Album Review: Baxter Dury – ‘Happy Soup’

Simple, but very effective

A true cult hero, [a]Baxter Dury[/a]’s third album is his most accomplished yet. Way more lo-fi than its excellent predecessors, ‘Happy Soup’ is so simple in its structure that it really shouldn’t work. But work it does, with tracks skimming from scratchy psychedelia (‘Afternoon’) to bare-boned ska, to the sumptuous, fall-down-the-stairs fuckery of ‘The Sun’.

As always, there’s a subtle element of Dury Snr (that London drawl, the seedy lyrics), but it’s the schoolgirl backing vocals of Madelaine Hart – sounding like she’s been beamed straight out of the 2-Tone stable – and Dury’s cracked realisation that “the monsoons of fear and age” are inescapable that cut through hardest here.

Matt Wilkinson

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