It’s been almost seven years since Baxter Dury’s Floorshow, a dreamy, druggy journey detailing a relationship falling apart – an album that should have pushed him from London cult hero into the mainstream consciousness.
So it was a big relief when after a long hiatus he last year released Happy Soup, a more positive, polished record of ex-girlfriends and sunny London afternoons, led by the charming and quirky ”ËClaire’, a single about”Â¦an ex-girlfriend in a sunny London afternoon. And when he arrives on stage at Shoreditch’s XOYO it takes only the first chiming chords of opener ”ËFrancesca’s Party’ to quickly remind us that one of London’s best kept secrets he may be, we are lucky to have him around. He is sharp and quirky throughout, reminiscing about their recent extensive tour throughout Europe and anecdotes about his talented band. They provide a solid yet low-key stage presence, somewhat dwarfed by the affable and charming Dury.
Clad in suits they look like a house band with Dury stalking the stage with his beer bottle, winking and remarking at the audience. But the music always talks, and onstage they manage to recreate the atmosphere and intricacies of each album, Dury devilishly cackling over the hypnotic outro of ”ËThe Sun’, and the glorious ”ËLeak At The Disco’ twisting and turning its way to a conclusion that perfectly soundtracks exactly how you’d feel left on your own after a boozy, pill-popping night out that ends with the room spinning.
Dury’s genius-like knack for melody and word play is evident on ”ËCocaine Man’, a low-fi fan-favourite anthem led by his deadpan vocals, but this is absolutely a team effort and Baxter’s lead makes way for the sultry Madelaine Hart on ”ËHotel In Brixton’. Baxter’s back, and whilst it remains to be seen whether he’ll garner the recognition he so deserves (the upcoming support dates for Paul Weller may help with that) for now we’re just happy to have him around.
Baxter Dury played:
Francesca’s Party, Isabel, Claire, Leak At The Disco, Afternoon, Happy Soup, Trellic, Picnic On The Edge, Beautiful Babies, Hotel In Brixton, The Sun, Lucifer’s Grain, Cocaine Man, Oscar Brown, Love In The Garden