Eddie Roxy and the Adjacent Kings/DC Spectres/Year Zero @ Dracula’s Garage, Tower of Song, Birmingham – Sunday 21st May 2023


First up is YeAr ZeRo playing an opening set of punky, new wavy, power poppy tunes with tracks from their album ‘Brace For Impact’, and ,Heart Shaped Bullets, EP. They showcased a brand-new song called Astrid about Stuart Sutcliffe and Astrid Kirchherr (Google them). They do like their rock and roll history and will no doubt go down well when they play the Nice and Sleazy festival in Morecambe over the May bank holiday weekend – Hope it keeps nice for them

Next up is none other than DC Spectres, led by Dracula’s Garage host Dave Checkley. They have some pedigree and a few albums under their belt and are working on a new one which Dave suggests will take them only a short while.

Their tight set is full of their whirlwind brand of Garage Punk, think if the MC5’s drug of choice had been rough biker speed not LSD. They work well as a unit with the rock and roll guitar, great bass licks, tight stand-up drumming and an excellent sound. Always handy having a sound engineer in your band.

They don’t let up from opener ‘Bad Connection’ and tracks such as ‘Inbred Respect’ ‘Born to Die in 73’, ‘Shine Parts 1 and 2’ and ‘Turn of the Screw’ showcase their craft for me. They seem at times to be moving into Zeke and even Motorhead territory but with harder hitting lyrics and still 100% DC Spectres. I look forward to the new album which on Dave’s timetable could be out sooner than we think. They can also be seen in Morecambe next weekend and will no doubt go down a storm.


Eddie Roxy and the Adjacent Kings features the aforementioned Eddie who for the unfamiliar was the keyboard player in 1980s chart toppers Department S (Yes of is Vic there? Fame).
When the original singer passed away Eddie eventually took over on vocals and was touring as Department S for around the last 10 years releasing an album ‘When all is said and all is done’ which is great – check it out.
This is a new venture and Eddie has recruited a crack group of top musicians including Calle Engelmarc of the Members, Paul Anthony on Bass and session drummer Ivan Hoe. They are a class act and it is hard to believe on the quality of this performance this is only their third gig. Their playing and vocal harmonies were on point and the drummer really made the tracks move so you couldn’t help but be drawn into their performance.
The set contained songs from the original Department S including ‘Going left Right’ and the ubiquitous ‘Is Vic There?’ played with a much harder edge than the original recordings and all the better for it. They played some tracks from the latter career of Department S and new stuff written by Eddie Roxy and the Adjacent Kings including the Single ‘Lets go’ which is number 12 in the heritage chart. ‘Angel of London’ and ‘The Traveller’ were sublime.

They did a tasty cover of ‘Did you no wrong’ by the Pistols which found Calle going into full on Steve Jones attack. While Eddie looked on oozing cool in his suit, shirt and tie. While his voice has a touch of Bowie or Ferry about it.

They end their set with high energy on ‘Let’s Go’ and ‘Monte Carlo and Bust’ and at one point in the set threw in the guitar riff of Babylon’s Burning just because they can.

The audience was in no mood to go home but Eddie said they didn’t really do encores and sadly didn’t know any other songs. Based on this performance I reckon they probably could have played anything we asked.

This was an excellent engaging set and I will catch them again soon.

Never Surrender
Saul The Soul Snatcher
Going Left Right
The World Is On Fire
Angel of London
I Believe
The Traveller
Wonderful Day
Is Vic There
Did You No Wrong
Let’s Go
Monte Carlo and Bust


For those who haven’t made it to one of these Dracula’s Garage Sunday afternoon Matinees at the Tower of Song, you are missing out on some of the best live music around with some of the best up and coming or already got there bands on the circuit.

It was nice to catch up with Paul Panic of the legendary Accused and his band mates too. Apparently, they may be making an appearance here later in the year. Hopefully their bus will be on time but these days who knows.

Thanks to Mick from Year Zero for massive input into this review and the photos. As he says what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

More From Author


Popular Posts

Latest Gig Reviews

Latest Music Reviews


Band Of The Day