March 2012, Spindle Magazine Issue 5

Baxter Dury’s heritage is a well-chronicled affair. Appearing on the album cover of New Boots and Panties!!, having the Sulphate Strangler as a babysitter and ending his first foray into the work force by burning down the building are the kind of nuggets made for a rock n’ roll biography. It would seem pretty inevitable that Ian and Baxter would join the ranks of John and Sean, Bob and Jakob and Elvis and Lisa Marie. It wasn’t always a given though. “I literally tried every job in the world for about ten years, bar being a sous chef… You could make a children’s book about all the different jobs I had. ‘Baxter today is on a building site’, ‘Baxter today is selling lamps’, ‘Baxter today is a dentist’. But I didn’t really prove that successful at much. So I had to find a way to be my own boss and be allowed to talk shit.”

Regardless of whether you choose to flog your famous name like a dead horse in Dina Lohan style, or shy away from it and reject what came before in favour of forging your own path, there’s only so far a name can take you; it was always going to be necessary for Dury to prove his musical nads. With Happy Soup his third album he’s more than done so; the record is a no holds barred account of love affairs and sexual conquests on holiday.

“I didn’t know what else to talk about really, it was either zoo animals or the heart. So I thought I might as well, really, it’s a classic subject.”

Dury hasn’t been coy with his lyricism, candidly naming/shaming the girls.

“They are the real names, yeah… I mean there’s one, there’s a silence between us. I haven’t spoken to her in a while but I don’t know if that’s just because I’m an idiot, which I am, or if that had anything to do with it. I don’t want to flatter myself… I did try to try and persuade her that it wasn’t about her, but her name was Claire and I did go out with her for a year… I think the other person is probably quite flattered.”

Being immortalised in song is pretty flattering. “Yeah I think it’s quite nice. At least I made the effort. I mean she made a big enough print on someone’s heart that they wrote a song about it, that’s pretty flattering isn’t it. Unless the lyrics are really damning, then it’s not so flattering.” It’s every girl’s dream.

“Yeah, well you’d rather have a nice one. I mean if I wrote a song about you and called your hair rubbish you’d be a bit pissed off wouldn’t you?” Yeah well, my hair’s great.

“Yeah well I know it’s great and that’s why you’re annoyed about it. But if I still wrote a song saying your hair’s rubbish and it went to number two in the indie charts you’d be well pissed off.”

This latest release sees Dury continue his relationship with label Parlophone; the commercial label seems an unlikely home for Dury, which he has joked about before, housing the likes of Katy Perry and TinieTempah as his label mates.

“It’s quite nice to be basically made to feel special if you’re the kind of odd guy. When I was on Rough Trade, everyone on Rough Trade had like four nipples and drunk their own urine; you never felt that special. It’s quite good that there’s no one like that on Parlophone I think.”

With Baxter’s own heritage a fairly exhausted subject, now the question remains as to whether Dury’s own son will make it a hat trick and join the family business. “You always overestimate your children but I think he’s got a real flair for composing; he can play the piano already. He’s the first really good looking Dury, you know, he’s pretty symmetrical; he’s lost the potato face Dury’s have been sporting for thousands for years. He might be all right.”