Baxter Dury
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Baxter Dury

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR
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"Album Review"

Volkskrant - 4/5 album review for 'Happy Soup' - Volkskrant - 4/5


"Album Review"

“Happy Soup is an excellent collection of naïve pop, bouncing along on skank bass, cheap synths and dangerous guitar.” - Sunday Times - 4/5


"Album Review"

“the joy of Baxter Dury’s Happy Soup lies in its warm, intimate sound” - The Telegraph - 4/5


"Album Review"

“It’s about time folk picked up on Baxter, particularly because his third album of sweet funk and lairy soul is his best yet.” - Vice - 8/10


"Album Review"

Although Baxter Dury's half mumbled cockney narratives are naturally reminiscent of his late father, Ian Dury's Blockheads blended punk, R&B and music hall, whereas his son's third album is full of terrific, understated, dry, post-modern, electro-tinged pop songs. The zippy melodies recall Blur's Graham Coxon, and the sparseness of the xx or Young Marble Giants. With observational talent in his genes, Dury relates semi-autobiographical tales of doomed holiday romances and unwanted children, set in the deliberately mundane settings of "cheesy discos" and seaside towns filled with "undesirables". He has crafted these songs with wonderful details - Madelaine Hart's ghostly backing vocals, the way the deadpan organ drones away as lives fall apart, and drily funny lyrics ("I waited for her like an oil spillage"..."that night I let down your tyres"). Picnic On The Edge nods most to Dury Sr in the What A Waste-type vocals, but the deranged solos and psychotic narratives suggesting the flowering of an individual talent. - The Guardian - 4/5


"Album Review"

There's no doubting that Baxter Dury is a chip off the old block...as well as a gifted artist in his own right. Like his great dad Ian, he sets everyday tales to quirky, inventive arrangements with equal doses of humour and pathos. Happy Soup, Baxter's third album and first since 2005's Floor Show, nearly counterpoints his estuary drawl with dreamy girl choruses. He's like an older, blokey, Lily Allen. Highlights are many from the sultry groove of opener Isabel, to the guitar-drenched Picnic On The Edge and on to the liquid lounge jazz of The Sun. Think the name Dury, think class. - The Sun - 4/5


"Album Review"

Fair play to Baxter, his three albums in 10 years have hardly sought to capitalise on his father Ian's legacy. This is an exercise in gloriously wonky pop, customary rudeness and vocal quirks that allude to his dad without forsaking his individualism. - The Mirror - 4/5


"Essential tracks to download this month"

The first single from Dury's third LP is a charming mix of DIY funk and mockney beat poetry. The titular Claire - a former lover - is reportedly furious that her name wasn't changed for the song. Once her anger dies down, perhaps she'll come to appreciate her starring role in the highlight track from a record full of them. - Q Magazine - 7/10


"Album Review"

A true cult hero, Baxter Dury's third album is his most accomplished yet. Way more lo-fi than its excellent predecessors, 'Happy Soup' is so simple in its structure that it really shouldn't work. But work it does, with tracks skimming from scratchy psychedelia ('Afternoon') to bare-boned ska, to the sumptuous, fall-down-the-stairs fuckery of 'The Sun'. As always, there's a subtle element of Dury Snr (that London drawl, the seedy lyrics) but it's the schoolgirl backing vocals of Madelaine Hart-sounding like she's been beamed straight out of the 2-Tone stable - and Dury's cracked realisation that "the monsoons of fear and age" are inescapable that cut through hardest here. - NME - 8/10


"Happy Soup review"

From the sun-bleached disco beat of opener 'Isabel', to twinkly, hung-over closer 'Trophies', 'Happy Soup' is a delirious waltz through the highs and lows of summertime...Listening to Baxter's chiselled London brogue and the lilting Shagaluf guitars is like reading a postcard describing the best holiday of your mate Dave's lifetime. - The Fly - 4/5


"The family DNA of skewed, playful pop triumphs again"

Happy Soup is a charm of an album, filled with heartbreaking and hilarious bon mots and an artistic fearlessness. He may share DNA with his father, but once again Baxter Dury proves he is all his own man. - Q Magazine - 4/5


"New on the Net"

Baxter Dury moves a step away from 'son of Ian' fame with a brilliant new album, Happy Soup, released on Regal on August 15. - Evening Standard


"Lord Upminster's heir has reason to be cheerful"

It's a bittersweet Ealing Comedy view of English life parleyed through cute melodies and deliberate amateurism, sounding like a collaboration between his old man and Metronomy on the gently affecting 'Afternoon' and reaching a peak on the infectious 'Claire' - Uncut


