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Brand New Single COMING on August 27!

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Buy your Dawn After Dark merchandise here!

What we are
What We Are. From Dawn After Dark

  • 176 Page Full Colour Hardback A5 Book With Uv Varnished Cover
  • 36 Years In The Making!
  • Features 100s Of Exclusive Photos And Memorabilia From The Band And Fans.
  • 20,000 Word Exclusive Essay Written By H!
  • Special Thanks Section For All Fans Who ‘Liked’ The Original Facebook Announcement

Orange Hoodie
Crystal High Shop Poster

  • Poster/Print
  • Re-print of the original 1988 promotional shop poster for the Crystal High EP.
  • 30cm x 53cm
  • Ships out within 3 days
  • Edition of 50

Take Me Higher T-Shirt
Take Me Higher T-Shirt

  • T-Shirt/Apparel
  • Take Me Higher T-Shirt main photo
  • Available in Black & Red.
  • Printed on Gildan Heavy
  • ships out within 3 days

Revived Hard 'n Groovin T-Shirt
Orange Hoodie

  • T-Shirt/Apparel
  • Available for the first time ever, Dawn After Dark Hoodies. Limited stock left.
  • ships out within 3 days

Revived Hard 'n Groovin T-Shirt
Revived Hard 'n Groovin T-Shirt

  • T-Shirt/Apparel

Revived Hard 'n Groovin T-Shirt
Maximum Overdrive T-Shirt

  • T-Shirt/Apparel
  • Upgraded version of the 1989 classic tee.
  • Features the famous eagle front print and iconic ‘Birmingham England’ back print.
  • Ships out in three days or less.

Badge, keyring & sticker pack
Badge, keyring & sticker pack

pack contains:

  • x 1 sticker
  • x 1 badge (plastic)
  • x 1 keyring
  • ships out within 3 days

Due to the UK's departure from the European Union we sadly do not have any transparency with regard to customs and excise tariffs for products we are offering when they are shipped to Europe. If you order from outside of the UK there is a possibility that you will be liable for additional customs and tax charges. Unfortunately these need to be at the purchaser's risk. We didn't vote for Brexit!

The Dawn After Dark story

Life is full of surprises – and the return of Dawn After Dark after almost 30 years is a pretty big surprise by anyone’s standards!

“I had great memories of playing in DAD back in the ‘80s,” laughs vocalist Howard ‘H’ Johnson. “Though I thought they’d only be memories. But when things are meant to happen…”

Dawn After Dark was the great, undiscovered secret of the late ‘80s UK rock scene. Heading out of Birmingham – the home of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest – DAD wanted to play rock music that paid homage to their hometown heritage, while adding a new and contemporary twist.

After signing to respected local indie label Chapter 22, home of Balaam And The Angel, The Mission and Pop Will Eat Itself, the band released three EPs to critical acclaim. Tours with Balaam, Wolfsbane, Living Colour and Fields Of The Nephilim saw Dawn After Dark recognised as one of the UK’s best live bands. But a country that was in thrall to indie pop worked against the band’s heavier instincts, and things fell apart in 1991.

“It was tough pushing water uphill,” says drummer Tony Henderson. “We were making great music and we had a super-loyal following, but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough.”

“If we’d been able to make it to The States – where rock music was so much bigger – I think things would have been different,” says H. Having spent the ‘80s working as one of Kerrang! magazine’s top writers he’d seen for himself what America had to offer harder bands. “Our music was raw and heavy, but it wasn’t metal. I think we had a unique sound that would have appealed.”

Down After Dark

After signing to respected local indie label Chapter 22, home of Balaam And The Angel, The Mission and Pop Will Eat Itself, the band released three EPs to critical acclaim. Tours with Balaam, Wolfsbane, Living Colour and Fields Of The Nephilim saw Dawn After Dark recognised as one of the UK’s best live bands. But a country that was in thrall to indie pop worked against the band’s heavier instincts, and things fell apart in 1991.

