The Devil of Deptford, Ted Milton and Blurt
Ted Milton brings BLURT to play this December's Unlabel Unfestive at the Forum Tunbridge Wells. Unlabel's Phil Avey catches up with Ted to talk Factory Records, the Blues and Toilets.
Unfestive The Forum Tunbridge Wells Friday 15th December Blurt + Joeyfat + Three Quarter Williams + JC Palmer TICKETS
The Devil of Deptford .. Ted Milton and Blurt
I meet with Ted Milton, the front man and saxophonist of the band Blurt, at his studio in Deptford. It is reassuringly freeform, a cacophony of projects in progress. There is no computer, the only connections to the digital realm comes via a CD discman and the world's last surviving ‘Blackberry’.
He chuckles with mischievous delight when I tell him the The Forum in Tunbridge Wells, where he headlines the Unlabel Christmas Show this December, was once the largest public convenience in Europe.
You get the sense that part of Ted’s motivations is to irreverently puncture any bloated self importance that presents itself to him.“I fell out with Tony Wilson,” he tells me. “We did an interview for the NME and I compared Factory’s style to that of Habitat, well, he didn’t like that.”
Ted’s route to being Factory Records only non Mancunian signing was a touch unorthodox. “I was doing this puppet, marionette theatre and Tony booked me for his TV art show on Granada, when I stopped the theatre and started the music, I sent it to him and he liked it!”
Listening to the music Ted makes with Blurt, the call and response of his saxophone phrases against his vocal dialogue could be taken as the Punch and Judy of battling Marionettes, a performer creating his own foil.
“Howling Wolf is my Man” he enthuses. It is clear witnessing the great blues man left an indelible impression. “By the the first ten seconds, the sweat coming off him, the intensity!”
A temple popping performance has always been Ted and Blurts stock in trade, an unrelenting groove and an invitation for even the most dour of music snob’s to dance. “I’m addicted to throwing shapes in front of people, I’m not going to be getting a job in the City after all this time.” The Square miles loss is certainly music's gain.
Words and pictures Phil Avey