For all its spit, sawdust and safety-pin ethics, punk did have a use after all - it gave the UK some identity and, in a musical sea of dismal disco and cheesy pop, an element of credibility. Even the disco and pop started to get a whole lot more bearable by the end of the '70s. The original punks meanwhile, either crashed and burned, carried on hammering out two-note riffs in half-arsed bands or discovered 'melody', 'imagination' and 'grew up'. Those bands are still going, by the way, with the BBC celebrating many of them during their Punk Britannia season - it's been well worth watching.
Punk also inspired many bands to form long after the dust and drama had settled and Modern English were one such outfit. After hardly troubling the world with the debut self-issued single 'Drowning Man', the original quintet found themselves with a John Peel session and a deal with the then-fledgling indie 4AD. Vocalist Robbie Grey continued to unsettle with half-sung, half-spoken lyrics on 'Swans on Glass', 'Gathering Dust' and 'Smiles and Laughter', before the band shifted into the more song-based, sinister, bleak atmospherics of the first album 'Mesh and Lace'.
But it was 1982 which saw their sound lighten and their fortunes change, albeit in the States. The song 'I Melt With You', from the gentler and more pastoral album 'After The Snow', has comfortably racked up over 3 million viewers on You Tube in just 3 years since its official upload. College radio loved it, Nouvelle Vague, Jason Mraz and Bowling For Soup have covered it and the song paved the way for album number three 'Ricochet Days', their last for the label. Despite being even more commercial, yet still underrated and ignored, Modern English inked a deal with Sire and slowly lost sight of their UK audience. Until now.
After a 'comeback' album in 2010 ('Soundtrack'), the original members of the Essex band are set to unleash their 8th full-length set later this year at around the same time as some rare UK dates. Modern English will perform the hits (and misses) from their heyday, as well as new selections, starting in Leeds on 5th September, followed by Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol and finally Camden. We have tickets for all shows, priced at £13. Oh and check out the (very '80s) video for 'I Melt With You'.
The 2012 UK tour has been postponed until 2013. New dates will appear below as we have them. In the meantime: ticket-holders should either hold tight or request a refund from their point of purchase.