Ted Milton, poet and pupil, first picked up an alto sax and experienced catharsis. His tutor, a sax instructor, told him that he couldn’t teach him anything and would ruin his student’s ability to learn. In 1979, Blurt was formed with his brother Jake Milton, on drums, and Peter Creese, an arts teacher, on guitar. Their sound was raw and urgent, but not unfinished. The sparse vox sax-guitar/drums instrumentation showcased Blurt’s taut lines, which were able to crowd them in with claustrophobia, while still maintaining a fresh, clear sound. Ted Milton’s complete lack of interest in smoothing things out was a sign that he has a more powerful mind than many. They found their audience stunned at the beginning, then awestruck by the second and finally hooked at the end. Rumours spread about this bizarre trio with a man who was obsessed with bourbon and ripping his sax to shreds. They soon received all the attention of the media. They were offered a deal by Manchester’s Factory Records and recorded the one-side for their double LP “A Factory Quartet”. Factory Records took nearly a year to release the album. Blurt was not happy so they released “Get” (and “My Mother Was a Friend Of An Enemy Of The People”) as singles on Test Pressings Records. After playing at the “Rock Against Junk Festival” in Berlin, their recorded set was released on Armageddon Records as their debut album. Tony Wilson didn’t like Ted’s comparison of Factory Records and lifestyle-chain Habitat. Blurt began touring extensively throughout Europe and America, and “In Berlin” was a hit on the independent charts. John Peel invited them to a session. The world was their oyster. Their second single, “The Fish Needs A Bike”, was their most well-known song. Their second album, “Blurt”, was recorded at Jake Milton’s house studio. It was released through Red Flame Records and People’s Records Germany. The band continued to tour and more corporate record companies began to take an interest in them. However, only if they would agree to improve their sound and hire a bass player. Blurt declined the offers and continued to pursue their mission of boldly going where no other band had before. The tensions between Ted Milton and Peter Creese grew after the recording of “Bullets For You”, the third album. Creese quit the band in anger, and returned to teaching. They were now on their own, but found new friends in Herman Martin, a synthesizer player. Martin and the Milton brothers toured with him in 1985. This rare group released the cassette “Six Views In Black-Sixty Minutes of Blurt In Blighty”, which was released with one track on Abstract Magazine #6. Martin left shortly after, and Blurt returned to the sax/guitar-drums lineup with guitarist Steve Eagles. Steve Eagles was a former member of punk band Satan’s Rats. Later, Blurt joined pop-punk group The Photos. The 12″ “White Line Fever” was released in 1985 on Another Side Records. This label is an offspring of Les Disques Du Crepuscule. Another live album, “Friday The 12th”, was recorded in Kortrijk in Belgium. Jake Milton left the band in 1985. Ted continued the band despite all financial and personal difficulties and hired Paul Wigens as his drummer. Blurt’s fifth album, “Poppycock”, was to be released in 2005. The new lineup proved to be very creative, expanding the music’s horizons. Like on “Domain Of Dreams”, where Ted recites his poem in his best French. Blurt had fallen out fashion and no record companies wanted to invest in them. However, they maintained a small but loyal following in Europe. Ted started his own label, Toeblock. He had released a single 12″ and “Poppycock”, the second release, was distributed through Cartel/Revolver. The second album, Smoke Time, continued the experimental route with “The Tree Is Dead” and Paul Wigens playing violin on “Trough By You”, a disturbing piece of music that is far removed from early Blurt’s dance-band sound. In 1988, “The Body That They Built to Fit The Car” was released in two versions: a 12-inch white vinyl record and a 5-track CD EP. The hilarious video for the latter received some airplay on MTV. However, radio-friendly was an adjective that didn’t match Blurt’s music. Since Paul Wigens was obligated with “The Wood Children”, Nic Murcott arrived to record a live album and a concert footage in Bath, U.K. By 1989, Blurt was a loose-fit group centered around Ted