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A Selection of reviews, quotes and comments about the tour from the delphi community.

It was like that.
 

Also - right at the start of the bass intro to 'The Waltz' - did you not hear a snippet of 'Danny Boy' - or was I imagining it ?

A couple of other highlights for me : The line about 'I'll always keep coming back I promise' in 'Soon', and (you probably weren't aware of this at the front) - as Kevin walked off after saying 'Goodnight' at the end of 'Eileen' - a wave of people rising with arms aloft as if (insert your country of preference here) had nabbed a last minute winner in the World Cup Final - straight up I have NEVER seen a reaction quite like that at a concert before.

I have been in a right bouncy mood this week

Rich Nash

What a difference from Aberdeen! A great venue and a warm(er) audience. Exact same set but much more focussed performance.
A lot of heckling/requests, most of which were ignored. I noticed tonight that a few of the songs have had key changes - lower! - Eileen and This Is What She's Like (I think).
Kevin sounded much more confident and went for a lot of higher notes than he did last night.
Totally wonderfull gig. On a par with The Bridge, better than Don't Stand Me Down, but not as good as Projected Passions (but then I can't be 21 again and nothing will ever be as good as Projected Passions!)
For the final time I will plead - drop the synth. It is there for financial reasons, not artistic, and you can't beat the sound of a full brass section.
Great to have the man back.
How long til the next tour, you reckon?
Gavin

Agree with your choice of venue, the Music Hall is crap, much better off at The Forum, or better still, The Beach Ballroom. Didn't like the seating arrangement although it was probably a request of the band. No drinking in the main hall, what's happened to all the plastic glasses - have the management got fed up replacing them everytime they are thrown towards the stage at other gigs - and what was with the ice cream at half time - it is rock and roll after all.

Despite all my moaning - top quality gig which was enjoyed by all. Been a fan for many years and have been dying to see them and they didn't disappoint.

SBAXT

Well what can I say. What a brill show that was.
Kevin was full of energy and looked relaxed. The singing parternship with pete worked really well.
I last saw Dexy's when I was 14. Now back at the same venue I had a ball. Many thanks to NEIL for swopping that ticket for me. I had a great view of KEV and the gang.

It was nice to meet up with people before the show. Hello to Crannie and all the rest.
For those of you who saw me and the rose I had sticking out of my bag. The rose was delivered to Kevin and also a package that I had for him.
I am still in shock as I have just met the man that shaped all my teengae years and most of my adult ones.
He gave me a lovely hug and I can still smell his aftershave on me even now. HEAVEN...

Helen

Well, what an INCREDIBLE night in Cambridge! Delighted to have had any doubts or fears blasted away with the beauty of it all from the first second! I just sat in tears through the first three tracks - what else could I do? This was such a powerful feeling - what a return. The sound was as amazing as ever. Kevin's range has not deteriorated in any way. His voice just soared. All those discusssions about how rigorous the tour schedule was and the impact it might have? Forgotten. And the ENTHUSIASM! They all looked as if they were having a ball - thet REALLY wanted to be there, and that was the best thing of all. Such rapport between Pete Williams and Kevin Rowland - it was magical to watch. The fusion of brass and strings was perfect - it all worked together so well. Talbot is a master. We were rapt. I couldn't possibly choose a high point - there were far too many. The slight lyrical changes were all so fitting - nothing cheesy here. Every word was meant. Yes, it wasn't the longest of sets, but the theatre and spectacle they packed into that hour-and-a-half was fantastic. And another hour would still have not felt long enough. One amazing evening.

(And Pete Williams is GORGEOUS!! Why had I never noticed?!)

Angie

Hi,
I was at the Basingstoke show, and am also 26. I have been into Dexys for about 12 years, starting with Too-rye-ay and then Don't Stand me down. I never thought I'd get to hear them play live and jumped at the chance when I saw it advertised (just the day before!).
I enjoyed the show, and was impressed how closely the performance resembled the album tracks, considering the reduced ensemble. I agree with some of the comments about including "Because of you" and "Nightshift", but the quality of the rest of the set made up for it. I especially enjoyed "The Waltz" and "This is what she's like".
Top performances and getting to meet Kevin at the end was very unexpected. I don't think the ticket was too expensive (although if you go to every show it might be!) It would have been good to buy some Dexy's merchandise to help evangelise to my friends though.
I will buy any singles that appear, and hopefully we will see future Dexy's tours.
Frazer

Sorry to hear you were disappointed SILEY. Personally I thought it was FANTASTIC.

I think a lot of those disappointed punters might only have been after a straightforward greatest hits show in which case they won't have got what they wanted and it's unfortunate if they feel short changed. I'll confess to being gutted by the ommision of Plan B and although I though Nightshift was a nice amusing touch I'd have prefferred it as an addition to the set rather than at the expense of Liars A to E.

