Baxter Dury brings his not-so-effortless clumsiness to Field Day

Baxter Dury. Picture: Margaux Ract

Baxter Dury. Picture: Margaux Ract - Credit: Archant

The son of Ian Dury didn’t always want to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he’s quickly making up ground, says Annie Muir.

Baxter Dury first played at Field Day festival in 2012 and he’s back this year following the release of his new record, It’s a Pleasure.

Having first broken into the UK charts with his 2011 album ‘Happy Soup’, his music has sparked comparisons with that of Blur’s Graham Coxon.

The son of Ian Dury (of Blockheads fame), Baxter is better known in France than his native England. “It’s probably because it links accidentally to that whole Serge Gainsborough era,” he suggests.

Baxter describes his music as fundamentally truthful. This album, his fourth since 2002, includes the singles ‘Other Men’s Girls’ and ‘Pleasure’, with their synth-pop beats, co-star Fabienne Debarre’s pretty chorus melodies, and Dury’s sharp, minimalist lyrics. “It’s like an honest dude… singing,” he says. “It’s meant to be quite unscripted, and even if it means nothing to anyone else then at least I believe in it, which justifies the whole thing.”

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He claims he’s not a very good musician, because he’s not very professional. “I try and keep it quite clumsy, but I have some good musicians that hide behind the clumsiness picking up the pieces, if you know what I mean. So it sounds effortlessly clumsy but it’s not really.”

As a child, Baxter featured alongside his famous father on the cover of his 1977 album ‘New Boots and Panties’. However he didn’t decide to follow his parent’s footsteps in the pursuit of a musical career until later on in his life.

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“I didn’t really have many choices left. Before I started making music I was a bit miscellaneous. I went to New York for a while and thought I might become a director, but I found that I wasn’t really precise enough. It’s quite a studied art and I wasn’t really used to being educated.”

He says that he had always tried to avoid the idea of music “because it was too much of an obvious avenue. But then I had no choice, and I naturally resorted to something that I really enjoyed. All the other things were pretentions.”

And it was the right decision. “There are different forms of success in music: creative and financial, and it’s quite hard to marry those two up sometimes,” he says. “But overall I really enjoy it. And success is always unexpected.”

For a full preview of Field Day and an interview with headliner Caribou, pick up our special festival supplement in the Hackney Gazette next week.

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