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  • Dexys release their new album ‘Let The Record Show Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul’ on June 3rd on 100% / Warner Music. The album will be the band’s fifth studio set.

    The album is a body of work which sees Dexys putting their heart and soul into every track that Kevin Rowland has wanted to do since the mid-1980s. Drawing on Rowland and co-producer/core band member Sean Read’s Irish roots, the album is a combination of their interpretations of Irish songs and other select compositions.

    “We had the idea to do this album in 1984 or 1985,” says Rowland. “It was to be called Irish and was to feature songs like ‘Carrickfergus’. ‘Curragh of Kildare’ and ‘Women Of Ireland’ – all of which are featured here. Dexys broke up not too long afterwards, so it didn’t happen.”

    “Over the years, I would often think about it,” he continues. “The idea of it never went away. I can recall 10 or 12 years ago thinking, for example, ‘If I do ‘Carrickfergus’, I can try this or that.’ Or maybe we can do 'You Wear it Well’, as the brief had expanded from solely consisting of Irish songs, to songs I’ve always loved and wanted to record. The album was always at the back of my mind. Then just as we were getting ready to record ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’, I had an inspirational bolt from the blue, a strong clear feeling that this album should be our next project.'

    “The album is called ‘Dexys DO Irish and Country Soul’: DO it, not BECOME it,” he emphasises. “We’re not trying to be Irish, and we haven’t used too many Celtic instruments on there. It’s our sound. We’re bringing our style to these songs. I’m just a guy who follows my intuition, my inspiration. This really felt like the right thing to do. We have put probably more care and attention into these songs than we might have done with our own songs, because the odds were high. It was important to get them right, and make sure every one of them felt relevant to us.”


  • 2014


  • Spring 2012 witnesses the group's return with stupendous new album One Day I'm Going To Soar and a series of hotly-awaited shows. With the name streamlined from Dexys Midnight Runners to Dexys, the genesis of the reinvention lies in the period following the group's acclaimed live performances of 2003.
    An important breakthrough was Rowland's decision to collaborate with keyboard player Mick Talbot; the former Style Council founder had also played on the 2003 dates and briefly been a member of the Dexys' line-up way back in 1980. With Pete Schwier and Rowland, Talbot is the album co-producer. "Mick has given his all to Dexys," says Rowland. "I've been very impressed by his care, attention and commitment."

    As the songs took shape, Rowland gathered together the team of contributors who now constitute Dexys 2012. These include such stalwarts of earlier line-ups as co-writer/horn player Jim Paterson, bass-player and singer Pete Williams and violinist Lucy Morgan (the latter two also participated in the 2003 live dates). It was Lucy who suggested the band use string arranger Ben Trigg for the album.

    With a new retro inspired look, the group's dynamic has been upped by the presence of actress/singer Madeleine Hyland as co-vocalist on dialogue-driven duets such as I'm Always Going To Love You and Incapable Of Love.

    One Day I'm Going To Soar was made over a period of months at The Premises in Rowland's east London neighbourhood. Rowland adopted certain method acting techniques to enhance his performance, taking photographs of the songs subjects, or artefacts that would help him access the relevant emotion, while he, Talbot and Williams - all natty dressers - competed with each other in wearing stylish clothes.

    "Everyone was dressed interestingly; it made us all step up," says Rowland, who understands like few others the importance of visuals in popular music.

    The association with highly respected fashion photographer Chiko Ohayon is particularly interesting. Rowland was introduced to Ohayon at the retro club-night Lady Luck by DJ El Nino. Ohayon's cover image communicates the sophistication, style and substance of One Day I'm Going To Soar with ease.


  • Mercury issue The Projected Passion Review, a cobbled together collection of recordings from 1981 including an entire live show from the tour of the same name.

    Mercury also issues a double CD deluxe edition of Too Rye Ay.


  • Spring: Kevin Rowland assembles a new line-up of Dexys, including original member Pete Williams on vocals, keybvoard-player Mick Talbot, who had been in the first incarnation of Dexys for a brief spell in 1980, and Kokomo guitarist Neil Hubbard.

    August: EMI releases to radio, a new track Manhood. The group, with viola-player Lucy Morgan, wear 1930s Parisian suits and smart apparel in a new look created by Mark Powell with Rowland.

    September: EMI issues Let’s Make This Precious: The Best Of Dexys Midnight Runners, which includes Manhood and another new track, My Life In England (Part One).

    October: Dexys perform Manhood on Top Of The Pops 2.

    November: A well received and critically acclaimed national tour includes a triumphant performance at London’s Royal Festival Hall.


  • EMI issues Don’t Stand Me Down: The Director’s Cut which achieves the remastered sound Rowland had pursued for the 1996 Creation reissue. This includes extra track Kevin Rowland’s 13th Time and a DVD containing the three short films directed by Jack Hazan: This Is What She’s Like, The Waltz and I Love You (Listen To This) shot to accompany the music in 1985.


  • Searching For The Young Soul Rebels is reissued by EMI with the videos for Geno and There There My Dear and sleeve notes by Kevin Archer.