The point is though that this show was so much more than just an 80s nostalgia trip. It may have taken 18 years to get to us but what we have here my friends is another reinvention of DMR. More subtle but no yes passionate, proud of its past but not a slave to it. My Life in England for example stood up amazingly well alongside the older material. I can't wait to hear more new songs.

I suppose it was a shortish set, though 90 minutes isn't that bad. I've seen shorter sets at gigs that cost me more to get into. My belief though is that the time flew by because the gig was so damned good and would still have done so if it'd been three hours. Always leave 'em wanting more I believe the old showbiz adage goes.

This is my first visit to the forum and it's brilliant fun. Hope to come back soon. I'll be at Milton Keynes, London and Leicester shows God willing and I cannot wait. Prior to Leeds I was trepidatious as to whether committing myself to the time and expense of going to four shows was a good idea. Having now seen the first of them my only regret is that I can't be at every show on the tour.

TFLondon

Tonight I testified.

The gig did not really arrive until a couple of hundred of us went to the front & politely told the "bouncers" to go fuck themselves.

Were we in our youthful pomp it would have happened during The Waltz as the gig opened, but most people our age now meekly obey bouncers, so what the hell!

You either believe in Kevin or not, so there is no longer any debate.

Personally, I thought that the re-interpretation of "Turns Green" was gorgeous,

Dexy's are the greatest living intact British band, and how privileged am I to have seen them tonight,

James

(PS: anyone see the 6 yr old kid down the front going mental with Dexys-love?? Blew me away!)

I'll defend anyone's right to say their piece and have their opinion, but I'm just going to have to differ with you here.

I would say that last night was ANYTHING BUT a pedestrian runthrough which I take to be your feeling on it. My lingering memory of the Cambridge show was that Kevin really ENJOYED performing, it was fantastic to see him - and that didn't take away one bit from the intensity of the show. If anything last night was even greater evidence of this. I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to pretend I know or understand intimately what is motivating Kevin at any given time, but from a few feet away the impression I got was of a man who is now (perhaps for the first time) comfortable with his achievements and as willing as ever to open himself up to the audience.

I agree on one or two points - the beer-fetching during a 90-minute show is bloody irritating to put it mildly - and I think it could benefit from a more up-tempo start, but then again we would lose the "build up" effect that is so carefully crafted.

As for the "pantomime" of TIWSL, well you either get it or you don't, which is perhaps true of a lot of Dexys music and especially its performance. The tapestry has always been richer than that, and the tongue-in-cheek (thank God I can use that phrase here without embarrassment after last night!) nature of the exchanges bordering on comedy are very much part of the repertoire.

Perhaps you were looking for a sombre performance reminiscent of '80-'81? Great as it was then, had Dexys produced that last night, that WOULD have been a disappointment - things are moving on, this isn't a revival.

Alan

The concert was amazing. I was a bit worried before hand because of the size of the venue, but they just blew me away. I have to say I have seen Dexys many times and that was one of the best. I don't intend to give a detailed review because others have done it better than I can, but I will just repeat a few words from the Evening Standard review (which I am happy to copy for any one who wants it!)

It is headed

RETURN OF A SOUL LEGEND

I won't put the middle in but it ends

"Among the encores, they covered the post-Lional Richie Commodores' Nightshift and a roll call of Soul legends including Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. In years to come, there will be similar eulogies written about England's greatest soul man, Kevin Rowland."

Nuff said. If John Aizlewood who wrote the review is listening. Top man.

The night would not have been complete without the usual (expensive no doubt!) transatlantic calls to Gina and the recording of Liars A to E left for Tim. Hope it wasn't to bad Tim!!

I was of the opinion before this concert (notwithstanding having seen them in Bristol) that this might be a sort of farewell. Well if Kevin had the look of a man saying farewell then I am a Guardian reader! (sorry Paul) He looked as if he was on cloud nine.

All that is left is to say again nice to meet and greet various people from the various sites, Oh and Grant Bovey! Top chap! He was genuinley pleased to hear Dexys had reformed. Even if he said he would only say that with a chocolate flake in his hand!! *sorry* Unlike a certain comedian who I hope was just awestruck in meeting all of us.;-))

So on to coventry! I hope this never ends!!!

