabe (Keyboards)
  • Brian Powell (guitar, bass)
  • Style Scott (drums)
  • Graham Spey (Keyboards)
  • Jim Warne (Guitar)
  • Danny (Drums)
  • Ozzy (bass)
  • Chris Chescoe (Drums)
  • Olly Thomas (Drums)
  • Lewis Sykes (Bass)
  • Jimmy Peters (Keyboards)
  • Andy (from Newcastle) (drums)
  • Lynn Forte (Drums)
  • Spot Gaffey (Drums
  • Matty Mann (Bass)
  • Karen Ricketts (Backing Vocals)
  • Ben King (keyboards)
  • Luke Winton (Drums)
  • Josh Bannerman (Drums)



  • Taking Refuge (1989[5] (mini-album, cassette only)
  • Hot on the Wire (1989[5]) (mini album, cassette only)
  • Borderline Cases (1990) (Earthzone, LP/CD)
  • Wasteland (1991) (Earthzone, LP/CD/MC)
  • Raggamuffin Statement (1995) (Inna State, LP/CD/MC)
  • Ammunition (2012) (LP/CD/DD)


  • "Landing Party" 12" (1991)
  • "Beast in the Doorway" 12"/CD (1994)


External links[edit]