Dexys at Bestival 2013

September 11, 2013

Dexys review – Bestival 2013

Kevin Rowland brought his Dexys troupe to Bestival for an unusual type of festival appearance on Sunday evening. Decked out in exquisitelydapper attire and opting to play their latest ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’ album in its entirety, the Big Top tent was the venue for a journey into an endearingly antiquated world.

Forever an eccentric individual, Rowland always seemed a bit like a man of maturing years even in his younger days. The fact that he now inhabits the skin and status as one of the older generation is somehow befitting. It suits him well. Pleasingly, his pipes are in particularly fine fettle.

His band, always something of versatile wonder, continue to be a dynamic force. They are at once capable of paring matters to a quiet hush and also kicking up the most jubilant wall of sound.

Sadly, they play to a paltry crowd. The scheduling means that they are up against Elton John, and it would appear that most of the festival site has descended on the main stage. In the tent though, the crowd may be small, but they are enthusiastic.

Surprisingly, it is only in the run-through of the older material that things occasionally fall a bit flat. There are long sections of dialogue and these struggle to keep the audience’s attention. It would appear that Dexys may have forgotten that their set comes at the end of a very long weekend for most of the people here.

Aside from these minor lulls, they offer a perfect reminder of the potency of their unique brand of blue-eyed soul. A reworked ‘Geno’ even offers some samba inflections and ‘Tell Me When My Light Turns Green’ compels many to fist pump at the brass hooks.

Ever the contrarian, Rowland decides not to indulge the festival crowd with a run through of ‘Come On Eileen’. There is no doubt that this leaves many baffled, and yet it is most likely exactly the reaction that he would have wanted.

You have to admire a man, and a group, who forge such a wilful and singular path. Judging by the consensus of broad smiles that were all around, the message was clear; these soul rebels may no longer be that young, but they certainly still have it.

Dexys at Bestival 2013 review

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