Bax­ter Dury

The Scotsman - - Reviews - FIONA SHEP­HERD

SWG3, Glas­gow

THERE is no deny­ing that there is a lot of his old man in the way that Bax­ter Dury ap­proaches a mi­cro­phone, si­mul­ta­ne­ously siz­ing it up and play­fully joust­ing with its form. The voice too – a gruff es­tu­ary drawl, dead­pan yet packed with char­ac­ter – has been handed down. But just as Ian Dury was far more than the sum of his parts, Dury Jr has blithely drawn on the songs and son­ics of Ray Davies, Jerry Dam­mers and Serge Gains­bourg to cre­ate a louche, so­phis­ti­cated yet spa­cious hy­brid sound that is as idio­syn­cratic as it is com­fort­ingly fa­mil­iar.

Though he could likely power a small town with his crum­pled charisma, Dury is far from alone in this en­ter­prise. His cur­rent al­bum, Prince of Tears, fea­tures the most al­lur­ing use of sooth­ing fe­male back­ing vo­cals this side of Leonard­co­hen, though dury’s two live foils, Made­laine Hart and Fa­bi­enne De­barre, of­fered more of a stylised blank­ness which was par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive against a back­drop of springy basslines, tre­bly beats and nasal synths.

Dury’s suited and booted ras­cally per­sona was so mag­netic as to draw to­gether the di­verse strands – from the snotty Pic­nic on the Edge to the stealthy psy­chodrama of Porce­lain, the plain­tive Kinks-like bal­lad Wanna to the slightly seedy prowl of Mi­ami – into one dan­ger­ously charm­ing dis­play, cul­mi­nat­ing in an en­core of cas­cad­ing lo-fi disco, lowslung, eco­nom­i­cal con­fes­sion­als and the breathy Prince of Tears jammed out into some­thing more epic and psy­che­delic.

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