My first post also. O.K so Plymouth may not have been a good crowd; it seemed the majority of people were Eileen-era people rather than full-on fans. But for me it was an incredible, wonder-full experience, the (current)culimination of 24 years of Dexys being my inspiration, and the first time I'd seen them live. Does anyone remember '85. I mean, can I reminisce? See I've been burning for a long time; Let me go back exactly 18 years if I may, to November '85. I'm on my way to see Dexys in Southampton. They've released their best album to date and whilst I'm not in Ivy League clothes I did get the phone number of Ivy League Sports Ltd. in E8. I'd been a fan since Dance Stance and Kev's 'front crawl' on TOTP. Anyway, we,re driving past Bere Regis in Dorset, a friend driving, when she sees an injured dog by the roadside. "You love nature, don't you?" I may have said, as she asked if I minded if she drove round the dual carriageway loop so I could check for her whether it was dead. So we slow down in the dark, my head out the window loooking at a very dead badger when a speeding car ploughs into the back of us! Within 3 minutes a police car has drawn up and P.C. Barrington (or some such name) is calling the station to say that "the dog is a badger but there is now a 2 vehicle R.T.A. here." Being the considerate officer that he is, he drives us to the nearest train station in hopes that we can catch a train instead. We get there just in time... to see a train disappearing into the distance.
So, forward to now, and a sight I never thought I'd see. We arrive early - having driven very cautiously, ready to run over anything even vaguely resembling a badger. I want to check out the 'crowd' to see who's made an effort to dress up. (I'm in Burton's docker look and my wife in Tesco gangster chic). The main look seems to be yellow-shirted bouncer; though later this was overtaken by a horde of St. John's ambulance brigade - about 10 either side of the hall. Did they expect a fight, or an age related death or two?
A very incongruous support was soon gone, at least she said she'd enjoyed herself! Then the moment I'd waited for, for so long - "The Waltz" was fucking brilliant and thank God they didn't open with a "crowd pleaser". Fuck the crowd, this is personal. For me the less enjoyable tracks were Old, Geno and Eileen, which proves I was never one of a crowd. I'd have liked to have heard something like Reminisce Parts 3-5 instead of those. Or how about Labelled with Love - that would have freaked any "good-time" fans. Every song was great and Pete Williams was amazing - yes, he does still believe. Kev didn't try the high notes but for me it was always his ideas and soul that sung rather than his voice-the spirit is willing.
I felt fully compensated for missing the '85 gig - particularly by their (Oscar-winning?) Officer and Gentleman skit, a truly arresting performance. The other high points- apart from everything - were the clever insertion of Lights Turn Green in UIBIMS and the subtle lyric changes. No - I wasn't up there dancing, though I,m glad others did -the high 5 looked great! This was the only concert I was going to and I wanted to see every move and catch every nuance. But I gave a standing ovation several times, though my cheer at the intro of COE was not for the song but for Kev's reply to someone's call of "Cheer up Kev" - in deadpan voice "I'm alright". Soon was simply the best (though other songs were also the best!) With the so-easily missed line "No need for fame" (I don't lip read myself, you understand, but I know someone who does).
Keep on coming back Kev - You promised!

 
The Return of dexys--Portsmouth Guildhall, October 21st, 2003
 

My name is Tim Webb.

I am 34 years old, and I sort of created this site.On Tuesday night my life was changed forever.Here is my story.

My story starts on Monday evening, in fact to be honest, the story started as soon as I had it confirmed that "Oy Tim, you know that band you like? well, they are reforming", that was a long time ago.Monday evening, late, struggling to sleep,"what would they sound like without Billy/Helen/the brass section/the fiddle section/Will Kev REALLY be smiling and enjoying himself?" those thoughts kept flowing through my mind, ALL NIGHT, couldn't sleep, looked out of the window, it was light and it was Tuesday morning.

Next, what shall i wear?!! In the end I decided "black formal" would be appropriate, black jeans,blue "pin stripped shirt",black 3/4 leather,black shoes(shined of course).Ok, now check my mates number, YES!, he's still coming."You have checked your car is ok?" was my first words to him as I nervously phoned him on his mobile."shut up you tart!" was his friendly reply.gathered my brothers and their other halves, their mates, my mates.Three car convoy to Pompey ready to roll!

Strangly, the M27 just flowed to Pompey, normally there are delays, we had left it late leaving due to my mates girlfriend having a strop with him, but we were now approaching the Guildhall.Found a car park at the back of Yates, and off we went.As I gave my ticket to the attendant, I was shaking, excitement, nerves, where is everybody.OK, Better check my seat first, I was in the stalls, as far left as you could get, 4 rows back from the speakers, in fact, we had "proper" chairs, Maybe they had heard of "SR1" and it was a special seating arrangement? Or maybe they just got the numbers wrong! anyway, To the bar!

Not many in the bar, straight there, 3 pints for me and my two bruvs, the rest bought their own(hey! they are not family!) Announcement came that part 1 of the show would start in 5 minutes.Gulped down my pint, and I took my place.

