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LIVE: Baxter Dury @ Tramshed, Cardiff

Baxter Dury returns to Cardiff after his support slot with Pulp to takeover a sold-out Tramshed.

Clad in leather, worn down docs and oversized jackets, families, friends, young and old, prepare for an almost ethereal gathering, at Cardiff's Tramshed, of lost souls brought together by their leader, Baxter Dury; taking swigs from his beer bottle and alternating between taking off his jacket and fashioning his scarf around his head. That’s where a sea of smiles filled the room, a congregation of people mimicking his whimsical, bohemian dances, all there united for one reason - pure enjoyment.

Throughout the evening he showcases his concoction of brooding indie and hip-hop sensibilities with tracks such as ‘Leon’ and ‘Cocaine Man’. To top off his act he adds a dash of post-punk flair and a splash of offbeat charm for good measure. It’s a treat for the senses, providing a kaleidoscope of sounds and a little bit of something for everyone, with the help of his band - incredible musicians in their own right as they breathe life into his musical repertoire with an off-kilter yet incredibly colourful performance filled with fan favourites such as ‘Isabel’, the synth-laden atmospheric ‘I’m Not Your Dog’, and ‘Celebrate Me’.

Dury is a master on stage, a poet on and off, cleverly spitting his lyrically driven pieces, telling stories of life, relationships and observations with wit. Engaging with an already captivated crowd, he spits ‘I wanna give you a big kiss on your sweaty Welsh forehead’ from his collaboration with London’s Fred Again ‘Baxter (these are my friends’. The almost Bowie-esque Let’s Dance sensibilities to the introduction of Slumlord with glittery synth basslines also had the whole crowd whooping and dancing in a matter of seconds.

The evening became quite emotive, returning to stage for the encore, ending with praise to several people, dedicating songs especially to his mother. Love filled the room, from the start of the stage right to the back of the bar, reiterating his joy of being in our city with glazed eyes stating this was ‘one of the best’. We’re used to that phrase these days - “Thank you Cardiff, this has been our favourite yet!” - but there was something genuine about it, this time that phrase had been laced with sincerity.

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Words/images: Tate Powell


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