The Blockheads give fans Reasons to be Cheerful

Ian Dury's old band The Blockheads, now fronted by Derek Hussey, are at Hall Two of The Sage Gateshead on Friday night.

Ian Dury's old band The Blockheads, now fronted by Derek Hussey, are at Hall Two of The Sage Gateshead on Friday night.

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A BAND who have been around the block more than once or twice are set to give fans a few Reasons To Be Cheerful at a Tyneside gig.

Formed in London in 1977, The Blockheads, who started out as Ian Dury’s backing band, have grown in stature with the passing years, long after their frontman’s death from cancer.

Rarely off the road since the demise of their legendary singer in 2000, and now with Derek Hussey fronting the band, The Blockheads have a legion of fans of all ages.

This is the band who brought us Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, What A Waste, Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3) and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, among many others.

Hussey’s lyrics in the band’s new songs keep the combination of poetry, word play, earthy humour and deadly-accurate observations of everyday, British working-class life which Dury had perfected, but with an added bite for the 21st century.

They released Same Horse Different Jockey, their first album of new material in five years, in November 2013, to favourable reviews.

It came out 35 years to the day after the release of their best-known single, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, which reached the No 1 spot in the UK charts.

Along with some of their new material you can expect to hear Hit Me and many more classics from their illustrious back catalogue.

Today’s line-up still features original members Chaz Jankel (keyboarsd and guitar), Norman Watt-Roy (bass), John Turnbull (guitar and vocals) and Mick Gallagher (keyboards and piano), augmented by John Roberts on drums and a rolling line-up of saxophonists that includes Gilad Atzmon, Terry Edwards and Dave Lewis.

The band are in Hall Two of The Sage Gateshead on Friday night, and tickets, priced £22.50, are still available from (0191) 443 4661. Support comes from Garron Frith.