Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Night Ted Milton Blew Me A Kiss - Blurt, The Montague Arms, New Cross 23.03.07

Blurt in New Cross on a cold Friday night. There's Ted in his white zoot suit and hobnail boots get-up, going mad in his inimitable way. There can't be many acts where you can see a mohicaned savant in his 60s spouting anarchic poetry and avant garde sax licks ... Blurt - number one in a field of one. I've said it before, but what makes Blurt work so well is the discipline. Steve Eagles on guitar and Bob Leith on minimal drum kit create a very tight, thrilling musical backdrop for Milton to operate against ... Ted's vocals and lyrics are in a class of their own - wry, sarcastic, Dadaist; his incandescent sax playing, too, left any notion of the conventional behind years ago. Displaying a dissonant but melodic inventiveness lost to most jazzers these days, one thinks of Beefheart and Ornette, one thinks of Albert Ayler. Over the years Blurt music has evolved in an interesting fashion; starting out as our very own answer to No Wave, the original template has been twisted in subtle ways to bring in elements of jazz or Afro Beat for example without losing the original impetus that made me love them in the first place. I even detected a trace of rockabilly here and there. Blurt make a fragmented, jerrybuilt noise, experimental but visceral.

He has a very striking stage presence, does Milton. Theatrical, manic, he gives the impression of a man hanging over the edge, shouting back over his shoulder what he can see out there. Holding up my little digicam, he fixes me with a beady eye at one point and blows me a kiss. Ted, I'm charmed.

Ted blows me a kiss.

They run a through a good representative set of Blurt songs, including the classics 'Cherry Blossom Polish' and 'Enemy Ears' ("I will soon come to power!" ... well, I'd vote for you, Ted) and get the crowd dancing. Move your arse and your mind will follow? Blurt have been doing it for years.

I think the final word should go to Ted:

I am an empty vessel

And I make a lot of noise

And I looove to do, and I loooove to do, and I looooove to do

The washing up.

I am not one of the boys!


Blogger Molly Bloom said...

Your reviews are really brilliant Anthony. I hope Ted sees this. I thought he looked completely, charmingly crazy on the video and obviously seems to really enjoy being on stage and performing. He's pretty groovy isn't he? Glad you enjoyed it. I wonder if he will resurrect the puppets any time soon?

12:30 PM  
Blogger kek-w said...

Fooking lovely: nice one!

3:14 AM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

I'd love to see him get the puppets out. Yes, he's a strange old geezer ... went and stood in the corner, facing the wall, laughing maniacally to himself at one point.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Cloudboy said...

Saw him a few years back - couldn't agree with you more - a joy to behold

9:26 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

National treasure status for Mr Milton!

8:48 AM  
Blogger farmer glitch said...

Nice post - think I will pull out my beaten up old 7 incher of MY MOTHER WAS A FRIEND OF AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE to get wake up the sleeping baby ...

2:57 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Great single, that ... and one of the all-time great titles.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Cloudboy said...

playing it now

11:34 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

There are times when the only thing that will satisfy is a nice big dollop of Blurt.

7:40 AM  

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