published: 16 /
Fiona Hutchings finds that Baxter Dury's new memoir about his childhood and father Ian Dury promises but does not fully deliver
I was looking forward to this book, Ian Dury's son spilling the beans on life growing up alongside two erratic and often absent parents. When your most consistent babysitter is called the Sulphate Strangler and one of Dad's girlfriends keeps throwing herself out the lounge window into the river outside, you are expecting something juicy, something riveting.
And the book...It just doesn’t quite satisfy the appetite the book prompts. It’s a slim volume. Making it hardback and using a larger font can’t really hide that. It jumps all over the place with its time and location, but that doesn't make it hard to follow. It does mean, however, that again and again it feels like the story just gets going and the chapter is over. Also the lack of photo section is something of a mystery to me. There are photos, printed in perfect panty pink on the inside front and back cover. Surely a few pages of technicolour images sandwiched in the middle would only have added to the feast.
Taken all together, it means it is a quick but ultimately not quite satisfying read. There’s plenty of other books I can read about Ian Dury, his life and music and rock and roll behaviour. I wanted to know more about his son though, how he experienced what sounds like a very changeable and chaotic upbringing. I wonder what impacts he sees on himself when he looks back and on the music he makes now. Instead I’m left with more questions. View this as an appetiser and make sure you have the main course ready to go and it’s still worth a punt
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