Album review: The Night Chancers by Baxter Dury

Baxter Dury told Jason Williamson that he envisaged his new album ‘The Night Chancers’ – as told by an ageing hip hop mogul who looks back on his life in chapters – the perfect analogy for an album doused in self-awareness and promiscuity.

The new record is a concept album without being one. It’s full of eccentricities that are informed by Baxter’s own behavioural patterns, from the seedier side of life.

However, as he looks back on his past, whilst simultaneously trying to fit in to the future, Dury has crafted a sold-out lecture in characterisation that only the best of filmmakers dream of getting in to.

The album is full of love stories that, more often than not, illustrate the dynamics of unconventional relationships.

Title track The Night Chancers charts the hotel-room journey between the end of the night and the start of the morning.

Carla’s Got a Boyfriend however comments on the social media purveyors who spend more time on their ex’s Instagram than they should.

Meanwhile, he also examines the demise of a life-changing relationship in Daylight, proving that back-room bravado and your own reality are two separate entities whilst also observing his lack of reluctance to stare.

“I watch a bit too much,” he echoes, in his self-described faux-Chiswick accent, during the album’s most recent single I’m Not Your Dog.

When you consider that Dury believes the album to be one that’s non-formulaic, you can’t help but think that it’s by some divinely inspired chance that this collection of songs sit so perfectly together.

Lyrically, The Night Chancers is like a cinematic battle, with each character wrestling for supremacy as Dury allows them mere minutes in the spotlight.

As a whole, it’s a much sultrier record than the last; the sound becoming evermore voluptuous and sleek, bringing together smooth strings, 90s hip-hop inspired drum beats and elements of French pop to create a sonic masterpiece.

It is a consummate performance in growing older with a lack of grace, a humbling amount of honesty and reminding the listener of the obvious…

“Baxter loves you!” he exclaims, during the concluding verse of album closer Say Nothing.

Related Articles