Discography

ALBUMS:
Happy Soup - 2011 (Regal)
Floor Show - 2005 (Rough Trade)
Len Parrot's Memorial Lift - 2002 (Rough Trade)

SINGLES:
Trellic - 2011 (Regal)
Claire - 2011 (Regal)
Gingham Smalls 2 / Lucifer's Grain - 2002 (Rough Trade)
Oscar Brown - 2001 (Rough Trade)

Photos

Bio

“My first job was in a watch shop on Oxford Street, but I accidentally burned it down. The flames went up and triggered the sprinklers, and eventually they went off in every shop nearby which then flooded the whole road,” chuckles Baxter Dury. Serenaded into the world by his dad’s band The Blockheads banging out Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny Be Good’ in the basement below, and with 6’8” ex-Led Zeppelin roadie named ‘Sulphate Strangler’ for a babysitter, Baxter was never destined to work in a ‘proper’ job.

Regal Records must have agreed for they snapped up the Buckinghamshire-bred chap and released his third full-length album ‘Happy Soup’ in August. Mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Portishead) it’s worlds away from the darkness and romantic disappointments of 2005’s ‘Floor Show’, so much so that Dury refers to his new effort as “seaside psychedelia”.

Its ten tracks narrate everyday tales of dancing on the patio in Marigolds and seedy sex in Portugal, yet Baxter’s lyrical playfulness and acute character analysis ensure the songs are anything but mundane. Just take the amusing picture painted of London’s Portobello Road in love song ‘Trellic’ or ‘The Sun’ in which Madelaine Hart’s honeyed guest vocals swim in- between bursts of Baxter’s mad, infectious laughter and colourful, rippling guitars.

It’s not quite all rainbows and carousels though – had Joy Division scored a Batman soundtrack, the looping bass and menacing spoken-drawl of ‘Picnic On The Edge’ would undoubtedly have made the cut.
Sandwiched inbetween mainstream icons such as Tinie Tempah and Katy Perry on his label, Dury jokes that he enjoys “being the only one in the weird hat making bonkers music”. It’s not hard to see why, as he explains: “Growing up there’d be twelve or so people sat in a circle in our living room wearing funny glasses and jamming. I’d join in by shaking a packet of Kelloggs cornflakes or soya beans.”

Food packets and pots and pans soon led to guitars and poetry, and in 2001 Baxter released his debut single, the ‘Oscar Brown EP’. Sampling the Velvet Underground’s ‘Oh! Sweet Nuthin’, the delicate, spaced-out track couldn’t have been further from his pa’s boisterous, cheeky chappy rock and roll. As NME, who christened it their ‘Single of the Week’, put it: ‘Baxter’s surname means nothing. This is a work of casual assurance that no family tree can provide. The record is all you need to know.’ Soon snapped up by indie label Rough Trade, Baxter released ‘Len Parrot’s Memorial Lift’ (2002) and ‘Floor Show’ (2005).Both albums received further praise from the press, and Dury headed to France to do what he describes as “some thinking”.

Between then and now ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ (2010), the much publicised biopic about Ian Dury, hit cinemas worldwide. It came ten years on from the performer’s untimely death from cancer. Starring Andy Serkis as Ian, the film documents The Blockheads’ rise to stardom and the effects that this and the lifestyle that followed had on the frontman’s relationships with loved ones, in particular young Baxter (who famously appeared on the cover of his dad’s ‘New Boots and Panties!!’ LP). Heavily involved in the making of the film, Baxter claims the experience helped him to draw a firm line under his past. “I did the film, the play, the book and whatever else – there were about five different products out at one stage - and I got a thing called information nausea. It was then that I stopped talking about my old man at dinner parties. Before it was a prop, a thing I may have relied on at insecure moments. Now that the film’s been made I don’t feel the need to discuss it anymore - it’s done and dusted.”

You wouldn’t know it from listening to ‘Happy Soup’, but the ever- modest wordsmith claims that he finds writing songs “the most arduous male birth. 1,000 years ago people would see an ox and just run at it. Eventually the ox would fall down and die and the human would be able to eat it, and that’s how I write songs - I carry on with persistence until eventually I come to something that’s reasonably coherent.” In the two years it’s taken Baxter to chase the ‘Happy Soup’ ox, he claims he’s been “just focused on music. My principle was that the album had to be about exactly who I was. It had to be really honest, uplifting, soulful music, whilst not taking myself too seriously. Whilst making this album I realised it doesn’t matter who you are. Until the music’s any good it doesn’t matter.” Anything else? “Yeah, my leather trousers don’t fit me anymore.”