Rhapsody in black: The Dedwardians unleashed

By Chris Sparham

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“We played to various looks of horror, disgust and disbelief. Whoever booked us probably got sacked.” The Dedwardians must have thought they were at the wrong gig when they arrived at the venue that night – a private function with a classy string orchestra topping the bill. The audience too would have been nonplussed when the supporting act, clad in their neo-gothic-come-bootboy regalia, marched onto stage to begin their ill-fated set.

“They didn’t listen to us first. I think because our bio said we had 1950s influences they thought we would be some kind of doo-wop band.” With the guests expecting a night of American diner ditties, the scene must have been tantamount to The Sex Pistols playing a surprise gig at a retirement home. Unfortunately for those seeking an extravaganza of easy listening, The Dedwardians are louder than the screams of hell.

It might have helped if the shambolic individual who booked the Dedwardians had heard about their gigs at Aces and Eights – a rock ‘n’ roll themed saloon bar in north west London. The band’s label, Roadkill Records, was born out of a live monthly music night held in the bar’s basement, and it is where the band would cut their teeth in the early days.

The Dedwardians are based in London, but admit that they can “barely afford to live there.” To make matters worse, it has been reported that the first post-Brexit month has seen resilience in property value. Amid the UK’s decision to leave the EU, I ask the band about their own political views, and whether or not they want to name and shame any arseholes. Their response: “We are just totally disillusioned with the lot of them. You end up trying to get behind the best of a bad bunch – or the least ‘cunty’ – but it shouldn’t be like that. The recent political events were just a series of power trips and childish shouting matches and you end up thinking, ‘Not one of these people speaks for me’.”

Bands like The Dedwardians give a lot to London on a cultural level, and having built up a healthy following through relentless gigging in the capital, they tell me about how audiences normally react to their live gigs: “The nights we play like Roadkill have some brilliant line ups, and the audience will see great bands regardless of whether or not they’ve heard of who’s playing. The crowd reactions are usually good – not so much when we are supporting orchestras – but we think we are a fucking great live band. Whether people agree or not is another question!”

Given their rising popularity, these days The Dedwardians can afford to be more selective as to where they play, and their fans can look forward to a new split 7” single on September 16th (along with The Sly Persuaders). As for the band’s long term hopes, their ambition remains modest: “We don’t really set any goals, we just get on with it. We are excited to be releasing the next single and hopefully the album won’t be too far behind.” The limited edition vinyl single will also be available at the all-day launch party all at The Finsbury, London on September 18th.


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