I’ve long thought Dexys Midnight Runners were one of the great misunderstood bands of the ’80s. Mostly remembered for ‘Come on Eileen’, a song most people treat as a novelty single, they were actually much more than that, managing to combine the energy of bands like The Pogues, the Celtic Romanticism of Van Morrison and an odd combination of anger and passion that was very much their own. It’s a combination that’s most obviously on show on their most successful album, Too-Rye-Aye, and its commercially disastrous follow-up, Don’t Stand Me Down (an album which these days sounds like a model for creations like Josh T. Pearson’s glorious Last Of The Country Gentlemen).
All of which makes it oddly exciting to hear Dexys (now sans not just the possessive apostrophe but the Midnight Runners as well) are back with an album The Guardian is saying is nothing short of brilliant. There’s a long interview with lead singer and songwriter Kevin Rowland and – even more excitingly – a new single, ‘Nowhere is Home’, which is full of the questing passion and anger that makes the best of their back catalogue so electric. You can hear the single below, but I’ve also pulled out two other tracks that are well worth hearing, ‘Let’s Make This Precious’, from Too-Rye-Aye and ‘That’s What She’s Like’ from Don’t Stand Me Down. So enjoy (and be sure to check out the drummer’s decision to get back to sartorial basics in ‘That’s What She’s Like’).