If there is a north star that has guided Kevin Rowland’s career, it’s ardent sincerity. Having soul, he declared from day one, was radical. “People will always laugh at Dexys,” he told Smash Hits in 1982. “That’s fine. But I know that what I’m doing is totally honest. I believe in myself.” The band’s fan club was called the Intense Emotion Circle, for goodness’ sake. Sincerity brought him a brotherhood and a smash hit single; it also left him vulnerable, open to corruption by the industry, addiction and a cruel media. Yet Kevin never flinched in his attempt to keep peeling back the layers, in search of his essential truth.

Today the band is more of an “organic” assemblage – Kevin, Jim, Sean Read and Mike Timothy. “It’s always just natural with me,” says Kevin. “The inspiration comes first, I think about what I can do, what songs I’ve got, then approach the band.” He describes their current lineup as “very much the nucleus, these days”.

Kevin says he’s still very self-critical. Still a work in progress. “I can feel quite alienated a lot of the time and still spend too much time alone.” But he’s more open-minded. Doesn’t seek to have the upper hand over women any more. He turns 70 this August. “I’m not looking forward to that,” he winces. “I don’t like getting old. I don’t think there’s much to recommend it, really.” But there’s a peace to continually peeling back the layers in search of that essential truth – to being “myself again”, as he puts it on “Coming Home”, unabashedly sincere as ever. “I’ve been doing this a long time,” says Kevin. “But I feel I’ve got to it now.