Dexy’s star pledges good music ahead of Sheffield show

Pete Williams plays Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield on Friday, March 20.
Pete Williams plays Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield on Friday, March 20.
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When Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ co-founder Pete Williams was 15 years-old he made a very special pledge.

The pledge was not to a person, but to music.

He says: “I was working my apprenticeship in a foundry in the Black Country and I had this thought ‘this is it’. My life suddenly was mapped out in front of me.”

At the time he was playing bass in working men’s clubs and social clubs at the weekend.

“I wasn’t even old enough to be drinking in these places but from the age of 14 I was in bands and we were gigging every weekend,” he says.

And it was this that gave him the musical bug.

Pete Williams.

Pete Williams.

Pete says: “I loved it. And I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life so I prayed that one day I would be good enough at music to be able to do it for a living.

“I don’t know what I was praying to – perhaps the sound of the clanging machines, but I can remember it. I remember making a pledge to always be true to music.”

He has remained loyal to his pledge.

And, by sheer coincidence, his latest album, Roughnecks & Roustabouts, has been produced thanks to fans on Pledge Music.

“It’s come full circle in a way,” he says.

The album - like his former, criticually acclaimed 2012 record, See - was recorded and produced in Sheffield.

Pete says: “We did this album at Tesla Studios with David Glover and Mike Timm and Dean Beresford and Shez Sheridan from Richard Hawley’s band. I’m so lucky to work with such great musicians.”

The studios, located in a former mill near Heeley, was of particular significance to Williams.

“Some of the songs on the album are about growing up around steel works and seeing all the factories and the industrial skies in the town I grew up in,” he says.

“With this one we had a lot of skeletal songs and wanted to put the meat on the bones in the studio, in a spontaneous manner. Previously I’ve gone in with everything meticulously planned but this was different. We had a great time and I am so pleased with the album.”

Catch Pete at Yellow Arch Studios, Neepsend, Sheffield, on Friday, March 20. For tickets, priced from £8, see Yellow Arch Studios

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