‘STARING DOWN THE BARREL’
“Given the times those ancient Blockheads sound more here-and-now than anyone…” Uncut
“Dury would be proud.” Mojo
“The trademark funk/rock/music hall/ska fusion of old mucker Derek The Draw has …got the great man [Ian Dury]’s knack for vivid social commentary nailed too.” Big Cheese
“This is a record which will thrill Blockheads fans of all ages and demonstrates this ensemble have lost none of their passion and spirit. Ian Would be proud.” Subba-Cultcha
30 years after their million-selling number one, ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’, with the late, inimitable Ian Dury, The Blockheads will release their new album, ‘Starring Down The Barrel’, on 6th April.
The Blockheads are one of the UK’s most inventive, distinctive and influential bands who, along with Dury, recorded some of the most memorable songs in the British pop cannon: ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’, ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3’ (also a hit in 1979), and the aforementioned ‘Hit Me…’, as well as five celebrated albums: ‘New Boots & Panties’ (1977), ‘Do It Yourself’ (’79), ‘Laughter’ (’80), and ‘Mr. Love Pants’ (’98) and the posthumous ‘Ten More Turnips From The Tip’ (2002).
The line-up for ‘Staring Down The Barrel’ features original members Chaz Jankel, Mick Gallagher, Norman Watt-Roy and Johnny Turnbull, plus Dylan Howe and Gilad Atzmon – both of whom played on and have been with the band since ‘Mr. Love Pants’ – and, on lyric and vocal duties, Dury’s late minder and friend of 10 years, Derek The Draw, who wrote all the album’s songs with Jankel.
‘Staring Down The Barrel’ features 10 new songs, pondering and exploring prescient themes of our time, including: financial collapse and selfishness (‘Roll Over’, ‘Greed’ and ‘Dirty Money’), the state of the environment (‘Prophet Of Doom’ and ‘Elegant Style’), those that fall out of society (‘George The Human Pigeon’), and urban decay (‘No Go Central’); with a raggle-taggle collection of Machiavellian villains, vagrants, desperadoes, eccentrics and other outsiders and deceivers. These sobering issues are shot through with humour and juxtaposed by The Blockheads’ unique brew of rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, music hall, soul, funk and tight grooves, fomenting an album for the feet as well as the head.
The band continue to inspire the work of other artists: the album’s artwork was designed by Dury’s former Art Teacher, and Pop-Art genius, Peter Blake. Amongst younger artists, the likes of Jamie T – who included two of the band’s album sleeves on his ‘Panic Prevention’ album artwork – and Lily Allen have expressed their love for The Blockheads.
Since 2002 the band have rarely been off the road, playing literally hundreds of dates a year. To celebrate the release of ‘Staring Down The Barrel’ the band will begin a 14-date UK tour on 1st April, with a London show on 30th April, where they’ll be joined by their original saxophonist Davey Payne.
Wed. 1st Cambridge: The Junction – 01223 511 511
Wed. 8th Teweksbury: The Roses Theatre – 01684 295 074
Thu. 9th Brighton: The Old Market – 01273 736 222
Wed. 15th Basildon: Towngate Theatre – 01268 465 465
Fri. 17th Wakefield: D.N.E
Sat. 18th Harrogate: Ripley Blues – 01423 860 340
Sun. 19th Gateshead: The Sage – 0191 443 4661
Wed. 22nd Swindon: The Wyvern Theatre – 01793 524 481
Fri. 24th Stevenage: Gordon Craig Theatre – 08700 131 030
Sat. 25th Southampton: The Brook – 023 8055 5366
Sun. 26th Sheffield: The Boardwalk – 0871 230 1095/ 0114 276 7093
Thu. 30th London: Electric Ballroom – 0207 485 9006
Fri: 1st Cardiff: The Globe
Sat. 2nd Southend: The Palace Theatre – 01702 351 135