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 Everett True

Dexys in the rain, part two

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Kevin Rowland + Everett True, backstage at Harvest

There’s been a set list kicking around in the bottom of my tattered, torn satchel for days now.

  • Now
  • Lost
  • I’m Always Going To Love You
  • Incapable Of Love
  • Free
  • Liars
  • Come On Eileen
  • This Is What She’s Like

DEXYS * Harvest Festival Brisbane * Sunday November 18th 2012

The aftermath is too painful, the separation. I could describe to you the tropical downpour that took place from ‘Incapable Of Love’ all the way to halfway through ‘Eileen’, about how it gave me a chance to prove my devotion even more fervently, dancing and weaving and laughing, skip-trudging my way through what felt like fathoms of water soaking through my trousers and shirt and hat and beard, could mention how when Maddy took the stage for what – ‘I’m Always Going To Love You’ – every last girl at the front lost her heart and swooned unashamedly as she stood there smiling, owning us all, flashing a suspender belt, sauntering over to Kevin to kiss him full on the lips, down the front of the stage sobbing at the tempestuous end of ‘Incapable Of Love’. Oh, it was theatre, swagger and grace and sweeping gestures every note, but we believed it, every word. We couldn’t do anything but believe it, because we’d lived it over and over again – each time differently – every word, every note. I could talk about that wonderful segue a minute or so into the opening song ‘Now’ that caught the audience unawares same way as it catches Daniel (age 3) unawares every time, face breaking out into a gigantic smile as he recognises it… “bellooba soup” instead of “I love you so”, as he sings it … and my feet and body exploded into a fierce unfettered joy, knowing that this moment, this next hour, this was mine and no one could take it away from me, ever…

The rain splashing off the monitors around Kevin and Pete.

But the aftermath is too painful, the separation, the knowledge that a relative mere handful of folk at the Harvest Festival in Brisbane’s tidy City Gardens were on hand to witness the closest approximation to genius and melody and music and soul that most of them will see in an epoch of lifetimes – and most of them buggered off immediately the closing main chorus of ‘Eileen’ ceased (not even hanging round for the climax), which might not seem that big a deal and it wasn’t to me, gave me a chance to dance my devotion even harder, even fiercer, but ‘This Is What She’s Like’ – a song that goes down a tempest in the U.K. – spluttered out onto the damp surrounds, departing audience bemused by unfamiliarity, and it stuck around for 20 minutes, 20 gorgeous minutes of annoyance and wonder and dancing and the odd painful silence, and it sure felt like he was probably singing it for me and me alone, and maybe he was. That after all is the song, the album, that I am quoted about most often:

“I’ll punch you if you tell me how much you like Dexys one more time. You don’t have the fucking right.”

That’s changed to:

“I’ll punch you if you say you like The Doors even less than me.”

The aftermath. I don’t want to admit the day has gone. It was a good day, one of the best. Dexys played the Harvest  Festival in Brisbane. I have no idea if any other bands played, I imagine they must have done, to judge by the milling crowds. We walked across the Goodwill bridge. We danced. We ate bad chicken schnitzel burgers. We got soaked. We hung out with Kevin Rowland backstage in the room where Sigur Ros would be decamped later and it struck me majorly that as much as I might be underachieving considering the place I once occupied, look at Kevin Rowland. Look at Kevin fucking Rowland. Van Morrison headlines festivals. Dexys go on at 1.30 in the afternoon. Dexys are genius. But he doesn’t compromise. He doesn’t fucking compromise.

So the set hit a small downturn when they began ‘Liars’. That was odd, but this is Brisbane.

The holy triumvirate of ‘I’m Always Going To Love You’ and ‘Incapable Of Love’ exceeded expectations. (Can you believe that? Exceeded expectations!) Maddy was… I cannot even begin to form the words so let’s move quickly along and pretend I wasn’t more starstruck than the time I interviewed Yoko Ono at the Dakota. Big Jim blew up a storm on trombone. Lucy wasn’t Helen but she was just damn fine as Lucy, as was Pete Williams being Pete Williams. Mick Talbot was there, pulling his Mick Talbot pose. Fuck yeah! Yes, I know two songs don’t make a triumvirate but trust me, these did.

‘Free’ made me happy in a way I have rarely been happy since I quit attending Northern Soul parties.

Dexys. Eight songs, one hour, a lifetime of memories.

“I’ll punch you if you tell me how much you like Dexys one more time. You don’t have the fucking right.”

Dexys in Brisbane 2012 (Maddy, Kevin)

Photography: Charlotte Thackray

Related posts: Dexys in the rain, part one

Addenda: I’ve been having a terrible day. Charlotte suggested writing this. “It’ll cheer you up,” she said. She was right.

One Response to Dexys in the rain, part two

  1. Brendan November 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I glad you feel better. When I found out I wouldn’t make the whole day I figured OK I’ll shoot in late and catch Dexys. 1. fucking 30 fucking pm.

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