Sex and drugs and rock and roll! The Blockheads are back!
Originally formed in 1977 to promote Ian Dury’s album ‘New Boots and Panties’ on the first Stiff Records tour of the UK, Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, Charlie Charles, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher became known as ‘The Blockheads’. In 1978, they released ‘What a Waste’, which reached number five in the U.K. charts. They were then joined by saxophonist Davey Payne and toured the USA, supporting Lou Reed across North America and ending with their own dates in California. 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, which featuring hit single ‘Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3’.
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 band recorded a live album ‘Warts & Audience’ at the Brixton Academy in December 1990. 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 Gilad 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.
Now, more than 30 years on The Blockheads are still building their wall of sound, and it just gets bigger and better.