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Kevin Rowland Of Dexys Midnight Runners – in Punk Band The Killjoys.

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.

Dexys Midnight Runners in 1980.

Go on, boys – smile. Dexys Midnight Runners in a classic Dexys pose in 1980.

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.

Bombed out punk and new wave bands punk memoir punk bands in the 1970s gil weston kevin rowland the killjoys

Gil Weston, the Killjoys’ bass player.

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.

Bombed out punk and new wave bands punk memoir punk bands in the 1970s gil weston kevin rowland the killjoys

The Killjoys’ single cover for Johnny Won’t Get to Heaven.

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.

Bombed out punk and new wave bands punk memoir punk bands in the 1970s gil weston kevin rowland the killjoys

The Killjoys onstage in the late 1970s.

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.

The Killjoys-Johnny Won`t Get To Heaven

Dexys Midnight Runners – Burn It Down

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 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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