Dexys Midnight Runners – The London Video Locations of Come On Eileen.
Above Photo: “Things round here have changed” – Kevin Rowland in a screen capture from the Come On Eileen video, dancing outside Vi’s Stores.
I watched the video to Dexys Midnight Runners’ Come On Eileen single recently, and then went on Google Street View to locate some of the locations shown in the video.
The song, co-produced by a former Eric’s member, Clive Langer, was the band’s second Number 1 in the UK in 1982 (I much preferred ‘Geno’ the previous year). As I mention in my Punk and New Wave music memoir, Bombed Out!, I’d seen Dexys perform in Eric’s in 1979 and I’d liked them, but I didn’t like their image first showcased in this video.
The video was shot very close to Waterloo Station in London (an area that is also unusually referenced in Bombed Out! a couple of times). Unfortunately, many of the houses featured in the video were demolished as part of some no doubt bent urban regeneration scheme, where perfectly good, well-built Victorian homes were razed and replaced by a load of modern, poorly-built rubbish so developers and their friends in the UK’s city councils could get rich in the 1970s and 1980s.
You can see some of this ‘regeneration’ going on in some of the scenes in the Dexys’ video.
The shop in the video (back then called ‘Vi’s Stores’) is located on the corner of Brook Drive and Hayles Street.
Later in the video you see the band hanging out at what is the corner of Brook Drive and Austral Street.
Note the low wall is still there, the two windows to the right, even some unusual square-shaped white coloured brick to the right of the windows, although the road sign has gone:
While the band are in this location, you also see a pub glimpsed through their dancing feet:
And the same building today, on the right, with the same corner of Brook Drive and Austral Street on the left:
The name ‘Dexys’ was the common abbreviation of ‘Dexedrine’, a brand of amphetamines popularly used in Northern Soul clubs in the 1970s.
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