Kevin Rowland Of Dexys Midnight Runners – in Punk Band The Killjoys.
Above Photo: Kevin Rowland and Gil Weston of The Killjoys.
I was recently reminded of Kevin Rowland’s Punk music past before Dexys Midnight Runners hit the big time, when I stumbled on a video of Birmingham Punk band the Killjoys, in which he was the lead singer.
The Killjoys formed in 1976, but the band subsequently disintegrated amidst much personal hatred and feuding between Rowland and the other members.
Two interesting facts seemed to have exacerbated the Killjoys’ demise; namely that Rowland enforced eight-hour rehearsal sessions, which would have seen him lynched in Liverpool bands back then, and that he rejected a £20,000 contract with a record company (which was a massive wedge in those days) because it was singles-only deal.
After that, Rowland went on to form Dexys Midnight Runners.
I’ve added a link below to Burn It Down,which was the opening track on Dexy’s superb first album ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels’ which they brought out in 1980. What I also like about this track is it samples Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water, Rat Race by the Specials and the Sex Pistols’ Holidays in the Sun during the opening radio station switching segment.
Dexys must have been one of the first British bands to sample tracks like this, and I often wonder whether they got hit for massive royalty claims afterwards.
I mention in Bombed Out! that I saw Dexys Midnight Runners play Eric’s Club, Liverpool in 1979, and thought they were an excellent band. Kevin Rowland had tons of Attitude even back then, and they played a memorable set that night.
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Below is a short You Tube video of a Killjoys gig, followed by the superb Burn It Down.