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Optimo@Sub Club, Glasgow, 1 April 2007

When Blurt play Optimo on April Fool’s Day, it will be vocalist/sax player Ted Milton’s first Glasgow performance since supporting the late Ian Dury at the now demolished Apollo almost 30 years ago. That was in the guise of Mr Pugh’s Velvet Glove Show, a demented Punch and Judyesque puppet act Milton fronted for 15 years prior to forming his No Wave-styled trio.

Since an inspired appearance by Mr Pugh on Factory Records boss Tony Wilson’s TV show ‘So It Goes’ led to a brief tenure on the label, Blurt have released more than 20 under-the-radar albums. Highlights, including their magnificently titled debut single, ‘My Mother Was A Friend Of An Enemy Of The People,’ can be found on two essential ‘Let It Blurt’ best-ofs.

It’s a long way from Milton’s original calling as a bookbinder and poet, whose work appeared in The Paris Review and seminal 1960s UK Beat compendium, Children Of Albion. Milton’s subsequent saxophonic epiphany, however, proved too funky for the avant-garde from which he sprang.

“They hated us,” Deptford’s 60-something answer to James Chance by way of Captain Beefheart says of a notoriously snobbish scene. “If they hear anything remotely danceable, they tear off their £500 designer glasses and just go mad.”

Outwith Blurt, Milton will tour later this year with electronicist Sam Britton to tie in with the release of ‘Odes,’ a hand-made book and album of Milton’s solo collaborations.

“We’ve been very busy on the edge,” is how Milton sees it. “Consistently so. We were always said to be ahead of our time, but now younger people seem very enthusiastic about it. Blurt is a constant work-in-progress.”

The List, issue 572 , 5 July 2007



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