The Bedlam Six and I were in London recently and met a couple of Blockheads.
That sentence came out a little too easy. If there’s one thing that every member of my band can agree on it is that The Blockheads are among the very best live acts on the circuit (and have been, off and on, for over thirty years). It was a real pleasure hanging out with vocalist Derek and manager/guitarist Lee, swapping gig anecdotes and personal bugbears. Lovely people.
I can only think of two bands that have successfully survived the death of an iconic lead singer: Queen and The Blockheads. The difference is that Queen are now more brand than band, their post-Mercury live shows being a tribute to their past glory rather than a creative continuation – like a traveling carnival exhibiting a frozen wooly mammoth or embalmed despot. That sounds cruel but I don’t want it to be, I have a lot of love for Queen and their formidable legacy (even though that word “legacy” is now so easily interchangeable with the word “franchise”).