A Guy comes on stage with two guitars(John James Newman) and has a little 20 to 25 minute set.A couple of good songs(bit slushy for my taste though) and that was part one over with.Back to the bar!!

Bloody hell! It's PACKED in here!, struggles to the bar, get drinks, some of us sit down to the right of the bar, I stand with my two brothers.I am about a foot behind a group of blokes, all dressed smartly in suits.One was dressed immaculately in blue pin stipes,white tie, and a walking cane(Vinny et all,sorry I couldn't find the words)Smoking a fag now, gulping down my pint, then the announcement came:

"The show will start in 5 minutes"

We all "power walked" to our seats.

I'd hazard a guess there was between 500 and 600 people there, the lights went down, you could make out the band on stage, cue rapturous applause, then the bassline to "The waltz" started.More applause...

From my vantage point, I could clearly see Kev in the wings, he started to sing,, shivers went down my spine, the lighting crew were working overtime on this show.It was semi dark except for one spotlight that focused on kev as he delivered his stunning vocals, then...on comes Pete Wiliams.All of the band are dressed as in the picture on the start page.Pete's vocals were of top quality, note perfect, Kev's falsetto my have matured but he has an able friend with him now.Perfect harmony.They swapped lines, back and forth, an evening vocal duel, the trombone playing of Paul Taylor, so passionate, the shear delightfulness of Lucy Morgan's violin, maybe a tad nervous at first to be involved with dexys, but she played her heart out.She is a midnight runner, they all are.

Then comes a excellent "Let's make this precious", it's all there, passion, emotion, so strong, I am slapping my leg forcefully(too forcefully as I later found out) This is MAGIC! God! I am so happy! Then the songs came thick and fast:

A version of Liars A to E, that I am sure I have heard different pieces of, all in one place, all together, so pure, so Honest, so fucking magic! then one of my favourite songs starts, "Soon"...I was very near to bursting out crying when the moment was spoilt by two stupid bloody students sat behind me TALKING LOUDLY saying "ohh, this is soooo boring, can we go" i was my usual nice self and told them nicely to "shut the fuck up", the site of this strange skinhead with a wild stare and a gap in his tooth seemed to sooth their boredom(and they had dugarees on) then...

GENO!!!!

WHAT A VERSION!

Interspersed with thoughts from Kevin, Geno Washington,Michael the lover,Geno,My dexys my high, this IS A REAL HIGH! then the song which (i hope) will be the new dexys single: "My Life in England", not many around me knew the words, i did, I sang it.(Im sure kev looked my way thinking "eh? he is singing it?")The mind does play tricks on you though.

Then Paul started with the famous intro to "Until I believe in my soul" and I was now smashed into orbit! What a show! All different versions of this classic roled into one, Pete Williams comes on stage dressed up as a copper, asks Kevin about his burning.When did it start?.

"Oh between 1970 and '93" replied Kev! "What!" shouts Pete, "That's out of my juristiction!" Excellent funny emotional passionate stuff! mixed in with an updated version of "Tell me when my light turns green"(with pale green lighting effect) back to Until I believe and then.....

Come On Eileen!

(I must admit, at this point I was bursting for a piss, I had to relieve myself(in the BOGS!) but I ran there, did it, ran back, in time for the ending chorus!)

The place WAS ROCKING, the students I had told off earlier were at the front of the stage dancing, bloody hell!, everybody had SMILES, this was a very different dexys gig to the ones I remember!

Then, as with the Newcastle version and many other past shows, Kevin says "goodnight" at the end of Eileen, and people are standing, clapping, shouting, I tried to get a dexys chant going but I got stitched up!It's gone very dark......

.......

Then the encore!

Because of you(with me screaming back "You love nature") as in the style performed at the radio 2 gig in Newcastle, then a wonderful version of "This is what she's like", more screaming/clapping/shouting.and then it was over.Tears in my eyes, Kevin thanked everyone, I held up one hand and made a "you are number 1" sign to Kevin, I am sure he nodded and smiled at me, but, the mind does play tricks you know.

and that was that.

It was pouring down outside, we didnt care, I was on cloud 9, I smiled all the way back.This was one of the greatest nights in my life.It may have finished outside in floods of rain but I knew why.On this night, there could only be one reason.

God was crying tears of joy.

