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Baxter Dury | Len Parrot's Memorial Lift (Rough Trade)
"I didn't like school, It was all about memory, which was never my strong point, I preferred to bunk-off and buy records." A philosophy I'd like to claim as my own but, being the conscientious student I was, that pocket-money inspired trip to Woolworths was strictly a weekend event. No, those words came from a far hipper and discerning child than I. Baxter (son of Ian) Dury found salvation in the Soul, Jazz and Funk of the afro-friendly '70s. 'Len Parrot's Memorial Lift' is a Soul record in the same way that Lambchop's 'Nixon' is a Soul record. Written during a two-month, Rough Trade-funded, sojourn to Austin, TX, the album is a swirling, seductive mix where breathy, falsetto m/f vocals and treated guitars adorn a welcoming soft mattress of lazy percussion, electric piano and swelling strings. On Auntie Jane and the funereal title track it's Pink Floyd psychedelia through the eyes of Mark Linkous; on Lucifer's Grain it's a soft-rock duet over 'Handful of Songs' whimsy. Only on Gingham Smalls does the cockney spirit of his father surface ?? a Kinks-like jaunt brought to a halt by a clever bastard 'stop it!' There's a nod to Barry White on the spoken-word interlude of Bachelor, the closing Boneyard Dogs rounding things off in style, a sweeping epic of mournful piano and strings. An assured curiosity.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002

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