Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Poet Milton

This was a piece I posted back in April, before I kamikazeed the site - since then, it's been widely disseminated ... well, it's on Ted Milton's website, and (both excellent sites, have a look) so I decided to put it back up.

Blurt: Rhythm Factory, Whitechapel, 13.4.06
Sticking to the classic Blurt template, Ted Milton on sax and vocals, backed with guitar and drums, live the band lack nothing in the way of noise and attack. I've seen bands twice the size unable to whip up such a storm. The secret to Blurt, something many performers should take on board, is the discipline and precision of the execution - Blurt songs tend to cut out the flab, creating hard but concise structures and giving Mr Milton the necessary space to go mad. Think of a fusion between Ornette Coleman and Kurt Schwitters and you would be close. Freebop Merz, anyone? Sporting a natty white zoot suit and two-tone shoes, Mr Milton cuts quite a figure on stage - there's a pleasingly theatrical but threatening edge to his persona... stalking the stage, taking the occasional nip from a half bottle of whisky, he gives the impression of a man you wouldn't want to cross. There is a suggestion of barely suppressed violence bubbling away inside the Milton skull - he's ready to blow up at any time. The band ran through a good mix of Blurt material, none of which sounds like anything else on the market - in a musical landscape dominated by the anodyne and the anaemic, this band are to be cherished. Milton coped with monitor problems with good humour and multi-lingual sarcasm, and demonstrated his very particular vocal and saxophone techniques. What more do you want? The gig was, in part, a promotion for the release of the new CD, 'The Best Of Blurt, vol.2 - The Body That They Built To Fit The Car' - not only does it contain 16 tracks of prime Blurt, you'll also find a couple of wonderful videos - everybody should run out and buy a copy. In fact buy two copies and give one to a friend.


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