Milton. “Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hit” was published in 1989 by the French non-commercial label V.I.S.A. A re-recorded album, “Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hit-Take 2”, was also released on Toeblock. The cover art was slightly altered. V.I.S.A. was shocked. Ted challenged Blurt’s non-commercial stance in a typical Ted fashion. Blurt weren’t making it easy for themselves and were labeled as “unreliable”, which placed them further in isolation within the alternative music scene. The albums, which are complementary, show an interesting glimpse into the band’s creative process. It’s almost like jazz musicians doing different versions of the same songs, but critics and businesspeople didn’t get Blurt or jazz. Ted lived in Brussels in 1990 in dire straits. His series of books, “Pagan Strings,” were handcrafted from found materials from Brussels and contain the lyrics for the Blurt album. Blurt recorded the album with Chris Vine, a new guitarist, in Ulm (Germany), after Steve Eagles had formed a new band, “Bang Bang Machine”. Paul Wigens was also back in the drumseat shortly before Nic Murcott left. “Pagan Strings”, a new album, was released on Toeblock. Touring continued, though to smaller audiences. No matter how small the crowd, the band gave it their all and won at least one new Blurt fan every show. The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 saw Eastern Europa become a fertile ground for all the seeds Blurt had planted over the years. “Magic Moments”, Blurt’s next album, was released in 1994 by Hungarian label Bahia Music under the name “Ted Milton and The Blurt Big Band”. “Big” refers to five members. It saw the return of Steve Eagles, Chris Vine, Nic Murcott, and Paul Wigens as the drummers. It was dark and brooding and reflected Ted’s personal struggles at home. The tour to promote the album, which featured guest musicians Adrien Kessler and Baoudoin de Jaere, proved disastrous when their van was stolen in Czechoslovakia. Life continued in Brussels as usual. Ted joined the Back-ToNormal Big Band of Liege to record “Nogales” then take it on tour. After a relationship that went sour, and Chris Vine’s departure from the band, Ted returned to London to heal his wounds. He continued to make handmade books and took odd jobs to support his family. Ted was unable to touch his sax in a while, as Blurt seemed to be gone. With the help of Jon Wygens, Blurt was able to record the 1996 album “Celebrating The Bespoke Zell Of Little Ease”, which featured Paul Wigens as the drummer. The album was released again by Bahia Music. It was a stunning work of art, highly emotional and focused, with great musicianship. Unfortunately, the album was not widely distributed and went unnoticed. It is now the most desired Blurt recording. Blurt was on tour in support of “Celebrating”, with Steve Eagles as his second guitarist. He played wonderful music to small audiences. It was a tradition of Ted, Steve, and Paul to trade pearls for wine. But it may have been too tempting for Jon Wygens who became a well-respected composer in jazz milieus and the soundtrack. He also founded jazz-rock group Limbo with Paul Wigens. Ted was able to see the time as a good opportunity for reflection at the beginning of the new millenium. Two samplers were issued on the “Salamander”, a quasi-official offspring of Bahia Music: “The Fish needs a bike: The Best Of Blurt” in 2003. This was followed by tours with Steve Eagles and Paul Wiigens in 2004 and 2006 with “The Body That They Built to Fit The Car: The best Of Blurt Volume 2”. Bob Leith, “The Cardiacs,” took over the drumseat. Blurt was rediscovered by critics, new, and young audiences. They were invited to perform at major festivals such as Glastonbury and Recontres Transmusicales, Rennes, and other exclusive gigs. Ted Milton is finally getting some recognition for his work lately. This was evident by invitations to the Berlin International Literature Festival as well as to the concerts with “Odes”, which were held in the context of Patti Smith’s art show at Fondation Cartier in Paris in June 2008. “In Berlin” and the tracks from “Factory Quartet”, were re-released by LTM Records. They even recorded a new album, “Cut It”, which was also released by LTM Records. Dave Aylward is now playing the drums, taking over from Bob Leith. From

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