 

Tim

SR1

Well i have just come back from the Basingstoke show and wow!!!!!!!
KR & co are definetly getting better as the tour goes on (despite what Siley says - see my reply to him!!)
We were at the front row and we could tell that KR was "up 4 it tonight" definetly.
The Anvil holds about 1000 of which about 900 or so were there. It was a nice modern venue with a good sound PA and the seats were well laid out if you like that kind of thing. But better than ever tonight was the crowd, or their attitude. It was near to spot on tonight. I didn't personally hear one heckler - not that KR really would have cared. But the band semmed more upbeat in their tempo and big Kev actually enjoyed the crowd reaction to his songs, frequently taking a bow at the end of every song and enjoying raptourous and often raucous applause. Nige was there in the font row and he will second this!
Well done also to the lads from Shaftesbury who helped to make it a great night tonight - great dancing lads, lets have MORE!!!!!!
Yes the theatrical part with Pete was great as ever with myself and my mate Village trying to re-anact the part after the show in the pub in our best Brummie accents. Sorry Brummies, but we are now quickly growing pencil-line tashes ready for the next show (at Guildford for us)so we can play the part better!!
So once again that was a terrific performance - it seems the band are getting more confident the longer the show goes on.
I just they don't BURN OUT too SOON - Has anyone else got any thoughts on what a memorable performance it was tonight?
Stokesy

Hi all,
I have loved Dexys dearly for 20 odd years, and continue to, and therefore it hurt me to witness the sad decline of Kevin.
The simple truth is that he has lost his voice. Also as he said in the police interchange bit, he stopped the burning back in 93. No voice and no passion, with a bunch of mostly stand-in session musicians as the band meant the show was mostly an embarrassment given the rich heritage of the band.
I really felt for Kevin, having to rely on a side-kick to sing half of the his lines. No wonder he had no soul - it must be a really dispiriting thing to experience.

Sometimes the truth hurts, and this truth really does hurt.

Sadly,
Marek

probably the best gig of my life. Precious, Manhood, Eileen.... really impressed with Pete Williams and Mick T.

It was very emotional wasn't it? I thought it was just me. The whole crowd seemed to be full of passion.

They got it straight from the start.

Eamonn

Well, I thought that was incredible. I saw the Basingstoke show, and enjoyed it immensely, but London was so much better. Kevin really found his confidence, and really went for the high notes instead of leaving them to Pete. I loved the way he kept triumphantly clenching his fists at the end, like a prize fighter who'd just won the world heavyweight belt. A real treat to hear "Liars A To E" and "Manhood" as well (we didn't get those at Basingstoke).

I don't understand this disdain for "Come On Eileen" being a 'crowdpleaser' or whatever. Yes it's a shame that the world at large only knows Dexys for this and maybe 2 or 3 other songs, and yes it's a shame that a percentage of the crowd come to the shows only for that. But let me tell you, life is much more fun when you stop worrying about that, come out the other side, and appreciate "Eileen" for what it is: i.e. one of the all-time great pop songs, and a joyous expression of carnal lust. I get the feeling that's what KEVIN'S done...

Went along to the aftershow. Didn't stay too long, because it was in some godawful poncey West End bar where they charge 5.20 for a JD & Coke, but I saw an elderly couple in the corner who I swear were Kevin's parents, as seen in the "My National Pride" video. (I hope it *was* them, and I haven't just put my foot in it). Sweet.

My favourite moment tonight: "Well, you know the kind of people who put creases in their old Levis... I wouldn't get so worked up about it now, but this was the 80s, you know?"

This is from the perspective of a guy who never got to see Dexy's live back in the day (too young) so has nothing to compare it to apart from the thousands of other gigs I've been to.

Top gig, usual monkey security that have their orders but are eventually overwhelmed by the vibe of the crowd. The RFH can inhibit people sometimes ("a bit posh" to quote a mate) but the fact that the stage was higher than usual suggested the band welcomed peeps standing at the front.

Anyways--the show! Wonderful to these songs live. especially the DSMD songs and This Is What She's Like with all the passion and abandon of the record. Rather than pantomime I found those bits funny and touching in parts. Overall I felt the show was fun, moving and a damned good time. And that version of "turn green" was wonderful. I kinda liked the opening of the show,sort of faded the show up slowly
from the "round the campfire at night" start.

Got an excellent recording of the show (great sound in the place as always) if anyone wants to trade for any other audio or video from the tour

Only time I've ever seen Kev on stage was at Reading Festival in 1999.
Not a happy experience as it was the wrong crowd and he just looked really uncomfortable up there. Last nite I thought he looked confident and happy, his shaking of fists when they came back on stage as we roared was like a victory salute. This wasn't a nostalgic rolling out the hits fer the money excercise--I'd echo Alan's impression of Kev delighting in being in front of such a receptive crowd

Yes there were people there who were bored except for Eileen and Geno but that is their loss. Me,I had a great time!

They do a few new bits and its a bit strange but once they get into the greatest hits they are on safe ground. So for your money you get Make this Precious, a slowed down Geno and a rabble rousing version of Come On Eileen. Some of the obvious hits are missing.

They get called out again twice, and the encores include Because of You. The response is amazing I have never seen such a response to any band before.

