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Baker's Dozen

Coming Back To Beauty: Kevin Rowland's Favourite Music
Fergal Kinney , August 19th, 2020 08:16

Kevin Rowland guides Fergal Kinney through the songs that saved him, from self-discovery as a musician through the saving grace of music in recovery from drug addiction. Rowland portrait by Eliza Hill.


The Knight Writers - 'Let the Music Use You'
So this is 1988. Acid house. The first pill I took was just amazing. It helped me really, it showed me what was wrong with my life. I took a pill and I was able to fucking talk to people! And they would talk to me, they would respond. Before then, I'd felt so uncomfortable in myself. I wasn't really drinking or doing much drugs during the Dexys years because I was working so hard and I was frightened of going over the top with drink and drugs - I'd done a bit of that in the 70s. When I started to go out again once Dexys was finished, I just felt very awkward within myself. Ecstasy made me realise fucking hell, where've you been? What's been going on?

People responded to me differently, I was more friendly. I remember going up to a female friend in the club and I was chatting with her and I was quite cuddly, and she was like "you're very nice and warm and friendly tonight!". I was like "I always am!", she went "no you're fucking not!". Really, I didn't know. It was nerves, it was fear, I wasn't trying to be unfriendly but it was just a nervousness, an anxiety.  The good thing about those pills is that they showed me what was possible in life. It's possible to be friendly, and to have people respond - those things are really important to me now. Far more important than anything really. 

So yeah, spring '88 I hear about this club where everybody was taking ecstasy, called Shoom. I thought, what's the point of going if they're all going to be on E? It'd all be the same? So in June '88 I went to Shoom - and what an amazing experience. Everything in that club was so great, there must have been so much effort that went into that club, and there was loads of great tracks but this was the track.