The Dykeenies Return Triumphant To King Tut’s
Five years – almost to the day – since their farewell gig at the QMU, The Dykeenies returned for a sold out three-night run at King Tut’s last weekend.
The Cumbernauld-based indie rock band were one of Glasgow’s biggest success stories in the mid-2000s, touring with the likes of The Fratellis and The Horrors, as well as playing festivals such as T in the Park and SXSW in Texas. The band split in 2012 but announced these three surprise gigs late last year, all of which sold out in a matter of minutes! (As Expected) But GlasgowLiving were lucky enought to be invivted along…
The Dykeenies are made up of vocalist and synth player Brian Henderson along with his two brothers Andy (bass) and Alan (guitar). Completing the lineup are drummer John Kerr and guitarist Graham Hay. We caught up with them all before the first gig to find out how they were feeling, why they decided to get back together and what the future holds for the band.
The nerves were palpable in the dressing room on Friday night as John said, “We just want to get the first song out the way then go from there.” They were all feeling a little apprehensive but still very excited to get on stage together for the first time in five years.
The reunion came as a shock to fans as it was announced quite suddenly and there had been no previous talk of a comeback, but the band had actually been discussing it privately for around a year. John had been living in London for a few years and when he planned to return to Glasgow, Alan was keen to get the band back together. John said,
“I’d no sooner stepped off the bus and he was on the phone. So, we went down for a rehearsal with Andy, then Graham after a few weeks and eventually Brian came down. It took a few weeks to get into it again.”
Rehearsals continued but the plans were still vague. After being apart for so long, the songs had to be relearned and the chemistry had to be worked on, but soon new songs began forming and the comeback was being more seriously considered.
A reunion is always hit or miss and it’s a risky move for most bands. Fans from a decade ago won’t necessarily be as excited now, but selling out three nights in a row was a good indication that Glasgow’s love for The Dykeenies never really went away.
As soon as the band stepped on stage on Friday night, the crowd proved that the comeback was a good idea. Still knowing the words to every song and full of energy, it was a very warm welcome. A hint of the earlier apprehension understandably remained for the band, but by Sunday night they were fully in their stride and it felt like they had never left!!!
The big question those fans were desperate to know was whether this was a full comeback or simply a few gigs for old time’s sake. John confirmed, “it’s an official comeback” and there’s a stack of new songs ready to be released. Eight years since the last album means the music scene has changed considerably, so the band have to adapt to that while maintaining their original identity. Andy agreed that the new songs are “a true representation of where The Dykeenies are just now. It was always going to be a bit different regardless and it’s not just been playing-wise, it’s writing as well. Graham’s came in so there’s a new influence there. It’s obviously a bit different and if it wasn’t different I think everyone should be critical of that.”
Two of those new songs were debuted at the King Tut’s gigs. ‘When You Cry’ was described by John as “the least releasable song of the new ones we have – it’s a live song” while ‘Juno’ is the most quintessential Dykeenies-sounding of the bunch. Both went down a storm at the gigs, with fans now desperate to get their ears round the studio versions, but they may have to wait a little longer.
Although the band all agreed that “there has to be a new album” their plans for it are not set in stone. They have five new songs finished and will be releasing them at some point this year as well as playing more gigs, but there are no full details just yet. John said, “We know that we need to gig, we need to record, we need to release – but what order it gets done in, we don’t know yet.”
Taking it slow may be the plan for now, but if the weekend is anything to go by, there’s a real appetite for The Dykeenies to hit the ground running. Fans travelled from all over the world to be a part of the comeback shows, bought all the new merchandise and showed up for the after party at Firewater just as they did a decade ago.
By the time The Dykeenies walked off stage on Sunday night, the atmosphere was triumphant. They celebrated with champagne in their dressing room before the after party and all agreed that it’d been a special weekend. John said he’d play live every night if he could, and the amazing reception they’d received definitely spurred the whole band on to get back into doing what they do best.
With a new album on the way and a promise of more gigs, The Dykeenies are definitely back and ready to take over the Glasgow music scene once more.