It was an all seated gig but they were all standing and going mad when Eileen kicked in!

Great fun.

My first post! I didnt see any stuff for Plymouth so I thought I'd let everyone know how it was.

I was at the amazing genius heartrending tearful Bristol gig - like some returning hero taking the stage and the atmosphere was amazing. So me and my mate Jon thought we've got to see another and Plymouth seemed the natural choice.

Plymouth was very different! For a start the venue was some big concrete box that seemed to be playing host to every dodgy retro band doing the rounds.we had our drinks surronded by yellow shirted corporate bouncers and smiley posters for "Michael Frigging Ball" (his actual name!!)

It was so big that the 'modest' crowd looked very sparse so you could sense a different atmosphere on stage straightaway - a kind of "This could be tricky" look in the guys eyes.

The band did their best but what was almost 'audience participation' in Bristol was just stared at by the majority of the audience - altho I'm sure it WAS being enjoyed in a quiet and repectful way!

Kevin tried his heart out and when "come on eileen" roared out - up came a lot of the crowd and the fun began (well in the front few rows) - pity it was so late on.

I really enjoyed it - god i got a high five from the great man! and his set list! but i spent most of the time worrying about the reaction and the crowd and the band - and 'is this the gig where Kevin gives it all up again!?!?'

Lesson One - when in plymouth start with obvious crowd pleaser? i know its not cool - so please dont!

Lesson Two - I love cramped sold out gigs in shit holes where you have to stand up and your back hurts and you sweat - anywhere with atmosphere - whoever booked this place made a big mistake and is THE person most responsible - same crowd, same band, same music in different venue and we would have had something to rival bristol.

To sum up - thanks for trying so hard Kevin - it was a very special night for a lot of us - but probably not for you! Play in the backroom of some pub when you next go to devon and we would have 'legendary night' on our hands - although probably a small payday for your band.

Hello all

I was there! I never thought I'd get the chance to see Dexys live or even Kevin for that matter. I'm sure I must have been to gigs as good in the past but I can't remember what they were..! The sound itself was possibly the best I've experienced for a gig and the mix was pretty much perfect throughout.

I was particularly impressed by the way keyboard brass and strings were blended with the 'real' trombone and violin/viola; it added depth to the acoustic instruments. I'd been looking forward to hearing the classic Dexys brass sound and despite the lack of brass section, I felt it worked extremely well. Given that Dexys account for a lot of the brass sounds available on sample CDs, it's quite neat that they're using technology to boost their live sound so effectively.

Most importantly, it was great to see Kevin in such good form. The interplay between him and Pete was both touching and amusing. Vocally they complemented one another just as you'd wish, too. The whole band gelled so well and what a fantastic guitar sound! Credit to Mick too for keeping it all ticking over smoothly...

There are songs that I would have liked them to play but none that I wish they hadn't, which can only be a good sign. And three songs in we got 'Listen To This/I Love You', the greatest single that never was! I actually think some of the renditions last night were definitive performances of the songs in question and it's not often a gig offers that.

Thank you, Kevin.

Manchester
 
Possibly the best gig i've ever been to! I'd read all your reviews and was a little apprehensive when reading about KR being quiet - well last night he was awesome. The crowd was large and as soon as I Love You startted noone was seated and there a great crowd by the stage. The band seemed to revel in this. The start with 'The Waltz' was so moving - my friend and I almost shed tears!!!!! Unbelieveable gig! Can't wait for tonight in Liverpool now! Thanks Kevin!
Evanlyonais

I've attended Leeds, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Newcastle. All have been outstanding, but the week gap between Leeds and the next three saw the performances of both front men and the band ratcheted up several notches on the quality scale.

I thought Glasgow had a marvellous atmosphere which Kevin and Pete fed from. The venue was just right and the audience was in devoted celebration mode.

Manhood made its debut at Newcastle the following night, and it was greeted as vociferously as Geno or Light Turns Green. Everybody seemed to know the words - there seem to be more copies of those '92 demos out there than I thought.

This is an act playing on top form now. It seems that the London show will be the one chosen for the DVD filming. With a capacity audience and the band at its most cooking, it should be incendiary.

By the final night at Leicester, the 2003 Dexys tour will be up there with any great live moments you or I have ever experienced. last night of the tour too. I hope for drunken roadies, buckets of confetti and a comedy tail pinned to Kevin's fur coat.

They've made this precious.

Thank you.

My first Dexys live experience last night, and I thought it would have to be something special to live up to the expectations of the last twenty odd years.

And it did. The opening 15 minutes just totally blew me away. There was so much to take in: the look of the band, the Rowland/Williams exchanges, the reworked songs. For those who haven't seen Dexys, they are incredibly well drilled and disciplined, and this looked like a band on top form. It really was a performance in every respect, with the Rowland/Williams dialogues during Until I Believe In My Soul superbly delivered.

