Day 117 – A new challenger approaches

Baxter Dury had the 6000 miles… Album Of The Year title all wrapped up for 2020.

Then came lockdown, and the effects of lockdown. I know that feeling.

And suddenly, a new challenger approaches: it are Doves, with their first new release in 11 years.

And the first two tracks from The Universal Want are very special. We’ve already had a look and listen at Carousels. Now, here’s Prisoners:

Sure, two tracks out of ten doth not a summer make, but the signs are very good, aren’t they?

Now firm date for release just yet, but I’m looking forward to this in exactly the same way that Baxter probably isn’t.

Day 46 – Concerts and production

Given that there’s no sport and no socialising at the moment, I have found myself trawling the internet for stuff to watch.
They are generally quick trawls. You don’t have to look very far.

One of the things I have been enjoying is some of the concerts that have been made available for our lockdown entertainment. And one of the things that amuses me about them is just how polished a “proper” concert video is when compared to what’s being offered at the moment.

NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING, you understand…

I’m very grateful to have these things to watch.

Here’s an example: my man-of-the-moment Baxter Dury playing an intimate gig in a French penthouse, BTV:

versus this from his bedroom for the Royal Albert Hall Home a couple of weeks ago:

Don’t be fooled by the impressive title page. Click through and it’s wonderfully laid-back, fun, sweary and deliciously informal and almost amateurish: backed by his son on guitar when the recorded backing track didn’t work and with a half dead fern in the background.

Love it!

One more example, and this one is somewhere in the middle. It’s an OMD gig and yes, the footage was also recorded BTV – last year, in fact – but never readied for performance. So you occasionally get hands in front of the camera, it gets bumped by energetic concert-goers and there are sometimes chunks missing between the songs. Who cares? It still looked and sounded great on the big 4K TV in the corner of my living room.

We watched this premiere on Saturday evening after winning the Captivity Pub Quiz Part II by a whole half a point. Really good evening, and some good memories of seeing them really live back in 2012.

Will we ever do concerts again? I wonder.

In the meantime: more online gigs, please.

Day 33 – I’m not your dog

OK, so a music post, but one with a bit of a story, at least.

I was listening to the radio last week – something I’ve been doing a lot more of during lockdown – and on came this song with some French lyrics in it. Now, the majority of the song was Baxter Dury languidly describing some bad event in his love life, coupled with an addictive little keyboard synth strings riff, but then there was this French bit. I was hooked, but the French had me a little stumped. Initially, at least.
I often joke that I can speak just enough French, German and Afrikaans not to get by. This time, I managed immediately to identify:

Ce n’est pas mon probleme.

It’s not my problem.

But then things went massively astray, because I thought I heard:

Je ne suis pas ton chien.

Which translates as “I’m not your dog”.


Now, I could remember Madame Clarke telling us that when we were doing listening tests in French, you could give yourself a little advantage by looking at the hypothetical situation and thinking what might be being said. It’s all about context. For example, if you are in a supermarket and you are asking where the wine section is, the assistant is unlikely to tell you that the trees in Morocco are very green at this time of year. Unless you’re both spies introducing yourselves to one another. But that was never a thing in GCSE French.

Maybe it should have been.

Applying that advice to this situation, I really didn’t think that Baxter would be telling someone that he wasn’t their dog. I’ve listened to a lot of bitter, heartbroken love songs* in my time, and this was a sentiment that I’d not heard expressed before.

So that clearly couldn’t be it.

But that’s what it sounded like.

And guess what?

Brilliant song (best of 2020 so far, IMHO), brilliant single shot video as dawn breaks over Benidorm. And yes – Baxter Dury is not your dog.

I’m well aware that Je ne suis pas ton chien is hardly higher grade French – you probably conjugated être and did pets in your very first term.

But hearing something over your shoulder in a foreign language while you are cleaning the dishwasher [#glamour] and having the confidence to stick with your original translation despite the clear lack of context, [several] years after your last French lesson?

I’m happy enough. Happier than Baxter, certainly.


* far too many actually, now I start to think about it. [sad face emoji]

Prince of Tears

The second release from Baxter Dury’s new album is the title track.

It’s very catchy.

Second release, because he has already given us Miami which is really good and has an excellent video, but which contains far too much nasty language to be allowed a post of its own on here.

And yes, it seems that this Guardian review is spot on.

Dury has always been good at conjuring up monstrous male figures, their aggressive swagger matched by their glaring inadequacy.

Still, should you be intrigued, you can click through, pre-warned, here.