February 14th 1983; Toronto, Ontario Canada was in the midst of a cold snap, usual for the time of the year, but inside the venerable concert hall, Massey Hall, it was red hot. The force-major that was the celtic/soul/rock of Dexy's Midnight Runners had hit the stage running and didn't stop for two hours. In some ways, it remains to this day one of the most powerful, and passionate shows of live music that I've seen.
After that tour, and I think maybe another album, Dexy's seemed to fade away, or at least we didn't hear about them as much over here on this side of the Atlantic. We also never heard that much about a project that some former Midnight Runners put together with members of other British pop groups called The Bureau that surfaced briefly in the early eighties. Ironically their album was released over here and in Australia, but never in Britain and the band wound down after a couple of tours.
Fast forward to 2002 and a desire to recreate some of that bedlam resulted in the re-release of the original Bureau album, The Bureau, in 2005 and some touring by the newly reformed band. Now, while some people might have been content to rest on the laurels of nostalgia, these guys haven't been. With almost the entire band back together, only the drummer was unable to work himself free of current commitments, they made the decision to risk doing a brand new recording of original tunes. I say risk because all of them had settled into gigs on one side of the Atlantic or the other and reviving a project that the record companies had left to wither on the vine the first time around offered no guarantees of return on their time and money.
For those of you, like me, who occasionally wonder if there will ever be bands again that can recapture some of the intensity and passion that made punk worth listening to, allow me to introduce you to 2008's version of The Bureau and their new CD, ...and another thing. Although its not slated for an official release until October 6th/08, you can order the disc through the band's web-site. The price of $20.00 American includes the shipping and handling to get it from England to your mail-box, so it's as good as deal as you'll get from any on-line retailer, especially considering the distance its having to travel.