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Dexys

Queens Hall, Edinburgh
5 stars
When Kevin Rowland's latest incarnation of soul brothers and sisters 
appeared live in May, One Day I'm Going To Soar, the first Dexys album 
for twenty-seven years, had yet to be released. Four months on, the 
album's eleven songs played in order sound like a pub theatre musical 
in waiting. Emotional and geographical exile, romantic yearning, 
fear of commitment and sheer hormone-popping lust are all in Rowland's 
loose-knit psycho-drama, pulsed by the music's joyously libidinous 
thrust.

It opens in darkness, with keyboardist Mick Talbot playing an 
after-hours piano motif before the band burst into life and the lights 
go up on Rowland and co sporting various shades of Cotton Club 
depression chic in front of a big red velvet curtain. Rowland 
pimp-rolls the stage in synch with the music, or else sits astride a 
wooden chair for the ballads. For She's Got A Wiggle he and vocal foil 
Pete Williams conspire like the Dead End kids over celluloid images of 
Madeleine Hyland, the Bettie Page-alike singer and actress from 
guerilla performance troupe Factory Theatre, who in the flesh spars 
hammily with Rowland on Incapable of Love. Eventually, on Free, Rowland 
finds the sort of liberation through self-inflicted pain northern soul 
was built on.

But that's just the first act. The second rewinds for a well-worn 
routine with Williams dressed as a copper;  trombonist Big Jim Paterson 
duels with fiddler Lucy Morgan on a glorious Tell Me when My Light 
Turns Green; and an extended Come on Eileen sounds heaven-sent. As 
Hyland sashays back onstage like a classic B-movie diva during an epic 
This Is What She's Like, Rowland may be on his knees, but Dexys return 
is a triumph.

The Herald, September 20th 2012

ends




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