Dean Blunt at the Blade Factory, Liverpool

Polly Checkland Harding

Going solo for the first time in the North, enigmatic musician Dean Blunt brings his visual-audio hybrid show to the Blade Factory in November.

Better – or at least more widely – known as one half of experimental bass duo, Hype Williams, Dean Blunt’s antics have become the stuff of legend: stories include the handing out of music hidden in apples and the theft of a racoon from a taxidermist. His live show looks appropriately surreal. Songs are interspersed with an array of bizarre characters, with amateur dramatic segues unfolding beneath the strobe lights. Like trying to define the edge of a crowd in a club, Blunt’s performance blurs the boundary between music and theatre in a multi-layered an ode to loneliness, heartbreak and scepticism. His songs recruit deliberate lyrical platitudes along with melodic gestures more at home on a B-movie soundtrack and, typically of Blunt, you’re never quite sure how ironic he’s being.

Dean Blunt’s antics have become the stuff of legend

Dean Blunt appears this week at Liverpool’s Blade Factory, the club space at the dependably good Camp and Furnace. The set features tracks from his debut full length, The Redeemer – here, Blunt’s unsettling, tenuously electric sound is counterbalanced by the delicate balladry of songwriter Joanne Robertson, who also featured on the album. Support comes from Lord Tusk, whose performance recalls elements of Hype Williams’ sound: to those for whom the duo passed out of sight just at the point when they began to be recognised, this may be a welcome nostalgia. But there’s little doubt that Blunt’s dream-like, musical mosaic will be the highlight of the evening – for immersive novelty, at least, we expect nothing will quite compare to experiencing his trademark stream-of-consciousness vocal delivery.

The word “soundscape” has been used in reference to Blunt’s creations. Whatever name the show best deserves, it certainly provides the perfect answer as to why music should be watched live, as well as listened to.

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