In Review

Dexys Duke of York show 'near-perfect' theatre and pop

Critics hail reformed 80s group Dexys 'the best things to happen to pop music this century'

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What you need to knowBirmingham soul band Dexys (formerly Dexys Midnight Runners) are performing a short run of stage shows at London's Duke of York Theatre. The band behind 80's hits such as, Come on Eileen and Geno reformed last year with the release of the critically acclaimed album One Day I'm Going to Soar - their first release in 27 years. 

In their Duke of York show, Dexys perform the album in its entirety. But this is no ordinary gig. Lead singer Kevin Rowland narrates the story of falling for, wooing, winning and spurning his ideal woman (a role played, and sung, by Madeleine Hyland). The show also includes some of Dexys' classic songs. Runs until 27 April.

What the critics like"There will be other gigs this year but few as big-hearted, bizarre or downright brilliant as this," says Rick Pearson in the Evening Standard. Highlights included the smouldering R'n'B She Got A Wiggle and the full-blooded duet Incapable of Love - the overall effect is impossibly uplifting.

Dexys' show is magnificent, funny and excruciating – "near-perfect both as theatre and as pop", says David Bennun in the Daily Mail. It ranks among the best things to happen to pop music this century – this is what soul sounds like.

Dexys show runs through their album as a theatrical piece and draws on an epic band history on a level with The Smiths and The Clash, says Nick Hasted in The Independent. "They play for over two hours, and feel like they're just getting started."

What they don't likeCritics have almost nothing negative to say about Dexys' show. On The Upcoming, Harriet Gibson notes that the show dips in and out of musical theatre. Gibson says it's: "a strange experience, but also an exciting new approach to gigging".

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