Radical Dance Faction (RDF) were founded by Chris Bowsher in Hungerford in 1986, and were originally known as ‘Military Surplus’. The band experienced many line up changes, with at least eighteen 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, dealt 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”.
RDF were a regular act on the UK free festival scene prior to the 1994 Criminal Justice Act, and were part of the crusties and anarcho punk movement until they called it day in the mid 1990s. The band reformed in 2006, and played various festivals around the UK during 2007.
At the height of their fame in the early 1990s, the band made at least two tours of Germany. One tour was as the support act to Rebel MC but they also supported Ziggy Marley at one point. RDF appeared at the huge Summerjam festival in July 1993, ironically on the same bill as controversial artist Shabba Ranks.
They appeared at The Bearded Theory festival in Derby on Sunday 20 May 2012. The band commenced a short tour in October 2012 to promote their new album – Ammunition.