Dexys live at The Olympia on Thursday 2nd of May 2013|Review
Homer: Lisa, did you see the Grammy’s?
Lisa: You beat Dexys Midnight Runners.
Homer: Well, you haven’t heard the last of them.
Those words, uttered in 1993, highlight how, even then, Dexys Midnight Runners were becoming the butt of some jokes. And now, almost twenty years later, with little or no activity in between, it’s not hard to see where the jokes could have come from.
They may have been respected band adored in the past but given the quality of their new album and the standard of their display on the night, it’s hard to see where that came from. Not that the majority of the crowd noticed. As they finished up with the performance of ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’, from their new album, they were given a standing ovation by 90% of the crowd.
Lead singer Kevin Rowland’s vocal performance, whose Irish ancestry gives him a special place in the hearts of the Irish, was unfortunately lacklustre. You can’t argue that its tone is unique but it’s just out of practice and shaky in all the wrong places – it doesn’t pack any punch.
The first half of their set is made up of their new album and it tells the story of a man chasing a beautiful woman, which is an awfully clichéd idea. And to use an equally clichéd phrase, it’s a story as old as time itself. To make a story so well trodden come alive you have to add flavour to make it different. Dexys tried to do that. They acted out the songs onstage and tried to make them come alive. But the acting was so ham-fisted and overwrought that you could almost taste it.
All that was put forward before you got to the better parts of Dexy’s back catalogue, which they trod out with much more confidence, but little spark. At this stage in their career, Dexys are on an end-of-career victory lap. Not the kind of victory lap that Elton John is doing. Instead it’s the kind of lap the band would do if they had just won the Quarter-Final of the West Cork Junior B Football Championship – fine on the face of it, but pretty much irrelevant in the greater scheme of Inter-County Football.
And they didn’t even play ‘Come on Eileen’.
Dexys Photo Gallery
Photos: Kieran Frost