Baxter Dury The Night Chancers (Heavenly) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, May 31st, 2020  

Baxter Dury

The Night Chancers

Heavenly

Mar 19, 2020 Web Exclusive Photography by Tom Beard Bookmark and Share


It may have taken a decade and a half for the world to cotton on to Baxter Dury’s impeccable wares, but West London’s very own poet laureate is reaping the rewards now. If 2017’s fifth long player Prince of Tears finally brought about the mass exposure his incisive vignettes richly deserved, its successor should be the record that catapults him into stratospheric territories.

A concept record of sorts, The Night Chancers documents the try too hard fascination that comes with social media addicted Instagram voyeurs. Failed C-list celebrities clinging onto the coat tails of the fashion set in one last desperate attempt for stardom. Jilted exes with nowhere to go. The hangers-on seeking solace on the after party circuit. Each of its 10 pieces documenting characters experienced by Dury, either by choice or by chance.

Like Jarvis Cocker during Pulp’s mid-’90s heyday or Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson more recently, Dury possesses a habitual knack for making every day mundane nonentities seem like the most enchanting creatures on the planet. Take “Slumlord” for example, “charm dripping like fresh honey” with “shiny cheekbones like graveyards in the sun” yet ultimately a lost cause with nowhere to go.

Then there’s “Hello, I’m Sorry”, which takes the form of a two-way telephone conversation based around the opening line “I took that pill. Who’s laughing now?” Or the fractious “Saliva Hog,” its focal point being those that use Facebook and the likes to stalk and tap into other peoples’ lives. Similarly on “Sleep People,” the song’s vicious tone takes an often-necessary swipe at bloggers or “influencers” as they like to call themselves.

While Dury may be referencing specific targets for his words, there’s a level of ambiguity that makes each and every one of The Night Chancers relative by association to the listener. Another major facet of Dury’s work is that he doesn’t distinguish by social class or status.

The album ends on the slow burning “Say Nothing,” a character assassination of sorts that paraphrases the other nine pieces that have gone before. It culminates in the line “Baxter loves you,” repeated surreptitiously in mantra form until the song’s conclusion.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are The Night Chancers. Be sure to enjoy! (www.baxterdury.tv) 

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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