Artist Information and Dates Performing
26 May 2018 - 08:45 pm
Where Playing: Imperial Rec
Formed in 1977 to promote Ian Durys’ album ‘New Boots and Panties’ on the first Stiff Records tour of the U.K. Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, Charlie Charles, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher became known as ‘The Blockheads’ In 1978 released ‘What a Waste’ that reached number five in the U.K. charts. They were then joined by saxophonist Davey Payne and toured the U.S.A supporting Lou Reed across North America ending with their own dates in California.
In 1978 Chaz composed ‘Hit me with your Rhythm Stick’ with Ian, and in 1979 had a number one hit record with it in the U.K. They went on to record the ‘Do it Yourself’ album and toured Europe and the U.K. recording ‘Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3’ in Rome. Released as a single in late 1979 it reached number three in the U.K. charts.
In 1980 Wilko Johnson joined to record and release a third album called ‘Laughter’ and released ‘I Want to be Straight’ and ‘Supermans Big Sister’ as singles. They toured throughout 1981 in the U.K and Europe, ending the year with a tour of Australia.
In 1982 Ian Dury & The Blockheads disbanded and were not to play together again until 1987 when they went out to Japan to play three shows, disbanding again until 1990 when the death of Charlie Charles in September of that year re-united them to play two Benefit gigs at The Forum, Camden Town in aid of Charlies’ family. The band recorded a live album ‘Warts & Audience’ at the Brixton Academy in December 1990.
In 1994 the band were invited to play the Madstock Festival in Finsbury Park which led to a series of hit and run gigs in Europe, Ireland, the U.K.and Japan throughout the rest of 1994 and 1995. In March 1996 Ian was diagnosed with cancer and, after recovering from an operation, was determined to write another album.
To this end The Blockheads went into rehearsal in August 1996 and began recording. The album ‘Mr. Lovepants’ was released in 1998 and in May, Ian & The Blockheads hit the road again.
The band now including Dylan Howe and Gilard Atzmon continued to play gigs throughout 1999. The last performance by Ian Dury & The Blockheads was February 6th 2000 at The London Palladium. Ian died at 9am on 27th March 2000.
At this point the band had to make a decision to either stop or continue. The choice was made and the band have continued making albums and touring the world. Now after nearly a decade since Ian passed away The Blockheads still perform to packed out venues around the world.
A new fan base has continued to build on the on the foundations already laid.
Now after over thirty years The Blockheads are still building their wall of sound and it just gets bigger and better.