  • As Dexys legacy is reappraised a number of reissues are released. It Was Like This is a retrospective of recordings made by the first incarnation of Dexys and the Creation reissue of Don’t Stand Me Down includes extra tracks Reminisce (Part 1) and a cover of The Way You Look Tonight.


  • Two albums are released comprising BBC recordings – 1980-1982: The Radio One Sessions and BBC Radio One Live In Concert.


  • With Billy Adams and Jim Paterson, Kevin Rowland showcases two new Dexys songs – If I Ever and Manhood – on Jonathan Ross’s TV show Saturday Zoo.


  • Universal issues The Very Best Of Dexys Midnight Runners, which includes most of the singles to date.


  • Dexys disbands and Rowland pursues a solo path, recording the albums The Wanderer (1988) and My Beauty (1999).


  • November 26: Because Of You/Kathleen Mavourneen (Sometimes Theme on 12”) enters the chart, where it reaches number 13 and spends 10 weeks. The A-side is the theme tune to popular BBC1 sitcom Brush Strokes.


  • February: Mixing begins on the new Dexys album at New York’s Electric Ladyland studios and is finished in the summer of that year, by Pete Schwier..

    September: Don’t Stand Me Down is released by Phonogram and reaches number 22 in the UK album chart. The sleeve reveals Dexy’s new Ivy League identity, while the music cleverly mixes conversational dialogue with such tracks as the 12-minute opus This Is What She’s Like, the contemplative Reminisce (Part Two) and the passionate I Love You (Listen To This).

    October: Dexys’ Coming To Town {Originally called Park Street South’} tour starts in France before traversing the UK.

    November 8: This Is What She’s Like/Marguerita Time (Reminisce Part One on double-7” and 12”) is released as a single, with the A-side a truncated version of the album track.


  • With input from a number of musicians including former Atomic Rooster keyboard player Vincent Crane, Al Green’s drummer Tim Dancy and saxophonist Nick Gatfield, recording starts on the new album in Switzerland


  • January: Dexys tour the US with Bob Noble replacing Billingham on keyboards.

    February: Come On Eileen is best British single in the BRIT Awards.

    March 18: Dexys record another Radio One Live in Concert in Liverpool.

    April 2: With a reissued A-side, The Celtic Soul Brothers (More Please And Thank You/Reminisce Part One (Show Me Live 1982 on 12”) enters the UK chart, where it stays for six weeks, reaching number 20. In the US Come On Eileen tops the singles charts, displacing Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. His song Beat It replaces Dexys at number one the following week.

    Summer: Returning from a US tour, Rowland, Helen O’Hara and Billy Adams start writing and
    demoing a new album.


  • March 20: The Celtic Soul Brothers/Love Part Two enters the chart, where it spends four weeks and reaches number 45. The single unveils a new direction. The brass section is augmented by The Emerald Express: Helen Bevington (who performs with the surname O’Hara), Steve Brennan and Roger McDuff on violins. The sound was inspired by Kevin Archers’ Blue Ox Babes.

    Jim Paterson and Brian Maurice leave the group, though both temporarily continue to record with the band on a session basis.

    Spring: Dexys embarks on recording a new album with producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.

    June 6: Dexys perform in Newcastle for Radio One Live In Concert. With recording complete, Paul Speare and Micky Billingham leave the group.
    July 3: Come On Eileen/Dubious/(Liars A To E New Version on 12”) enters the chart where its spends 17 weeks, four of them at number 1. The accompanying video is directed by Julien Temple. Giorgio Killkenny leaves the group. Mickey Billingham returns on a session basis.

    July 4. Another session for Radio One is recorded with saxophonist Nick Gatfield and trombonist Mark Walters.

    August: Album Too-Rye-Ay is released as the group’s popularity once again goes into overdrive. It reaches number 2 in the UK and sells well around the world, eventually reaching number 14 in the US album chart.

    September: Dexys undertakes The Bridge tour of the UK, with Spike Edney (trombone) and Kevin Gilson (saxophone).

    October 2: Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)/Let’s Make This Precious (TSOP on 12”), enters the chart where it stays seven weeks, peaking at number 5. TV performances include alternative comedy show The Young Ones and Top Of The Pops (in front of a giant photograph of popular darts player Jocky Wilson). Later in the month there are more dates in continental Europe.

    December 4: Let’s Get This Straight From The Start/Old (Respect Live on 12”) enters the UK chart. The A-side is a new song and the single is in the chart for nine weeks, reaching number 17.


  • March 21: Plan B/Soul Finger is released on Parlophone and enters the chart where it spends two weeks and peaks at number 58.

    April: Dexys leaves EMI and Rowland develops a new image to match the lifestyle of the new line-up, who are, to varying degrees, dedicated to fitness, clean-living and rigour. Aided by NAME Rowland creates a look which foreshadows foreseeing the 80s fitness fad with boxer boots, wrist and head-bands, singlets, plain white t-shirts and designer sweatpants. These are combined with tiny ponytails inspired by those worn by 18th century sailors and hooded jackets loosely derived by boating jackets as worn by Liverpudlian casuals.

