Ian Dury’s only son didn’t think he’d follow in his famous father’s musical footsteps. He thought it would be too easy, and an obvious expectation. Alas, Baxter Dury found himself writing songs and crafting a music career by age 30, but the elder Dury didn’t live to see it.
Baxter Dury was born in the early ’70s while his parents, Ian and Betty Dury, were barely out of art college. His childhood was encompassed by his father’s musical endeavors with Kilburn & the High Roads, and eventually Ian Dury & the Blockheads. Baxter didn’t enjoy school and was kicked out of several institutions by the time he was 15. Soul, funk, and jazz provided an escape, but Baxter couldn’t completely ignore his education. When his Dad went off to work with Roman Polanski for the 1986 swashbuckler “Pirates”, Baxter was left with “the Sulphate Strangler,” an ex-roadie for Led Zeppelin and a Blockhead who was covered in tattoos and stood at 6’8”.
By his mid-twenties, Baxter started writing songs with Blockhead Mickey Gallagher’s son, Ben. He’d worked in a watch shop and participated in various indie films, but music now made sense. A deal with Island faded almost immediately. Several years later, he befriended Geoff Travis at Rough Trade in hopes of getting something together. Sadly, Ian Dury lost his battle with cancer in March 2000, but Baxter made it a brilliant moment. He made his singing debut at his father’s wake singing “My Old Man” in his honor. Shortly thereafter, he landed in Austin, Texas to write songs for a debut album. He also hooked up with Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley and Pulp’s Richard Hawley for extra help. The Oscar Brown EP appeared in the U.K. in summer 2001.
Two years later, Baxter Dury showcased his gritty folk-rock with his world-wide debut, Len Parrot’s Memorial Lift, followed by the similarly themed Floor Show in 2005. 2011’s Happy Soup, Dury’s third studio effort, described by the artist as a ten-track collection of “seaside psychedelia,” was produced by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Portishead) and recorded in London. 2014 saw Baxter sign with Le Label (a subsidiary of PIAS) for the release of his fourth album, It’s a Pleasure, an upbeat album that incorporated various elements of funk and disco with morose and downcast lyrics beneath its bright surface.
He returned in 2017 with his fifth full-length, Prince of Tears, which he co-produced with Ash Workman (Metronomy, Christine & the Queens).
Credit MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi 27.10.2017