Ronnie and The Rex
Dance band for hire.
Ronnie and The Rex, a blend of high flying R&B and 60s soul, mixed with blues, rock classics, self penned golden originals & bizarre covers of rock classics.
A good vibe dance band – r&b with soul, mixed with blues, mixed with rock classics, mixed with self penned golden originals. All this is topped off with the glistening personality of Ronnie Golden, the driving force behind the Fabulous Poodles and one of the capital’s leading stand up chameleons.
The music Ronnie and The Rex serve up is a potent blend of high-flying R&B, 60’s soul and bizarre cover-versions of rock classics, with the added spice of ‘Golden’ originals from the pen of leader Ronnie. For over a decade The Rex have played a wide variety of gigs and, uniquely for a band of this calibre, they successfully straddle the normally incompatible worlds of music, comedy and cabaret. Whether the show is in a smoky and intimate basement club, a theatre or festival, or even a large corporate event, this six-piece band comes up with the goods. Each musician has a great musical pedigree, having played with a wide variety of bands including Sting, Eric Clapton, BB King, Paul Weller, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Friends who often guest with the band include Bill Bailey, Neil Innes and John Cooper Clarke. Front man / guitar / all-round ne’er do well… ‘Ronnie Golden’ is the alias of Tony DeMeur whose musical career began at age ten with his crooning ‘No Other Love Have I’ to Akela in the Turkey Street Cubs’ hut. Nine years later and he’s touring round Britain in ‘The Corsairs’ with his old school chums, opening shows for Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck and Scott Walker. Hair was dutifully grown and an altogether more experimental concept was born – ‘Ugly Room’ – playing ‘pig-stabbing music’ opening onetime for debut of ‘David Bowie’s Hype’ after recommendation from wife-to-be Angie. Such childish things were put aside for a couple of years while he worked at the Tate Gallery and then ‘Daddy Stovepipe’ was his next incarnation, warbling ancient blues songs and music hall ditties in cheap suits and strumming a ukulele. Then South London theatre-based twenty-strong aggregation ‘Silly Balls’ asked him to join and he was soon working alongside mime genius Lindsey Kemp dressed up in a foamrubber garden wall declaiming ‘Some Enchanted Evening.’ It was a living (actually it wasn’t with twenty others on the payroll!)…
After this period of certifiable madness Bob Suffolk invited him to become a ‘Fabulous Poodle’ and his world shifted on its axis. Almost imperceptibly. From cult status in the UK to Top Forty in the US supporting Tom Petty, Sha Na Na and The Ramones all across that demented continent. Three albums and then came the predictable rock ‘n’ roll hari kari.
A short period of rampant paranoia ensued, followed by a new identity and – voila! – ‘Ronnie Golden’ was born.
Invited to Soho’s ‘Comic Strip’ one rainy midweek evening in 1981, he was blown away by Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer et al and one week later was on the show alongside a very raw but hilarious Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, and the world premiere of twenty-one year old Ben Elton. An appearance in BBC 2’s ‘The Young Ones’ followed and then a whole bunch of other comedy shows including ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Stomping on the Cat’ (named after one of Ronnie’s more sensitive tunes).
He then joined The Actor’s Centre, got himself an agent and took occasional acting work, notably as a heroin addict in C4’s ‘How Much Is Too Much!’ and as an MI6 agent in ‘The Fourth Protocol’ with Pierce Brosnan and Michael Caine.
There were other musical ventures like the acappella doowop of the ‘Dialtones’ but, when he was asked to put together a band for the ‘graveyard shift’ in The Gilded Balloon at The Edinburgh Festival in ’89, he jumped at it and called up a bunch of his favourite alcoholics and the rest, as they say, is………hysteria.
Other instruments in the band are keyboards, bass/tuba, saxophones/clarinet, trumpet, harmonica and drums, and the standard line-up is six musicians.