“It was tough pushing water uphill,” says drummer Tony Henderson. “We were making great music and we had a super-loyal following, but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough.”

“If we’d been able to make it to The States – where rock music was so much bigger – I think things would have been different,” says H. Having spent the ‘80s working as one of Kerrang! magazine’s top writers he’d seen for himself what America had to offer harder bands. “Our music was raw and heavy, but it wasn’t metal. I think we had a unique sound that would have appealed.”

H left the band in 1990 after some typical internal combustion and was replaced by John Stevenson. But Dawn After Dark came to an end just a year later. And that, it would appear, was that… Tony and H got back in contact via social media in 2007, wounds were healed and laughs were had reminiscing about the good old days. ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have one last recording hurrah?’ Well yes it would, given that the DAD recorded output had never fully captured the power of the band’s live performances. Original members Dave Askey (bass) and Rich Bardsley (guitar) were contacted, but declined. Guitarist George Craig simply couldn’t be found. “He always was elusive,” says Tony.

Three songs were recorded with a new line-up that included guitarist Russ Frame and the results were awesome. But they were only ever for private use. And then in 2008 Dave died…

“It was a shock, of course,” said H. “I hadn’t seen Dave in years, but I always had fond memories of his great bass playing and his dry sense of humour.”

Fast-forward to 2019 and out of the blue a promoter called. Balaam And The Angel were playing a Birmingham show. Would DAD be interested in appearing? And so on 27 September 2019 Dawn After Dark appeared live on stage for the first time in almost 30 years.

“It was incredible,” says Tony. “There were people all over Birmingham wearing Dawn After Dark T-shirts before the show. Amazing.”

With Tony, H and Russ joined by guitarist John Wilcox and Tony’s son Felix on bass, the band was also overjoyed by the love in the room during the gig. ”Musically they were built on an assault of riffs and attitude and had they been dealt a different hand, then hard edged anthems ‘Truth And Freedom’ and ‘When Will You Come Home To Me’ would have won them many fans,” suggested one enthusiastic review of the band’s performance on the night.

Dean Brown, owner of Chapter 22, the label that signed Dawn After Dark all those years ago, was equally knocked out by the show and immediately asked the band to re-sign with the label and “come back home.” It wasn’t a hard decision…

And so here we are in 2021 and Dawn After Dark are hard at work recording a debut album… fully 30 years after their last recording.

“It’s mind-boggling really,” says Tony. “But it’s more fun now, the band is better now, and advances in recording technology mean people will finally be able to hear Dawn After Dark the way we always wanted them to.”

With the album due for release in the spring and with live dates to follow, Dawn After Dark are back to deal with some unfinished business. You should come along for the ride…

Howard

Howard ‘H’
Johnson

Vocals

john

John
Wilcox

Lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

russ

Russ
Frame

Rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

felix

Felix
Henderson

Bass guitar, backing vocals

tony

Tony
Henderson

Drums, backing vocals

HOWARD ‘H’ JOHNSON – VOCALS

Howard ‘H’ Johnson was already an established and respected music journalist for Kerrang! magazine when he first joined together with guitarist Rich Bardsley and bassist Dave Askey to form Dawn After Dark back in 1986. With Tony Henderson installed on drums and George Craig on lead guitar, ‘H’ fronted Dawn After Dark through the recording of three much-loved ‘80s EPs and countless bouts of touring, before the inevitable ‘personal differences’ led to him being ousted from the band at the start of 1990. Almost 30 years later H and Tony put together a new Dawn After Dark line-up to perform with close friends Balaam And The Angel in the group’s old stomping ground of Birmingham, and the audience reaction was so overwhelming that H felt the band simply had to carry on. “Our fans hadn’t forgotten about us after 30 years, so we knew there was unfinished business,” he says. “There were so many awesome DAD songs that were never recorded, so making a debut album after more than three decades seemed like the natural thing to do!” He points to ‘Maximum Overdrive’ as proof positive that the band has never sounded better and can’t wait for December, when the debut Dawn After Dark album will be released and the band will also be on the road taking it to the people.

