Kevin Archer, a key player in Geno-era Dexys Midnight Runners, changed his name to Al because Kevin Rowland would not countenance two Kevins in the band.
When he left Dexys in 1981, Archer formed The Blue Ox Babes to mix brassy Dexys-style soul with Celtic folk influences. He recruited a fiddler, dressed his new band in raggle-taggle chic . . . and then fatally revealed his plan to Rowland!
Cue Too Rye Ay (featuring the same fiddler, renamed Helen O’Hara), and the demise of The Blue Ox Babes, dismissed everywhere as Dexys copyists.
A late-80s reformation, involving other Dexys alumni, produced a clutch of singles, but plans for an album were shelved when the band effectively split up.
The album Apples & Oranges was finally released on Cherry Red in 2009 but proved to be mostly anti-climactic, with decent tunes ruined by surprisingly anodyne delivery and production.
Kevin ‘Al’ Archer
Steve ‘Brennan’ Shaw