Legendary pub-rockers KILBURN AND THE HIGH ROADS have their classic 1975 album Handsome reissued by Cherry Red next month.

The Kilburns, as they became known, are noted for having launched the musical career of one IAN DURY. They also featured, at one time or another, future BLOCKHEAD Davey Payne, guitarist Keith Lucas, soon to front 999 as Nick Cash, and fine artist Humphrey Ocean.

Formed in 1971, and gifted with an eclectic sound and a revolving-door line-up, The Kilburns were spotted playing infamous music biz hangout The Speakeasy by pub-rock impresario and future Stiff Records boss Dave Robinson and BRINSLEY SCHWARZ’s Nick Lowe in late ’72.  Robinson helped them onto the circuit by booking them a gig at The Tally Ho in Kentish Town in January ’73, before relinquishing management to legendary London radio DJ Charlie Gillett.

Signing to the tiny Raft label, they recorded their debut album Wotabunch! with producer Tony Ashton of ASHTON, GARDNER & DYKE, but the label was bought out by WEA who chose not to release it. Re-recording the tracks with a new line-up, they signed to Pye subsidiary Dawn Records, releasing their official debut Handsome in 1975, by which time the band had split. Wotabunch! was belatedly released in 1978 by Warner Bros as a cash-in following the success of Dury’s solo album New Boots And Panties!!

Cherry Red’s new expanded edition of Handsome includes the full album plus numerous bonus tracks plus a second disc featuring an 11-track Capital Radio session from April ’74. Scheduled for release on 26 August, Handsome is available to pre-order here.


Check out the Kilburns on YouTube.

Plenty more pub rock action in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!

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