    Five dates of The Projected Passion Review are performed including a London show recorded by the BBC.

    June: Dexys sign with Phonogram’s Mercury label and undertake a two-week tour of Europe.

    July 9. Dexys record another session for Radio One.

    July 11: Show Me/Soon, produced by Tony Visconti, enters the chart where it spends nine weeks and peaks at number 16.

    October: Liars A To E/And Yes We Remain the Wildhearted Outsiders released by Mercury with a string section and new member Giorgio Kilkenny – who has replaced Steve Wynne – on bass.

    November 13-15: The Projected Passion Review arrives at London’s Old Vic for three nights now recognised as among popular music’s greatest live events. Included in the shows are such new compositions as Let’s Make This Precious and Until I Believe In My Soul.¬


  • January 19: Dance Stance enters the UK singles chart where it spends six weeks and peaks at number 40. Dexys embark on 38 date Straight To The Heart nationwide tour.

    February 9: Dexys appear on Top Of The Pops for the first time, performing Dance Stance.

    February 26: Dexys record a session for BBC Radio One.

    March 22: Geno/Breakin’ Down The Walls Of Heartache on EMI backed imprint late Night Feelings enters the chart where it spends 14 weeks and peaks at number 1. Rowland’s tribute to his early experiences of witnessing North West London “Peanuts” and a live performance by US soul singer Geno Washington is also acclaimed in the music press.

    April: Pete Saunders returns to replace the departed Andy Leek and the group record tracks for their debut album.

    June: Dexys embark on their sell-out UK tour, under the Intense Emotions Review banner, support includes comedian Keith Allen.

    July 12: There There My Dear/The Horse enters the chart where it spends nine weeks and peaks at number 7. On release, the album is positively received and reaches number 6 in the UK album chart. Searching For The Young Soul Rebels starts with Burn It Down, a re-recording of debut single Dance Stance.

    August: Dexys appear in the US for the first time with performance at NYC downtown club Hurrah. Later in the month, with Mick Talbot on keyboards, they start a lengthy tour of continental Europe.

    October: Keep It Part Two/One Way Love released despite complaints from EMI that the A-side is uncommercial.

    November: The line-up splinters with the majority of members forming new group The Bureau. Initially working with Archer, who decides after a few weeks to follow his own musical path and forms The Blue Ox Babes, Rowland and Paterson recruit new members to Dexys: Billy Adams (guitar), Micky Billingham (keyboards), Brian Maurice (alto sax), Seb Shelton (drums), Paul Speare (tenor sax) and Steve Wynne (bass).

    The new line-up performs Geno on Top Of The Pops Christmas special.


  • Spring: A residency in the foyer of the Imperial Hotel {Uncle Sams} in Birmingham builds attention. Among the attendees is Jerry Dammers, whose group The Specials are making waves. More gigs are booked by local promoter Dave Cork, who has worked with The Clash and co-promoted the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy tour of 1976.

    Summer: Dammers’ invites Dexys to support The Specials at Manchester’s The Factory.
    Dexys oblige. At another gig, at Birmingham’s Romulus club, Dexys’ support is Joy Division.

    Autumn: Rejecting an offer from Dammers to record for his new 2-Tone label, the band signed a deal with Oddball Records, run by former manager of The Clash Bernard Rhodes Oddballs parent company is EMI. John Jay is replaced on drums by Bobby Ward, a former member of Subway Sect.

    November: Supporting The Specials on tour, the “Mean StreetsOn the WaterfrontNew York Stevedore” look is adopted, with group members in utilitarian American clothing, woolly hats and carrying David Jansen “The Fugitive” style bags.

    December: Debut single Dance Stance/I’m Just Looking is released, the A-side a commentary on anti-Irish sentiment. Rhodes has interfered with the production, muddying the sound. Dexys sign direct to EMI. Andy Leek and Andy Growcott replace Pete Saunders and Bobby Ward on keyboards and drums respectively.


  • Kevin Rowland tells friend and guitarist Kevin Archer: “I’m going to do what I really want to do: form a great group. We’ll wear great clothes and make soulful music.”

    July: With new songs, including the call-to-arms Tell Me When My Light Turns Green, Rowland and Archer settle on a team of musicians to realise this vision: Pete Williams (bass), John Jay (drums), Pete Saunders (Hammond organ), Geoff Blythe (tenor sax), Steve Spooner (alto sax) and Big Jim Paterson (trombone).

    Late Summer: Named Dexys Midnight Runners, the group embarks on a rigorous rehearsal and writing schedule, sometimes breaking into empty warehouse premises to practice. Dexys insisted on existing outside of musical genres and remaining completely separate from all other local bands.

    November: After months of daily 9am-6pm rehearsals, Dexys Midnight Runners are launched on the UK live circuit. Quickly acquiring a reputation for incendiary performances, the set includes covers Hold On, I’m Coming and One Way Love, as well as originals such as Burn It Down and I Couldn’t Help It If I Tried.