Dexys Midnight Runners, an extended excerpt from a concert they recorded in Newcastle on June 6, 1982 for BBC Radio 1’s In Concert Series.
As much as the early 80s was a direct opposite of the ripped/torn and safety-pinned 70s of Punk, a band like Dexys Midnight Runners came along and, with their mega-hit Come On Eileen, became a staple in the diet of MTV and ran against the tide of perfectly coiffed, quasi-androgynous, techno-influenced bands which were the acknowledged “style” of bands at the time. Here they were, looking like a band of scruffy day-laborers, singing a song with its heart planted achingly on its sleeve, and grabbing everybody’s attention, going to Number 1 on the U.S. charts.
Image aside, Dexys Midnight Runners, founded and fronted by Kevin Rowland were/are a band of considerable talent and an almost-constant turnover of musicians. Still, the Celtic/Soul aspect of the band is very much there and continues
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dexys went through numerous personnel changes over the course of three albums and thirteen singles, with only singer/songwriter/co-founder Kevin Rowland remaining in the band through all of the transitions and only Rowland and “Big” Jim Paterson (trombone) appearing on all of the albums. By 1985, the band consisted only of Rowland and long-standing members Helen O’Hara (violin) and Billy Adams (guitar). The band broke up in 1987, with Rowland becoming a solo artist. After two failed restart attempts, Dexys was reformed by Rowland in 2003 with new members, as well as a few returning members from the band’s original lineup (known as Dexys Mark I). Dexys released their fourth album in 2012 and a fifth followed in 2016.
If you remember the first time you heard or saw Come On Eileen, this concert might ring a few bells. Good times and great music. And lots of Soul.