There were several occasions when one song transformed on a single beat into another, and Tell Me When My Light Turns Green even turned up in the middle of UIBIMS. That was a mark of the level of their performance - a bit like Kevin himself: light of foot, constantly catching you off your guard.

It would be interesting to see how last night compared with other shows. I thought Kevin seemed relaxed, good-humoured and gave a completely committed performance. My one complaint would be the inclusion of Because Of You, which I think is a poor Dexys song, made worse by association with a crap TV sitcom. A definte lowering of the brand value.

Also, I would say from the set list last night that My Life In England is the new single - it came after COE, when the crowd had been nicely set up.

In short, a memorable and stirring night, no disappointments and you are in for one hell of a treat if you haven't caught this tour yet. Enjoy.

Hark O'Harks

I went to Basingstoke last night. Having read several reviews of the shows thus far on the fan sites(which are all, obviously written by fans) I thought I might offer an opinion from a slightly different perspective. I am not a Dexys fan, I am a music fan who happens to like the Dexys albums. Im also 26 years old. As such, I think Im in a small minority of the current audience.
Dexys are not, nor ever have been a nostalgia act. Part of Kevin Rowlands genius is in his ability to reinvent the sound and image of his band. However given the length of time since the last tour, and the lack of new material a nostalgia act is what Dexys could so easily have become. It is that fact which makes this evenings performance so impressive. Rowland and his newly assembled band produce a show which in its very attitude and structure runs like a 21st century revision of Dexys career. They are here not to revisit old territory but to look back upon it and present it to us as something new and revitalized. One would imagine this is how Rowland would present these tunes had he written them yesterday and not 20 years ago. And it works. Having never seen Dexys, and having only been introduced to them recently it was difficult to know what to expect. In the context of the current musical scene, which is how these concerts should be viewed, what is being presented by Dexys is something very special indeed.
From the opening The Waltz to the closer Whats she Like? it is obvious that whatever brought around this reformation, they certainly arent in it just for the money. Sure, it doesnt sound like the records, and Rowlands voice aint what it was, but the passion present in this performance is immense. Who else could get away with the policeman scene during the catharsis ofUntil I believe in my soul? He even almost manages to get away with an insipid cover of Nightshift(unnecessary and the only low-light). Geno and Eileen are both stunning and Tell me When my light turns green still sounds like the desperate soul-searching of a 23yr old.
So they were good. Very good. It just a shame they wont reach a greater audience. I was the only person at the gig I could see who was under 35. If the tour had been promoted effectively and the choices of venues been different who knows? Certainly there is a capacity for this tour to have reached a much wider audience, and it doubtlessly deserves it, but hasnt Kev Rowland always been his own worst enemy(see the farce over the Manhood single release for proof of this)?
They will, I feel, remain the only band Ive ever seen who seem as if they are playing, and exist, personally for you. When Rowland states during Because of You that Kevs gonna see you through you feel as if he genuinely means it.
So a special band back in a very special way. Well done to em. If you dont have a ticket, find one and forget this band ever existed in the 70s or 80s and welcome the new soul vision. And ignore the critics who want Kev to smile and wave and play it like they did in 82
JonnyP4

Jumpin Jesus What an amazing Gig!
I've been a fan for only 4-5 years now but that was just stunning.
I am of course refering to Dexys at Vicar Street on Saturday night 15th Nov 2003. The love that was so evident in that room was at times overwhelming for band and crowd alike. For Kevin Rowland to play in front of his relatives from Mayo and Dublin, it was a little more special. I hope thats not the last we see of this incarnation of Dexys, they are truly something special. Pete Williams sings like an angel and Kevin knocked em dead with every line.
Great hugely positive review in the Irish Times today as well. The reviewer summed it up by saying that at last along comes a reunion tour that surpasses all expectaions. Lets make this precious? They fucking did you know.

It did have its moments but not enough... I had my head in my hands at times - expected a bit more effort, and forgot how wanky the crowd can be at the RFH. Call me a grumpy old man but I can't understand why people go to gigs like this and then spend the whole time going out for a piss or to get more beers - it's only 90 minutes, don't they want to focus on the show? Then you get the tosspots who feel they have to demonstrate to the rest of the audience that they like Kev the most so they melodramatically stand up to applaud, or make elobarate bowing gestures. I don't mind the standing up - but let's all do it, or all sit down. It's just pathetic when everyone's sat there concentrating on the first half of the show, then stand up because they actually recognise one (geno) then all sit down again or go for a piss at the end of it. Anyway, crowd rant over.

