Baxter Dury

– GORILLA, MANCHESTER –

It’s just gone nine, the band are on stage. They launch into ‘Isabel’ from the 2011 album Happy Soup, but there’s someone missing from the stage. Just in time and to a big cheer from the crowd our host for the night Baxter Dury enters stage right looking rather dapper.

The gig is sold out and the venue really is packed. I’ve managed to get a drink and work my way down to the side of the stage, which let me tell you wasn’t easy. Lots of ‘lads’, you know the type, the ones who give you the stink eye even when you politely say excuse me to try and get passed them. Originally the gig was meant to be at Manchester’s Deaf Institute, but I’m guessing the quality of his latest album Prince of Tears meant the tickets flew out, so much so there could have easily been another venue upgrade after it was moved here to Gorilla.

The latest album was released with just eight weeks before the end of 2017, which was during the time a lot of websites, publications etc. had already made a good start on their End Of Year lists. For me, because I hadn’t done one of said lists, the album went straight up there as one of my favourites of the year. In doing so I decided I should go back and listen to Dury’s previous album 2014’s It’s A Pleasure. Since doing so I’ve been pretty much treating It’s A Pleasure and Prince of Tears as a double album, constantly listening to them back to back for the last few months. Because of this I NEEDED to see Dury live for the first time.

As soon as he’s on stage tonight I’m glad I’m here, he has the stage presence you’d expect. Aloof and confident at the same time. Is he riding on the coat tails of his father? No, definitely not. Does he remind me of his father? Yes, but with that aside, he’s his own man and his own artist too.

Second track in and we get our first song from the latest album, ‘Listen’, and I already am, intently. Throughout the show we get all the songs from the new album and a few from previous alums too. The main set closes with Miami, which seems to be the biggest crowd pleaser, the whole place is loving it.

There’s a short time before the encore and the crowd are letting them know loudly that they want more. Just two songs in the encore and they close with the track Prince of Tears. I came to see Baxter Dury, but I’m leaving having seen a brilliant band, it almost feels bad to not acknowledge every person on stage, especially the two backing singers, even referring to them as backing singers feels like I’m not doing them justice. A brilliant gig, from a brilliant band and I can’t wait to see them again, which I will for sure.

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Simon Zaccagni

‘Accidental Editor’ None of this was planned; I’ve never been in a band, never been part of the ‘music scene’ and never expected to be the gaffer of a music website with loads of dedicated music loving writers. I bought my first record when I was 8 and haven’t stopped buying since. I love crate digging for bizarre and weird stuff, but equally happy ploughing through press releases looking/listening for something I’ve never heard before.