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Flamboyant entertainer Ian Dury, backed by the Blockheads, takes to the stage, explaining to his audience how, as a child, he contracted polio from a swimming pool and attended a special needs school where he was bullied, particularly by orderly Hargreaves, a fact which shaped his tough and frequently iconoclastic approach to life, culminating in his controversial contribution to the Year of the Disabled. From his early days with Kilburn and the High Roads, playing seedy pubs with no dressing rooms Ian moves onto chart success with the Blockheads, collaborating with musician Chaz Jankel. His private life is complicated as, separated from the tolerant Betty with whom he remains friends but refuses to divorce for many years, he lives with the much younger Denise along with his adored son Baxter, who will himself become a performer. Ian dies in 2000, having packed an enormous amount of living into a comparatively short life. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Lots of good performances here, but a lack of cohesion. I'm an Ian Dury fan (as well as Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric et al) and I was struck by the lack of historical context. Other than a brief reference to The Sex Pistols, there's no sense of time or place here, no evidence of the seminal Stiffs Live tour that cemented Ian's fame and a lack of recognition to the Blockheads, who were (and are) one of the best bands ever - their funkiness and elasticity were unique. A lot of psychological flashbacks and a last 20 minutes that reminded me of a "Movie of the Week". Nowt about the years leading up to his passing. A newcomer might wonder what all the fuss was about.
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