JOHN WILCOX – LEAD GUITAR

Music runs in the Wilcox family blood. John’s dad was a member of Midlands band The Ultimate Sway back in the ‘80s and John first picked a guitar when he was 12 years old. “I like both traditional rock and music from the post-punk era,” he explains. “And it’s that blend of styles that really attracted me to Dawn After Dark.”

John’s degree in music technology means his natural home is the studio, but he quickly fell in love with Dawn After Dark’s fanatical live following when he joined the band for their comeback gig in November of 2019. 28-year-old John can’t wait to be performing onstage with the band again in 2021.

RUSS FRAME – RHYTHM GUITAR

When Russ Frame reached the milestone year of 10 punk happened, swiftly followed by new wave, and it was then that he just knew he had to play guitar. But rock soon began to take a hold too, as Russ got turned on to the likes of Thin Lizzy and Bernie Tormé. After sharing rehearsal space with the original Dawn After Dark and playing some shows supporting them in another band back in the ‘80s, Russ and DAD drummer Tony Henderson started working together when the Dawners split in 1991. 28 years later there was talk of a DAD reformation – and Russ jumped at the chance to add his distinctive rhythm playing to the band’s unmistakable sound! He made his Dawn After Dark live debut at the reformation gig in Birmingham supporting Balaam And The Angel in September 2019 and simply describes it as “a fantastic experience.” As you can hear on the ‘Maximum Overdrive’ single, Russ’s rhythmic groove has added a whole new dimension to the DAD sound.

FELIX HENDERSON – BASS

27-year-old Felix grew up in rural Staffordshire on a steady diet of Pepsi Max and Motörhead. With very little to do there he set about learning the bass to join a friend’s school band – which just so happened to feature John Wilcox! 12 years and plenty of gigs later Felix somehow found his way into Dawn After Dark, though the band’s drummer might have had something to do with it!

Having grown up surrounded by the ghost of DAD Felix was always drawn to the juxtaposition of sound the band created. Dawn After Dark wasn’t like any other ‘80s rock band, many of which had descended into self-parody. And the group was way heavier than a lot of the dated alternative acts from the same era. When Felix played his first gig with Dawn After Dark in November of 2019 it marked the group’s first live appearance in almost 30 years.

“Seeing the love the fans still had for all those Dawn After Dark songs after such a long time was really special," he says. “And recording the debut album has been a huge thrill.”

TONY HENDERSON – DRUMS

Tony’s love affair with the drums started when he was a kid after seeing The Who’s Keith Moon on TV. Against his better judgment Tony’s granddad bought the 14-year-old a John Grey Autocrat drum kit from a second-hand store in Birmingham. “I played all day and would have played all night if they’d let me,” laughs Tony. Loving AC/DC, Motörhead and “anything else that was dirty, noisy and required minimal grooming,” Tony joined Dawn After Dark in 1986 when he was just 19 years old. His time in the band was, he says, “an amazing experience.’ Tony recorded all three DAD EPs in the ‘80s before the band imploded in 1991. He’s since played in many other bands and has appeared on eight albums. Nothing has come close to his love for Dawn After Dark, though. Playing the band's 2019 reformation gig with his son Felix on bass, and then recording a debut album with him are the highlights of his musical career. “With a new band line-up now in place to take us forward, these are exciting and wonderful times,” says Tony. “And I intend to enjoy every minute.”

Catch up with all the latest on The Dawners

Live Shows

Where you can see Dawn After Dark live

Date Venue Location Info
28 October, 2022 Monsterfest Buy ticket Inverness

Media

See, hear and read about Dawn After Dark

Dawn After Dark - London -January 1989 (full gig)

Filmed by Metropolis music at the University of London Union.

Dawn After Dark - Crystal High - 1988