Waltz/Old were good but surely something storming would've been a better start to the show. Precious was good, and Listen To This. Geno, COE and Because were perfunctory crowd-pleasers - would have been a better show without them. Soon was a good example of the subvtle changes in lyrics and tempo introduced during the show, but also an example of over-use of Pete (who just is not cool - dances like he's on Saturday Night At The Seaside). Interesting Lights Turn Green in the middle of a stupid Until I Believe - just amateur, embarrassing panto stuff - slightly redeemed by a storming last 30 seconds with the whole band at the front of the stage. That is the vibe I expected from the whole show. MLIE was awful - a very weak song during which a lot of people went for a wander.

Would have been worth it though just for the 15 minute What's She Like encore - tremendous, with Kevin marching back and fore across the stage at the end and the crowd going wild. A great ending to the show which could easily have been stretched another 5 minutes or so.

Then back out again to rapturous applause which Kev soaked up for a minute and it was really quite touching.... then the whole mood was lost with a pedestrian run through of Nightshift and only partially retrieved with Manhood.

Band were ok - guitarist particularly good - but should have been beefed up with more brass and possibly another violin.

All in all, not to be missed, and brief flashes of former glory, but a missed opportunity. More effort next term please.

I was at the London show at the Royal Festival Hall on Monday (and also at The Stables out in the English countryside near to Milton Keynes the following night) and I can confirm all of what you wrote about Kev @ London was correct.

Both shows were astonishing in their beauty; their soaring, emotional and soulful vibe was just truly a wonder and I feel proud to have seen two of the shows (so far!).

I personally felt that Kevin was astonished by the level of the ovation the band received at the end of both shows and he ended both nights looking like a cherubic schoolboy, punching the air with his fists and shouting "Yessss!" over the mike because it really was that kind of triumph.

Maybe he was unsure how the masses would react to his re-interpretations and re-sculpting of these much-revered old tunes but he needn't have worried - people were mesmerised and turned on big time.

Shame there was no enlarged brass section but that is the only MINOR negative I can mention because the band sounded awesome, conducted and channelled into good vibration territory by Mick Talbot.

The show is exactly that: a real SHOW with dramatic cathartic cabaret moments that are not uncool but just grab your attention and keep you spellbound.

I went to the London show with members (past & past) of my own band DC Fontana and we all left the building (genuinely) with tears streaming down our faces.

There was that magic hanging in the air again; that tangible, cosmic & bewitching vibe that is seldom prolific in pop and rock and yet when you get is slap in the face it infiltrates you like osmosis and it permeates every part of your conscious taking you on, up-lifting you, making your heart soar and break at different times.

And that's the thing about special gigs like these . . . they have that mix of colour and (the muso terms of) peaks and troughs but in great dollops of determined intensity.

So your mood swings become dilated and its that electric sensation of being transported roller-coaster style through this two-hour of cataclysmic emotional movement that gets you thinking: "Geeeee! This shit is gooood man!"

Dexy's music can be ice-cold isolationist and starkly personal in one moment and then amazingly communual and rabble-rousingly "everyday" the next ("Come On Eileen" is after all one of those most-over-played "wedding party" type songs and has been absorbed into the actual fabric, sub-conscious and soul of British society whether you're a dude or a dickhead).

I also like the way that on one level they were-are a great pop band and yet, like all great artists, on another level they are burrowing beneath your skin and challenging you to think, encouraging you to ask questions of them, their music and yourself.

We were emotionally affected, up-lifted and taken on this roller-coaster of emotion....

It's also worth mentioning that during "Eileen" he said something along the lines of "I've been singing this song for 21 years and I felt I had to come back to say sorry!"

His atonement seems to be the irony of getting over his embarrassment of the song's huge commercial success and realising that he has made a vast number of people very very happy by creating that pop anthem of the 80s and by, maybe (perhaps, just perhaps) realising that at the end of the day it is, after all, just pop music!!!

This tour seems to be cathartic on different levels for K.and it has certainly - in the two shows I have seen - affected me deeply (without wishing to sound deeply pretentious) while large numbers of people at both venues also seemed tearful and moved.

At Milton Keynes he seemed more playful, more smiley and genuinely touched by this out-pouring of genuine affection and love from the public.

One can only hope that this will now spur him on to produce something new (an album?) and that he will "keep coming back" as he promises during the re-written version of "Soon" from the current tour.

There can be no doubt now what Kevin Rowland means to the Great British public.

We love him - his faults, his highs and his lows are all entwined into his complex persona and it's exactlty that which is badly needed in the music scene of today (in the similar way that another character like Julian Cope is sadly missed to some extent, although Copey does bounce back every now and then when he feels up to it).

Mark Mortimer
writing from the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mercia Tamworth (or Tam'uth to locals!) in middle England.

Thankyou everyone for your views.