The Dykeenies
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The Dykeenies


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This band hasn't logged any past gigs

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The best kept secret in music


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New Ideas (King Tuts Recordings)
Waiting for go (Lavolta Records)
New Ideas (Lavolta Records)
Clean Up Your Eyes (Lavolta Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Up until now The Dykeenies have been Scotland’s best-kept secret, a five-pronged sensory assault of sex, synths and glamour whose music - soaring new wave pop symphonies with hooks so monumental they could be used to mount the scalps of lesser peers onto their living room wall - may not yet have gnawed its way into the collective consciousness of the nation, but that won’t be the case for much longer. Comprising three brothers (vocalist Brian, guitarist Alan and bassist Andy Henderson) and two best friends (guitarist Steven Ramsay and drummer John Kerr) from the Glaswegian outpost of Cumbernauld and named after a race of humanoids from cult 80’s fantasy film Willow, The Dykeenies are the gentrified, pan-sexual soundtrack to a never-made John Hughes classic, a ten-legged future-pop megalith that’s about to send you scrambling for the dance floor.

The Dykeenies found their genesis in their hometown of Cumbernauld - a grim Glaswegian new town whose entire city centre was once voted the worst in Britain - in 2005, when Alan, Andy and younger brother Brian finally decided to do something other than talk about starting a band. “We’d been talking about getting a band together for ages,” remembers Andy. “But the talking just went on and on and nothing ever actually got done. It didn’t seem to us like there was any kind of scene in Glasgow to speak of, so we didn’t particularly feel excluded from anything, coming from outside Glasgow. So we set up in the backroom of a pub in Cumbernauld and started playing together, and that’s where songs like ’New Ideas’ and ’Waiting For Go’ came from.”

Noticing that their sound was somewhat lacking for the grand musical scheme they had in mind however, Brian moved onto synths, the brothers brought in Steven (“Because he wasn’t doing anything else at the time,” quips Brian) and John (“Because there was nobody else at the time!”) and the five of them set about the business of becoming Scotland’s most exciting new band.

First thing on the agenda was the band’s sound. Out went what Alan calls “The acousticy Urban Hymns-era Verve stuff,” and, regrettably, Brian’s self-professed love for Boyz II Men; in came Blur, Bloc Party, late 70’s Bowie and every classic 80’s soundtrack from their youth. “Rocky III obviously stands out for ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ alone,” laughs Brian when questioned on the band’s influences. “The Golden Child and Top Gun are classics as well. But the ultimate soundtrack is The Lost Boys, that’s the one that everybody remembers. Every band should own a copy of it.”

“The moment I thought the band might have something,” remembers Alan, “was back when we started, really early on Brian had to go into hospital to have an operation on his jaw, and couldn’t sing for ages. We were still writing songs together, but nobody knew what it would sound like when he came back, because he’d never really sang in front of us before. We went in to record the music for our demo a few weeks before he came back, and then Brian went in separately to record the vocals later. The finished demo was the first thing we’d ever heard Brian sing, and by the end of it I thought that the band might not be that bad after all…”

With Brian’s epic, skyscraping (not to mention larynx-scraping) vocals establishing a suitably widescreen, cinematic sound and a set of starry-eyed, swivel-hipped dance floor classics written, The Dykeenies promptly set about winning the inaugural Your Sound competition - a new scheme launched by legendary local venue King Tut’s to support new talent - without playing a single gig (when their live debut did come, in December 2005 at Glasgow‘s ABC2, it was a sell out). This in turn snowballed into the band signing with King Tut’s Recordings to release their debut single, the limited edition AA-side ‘New Ideas’/ ‘Will It Happen Tonight?’ in July 2006.

Now, here’s where things get really interesting. After building a reputation as Scotland’s brightest musical hopes in a matter of a few months, the band signed to Lavolta Records and were handpicked by NME’s New Music editor James Jam to play on the NME Rock n’ Roll Riot tour in October, after having heard only a handful of demos. The tour, also featuring The Fratellis, The Horrors and The Maccabees, gave the band their first opportunity to venture outside their native land and saw them win rave reviews and extend their ever growing fan base.

“Somehow one of our demos made it to James Jam,” says Brian, “And he decided that he liked it enough to put us on the NME tour, which was a massive thing for us. It was our first proper tour, and even though we were bottom of the bill, it was weird to be walking out to sold out venues every night! That tour coincided with our advance coming in to the bank, so we went crazy in every secondhand shop we could find. The five of us would come out all pimped up in clothes that didn’t fit us. I’ve got a purple velvet waistcoat I’ve still never worn!”

Back home, the band’s statur