Posts Tagged ‘Dexys Midnight Runners’

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Cementing his reputation as one of pop’s greatest contrarians, Dexys’ Kevin Rowland reacted to the huge success of Come On Eileen and Too-Rye-Ay by composing this whopper for belated follow-up album Don’t Stand Me Down. The opening couldn’t be more inauspicious – a minute of stilted, mundane, weirdly passive-aggressive chit-chat between Rowland and guitarist Billy Adams. But when the band kicks in, it’s glorious; an extended hymn to the inexplicable mania of new love, with an extended dig at ignorant poshos and “newly wealthy peasants” thrown in for good measure. Derided at the time, This Is What She’s Like finally found its natural place when closing out Dexys’ triumphant 2013 shows at London’s Duke of York theatre.

The return of Kevin Rowlands and a newly reinvigorated Dexys was one of the best things that happened to music in 2012. Backed by Pete Williams and Big Jim Paterson from the original line-up and with the addition of the Style Council’s Mick Talbot and the stunning new female vocalist Madeline Hyland their album “One day Im going to soar” was not just great it was in this reviewers humble opinion the best of the year. Equally it was outrage that a piece of music this good couldn’t get nominated for the increasingly irrelevant Mercury Prize. Rowland presented a work based around a loose concept of such sheer coherence that the yawning gap between “One Day” and his other great masterwork “Don’t Stand me down” was effectively bridged with no drop in quality. The bands gigs were on fire where they played the whole of the new album, an extra extended “Come on Eileen” and the storming show stopper “This is What She’s Like” where Kevin Rowland spat out the line “Well you know that the English Upper Classes are thick and ignorant”. The song of the evening however and of the new album was “She’s got a Wiggle”. It sounds like the daftest title of all time yet it is perfect. A four minute blast of British soul music as pulsating and sexy as anything Al Green produced to whom it owes an undoubted debt. Kevin Rowlands voice has got better with age and Madeline Hyland’s backing hits the spot. In a decent and fair world songs like this with bands playing in the flesh without massive production would be the default listening pleasure for all music lovers.