KEVIN ROWLAND – Thunder Road

When it pops up on a compilation which I am unaware of the contents of, I think to myself – is that Thunder Road? It sure sounds like it. Thunder Road is proabably my favourite Bruce Springsteen song, marking in my mind the high point of rock saxophone (Born To Run starts the decline rapidly) and the crisp glow of annoyance of the chorus only popping up once. What does Kevin Rowland, wayward Dexy’s genius at this stage in a Evans dress got to add to it. Surprisingly little. Or should I say surprisingly lickle.

Rowland is actually a pretty similar type of singer to Springsteen. Perhaps not quite as obsessed with his working class roots as Springsteen is (or was) but when you think of the sax and the swing of Searching For The Young Soul Rebel, you are not a million miles away from Thunder Road. Here Rowland strips the song down a touch but the dynamics are exactly the same. This could now be a a tale of drag racing from outside Middlesbrough (where the town full of losers line certainly rings true). There is only one moment where this might be a pastiche, where you are not sure if Rowland means it or is ripping the piss – and that is where he suddenly reverts into baby speak and sings “Show a lickle faith, there’s magic in the night”. I would like to think that Rowland likes this song too, which is why he did it. But that one step out of sincerity bugs me.