Review: ‘Grin’- Dusty Limits, Latitude Festival


Photo: Matilda Temperley

Dusty Limits, cabaret singer, actor and general public nuisance, is working here with long-term collaborator Michael Roulston to bring the Cabaret Tent a drop of the dark stuff from the album Grin. This grin is rictus, painted onto a sexually-deranged Pierrot who is always last to leave the party, for fear of being left alone.

Limits’ voice is effortlessly gorgeous, his words sharp, with the kind of clarity that comes from too much claret. With his wonderful band, including Roulston on piano, he seeks out humanity from the darkest corners- the net curtains of suburban swingers twitching with arousal; the drinking dens where the freaks congregate.

It’s the prosaic stuff given a Venetian mask of decadence which truly excites. SW3 skewers the conformity of anonymity in identikit houses; Imagine posits him as surrogate father to his lesbian friend’s child, then, face-palming as it strikes them that they are the real children in this dysfunctional family unit.


Melancholy was rarely so urbane,scathing and hilarious- even a wayward baby crawls across the floor to try to get to the band: get them early…Above all, Limits’ words are heartfelt- he has spoken openly and movingly about battling depression.

These pithy and pointed songs are little diamonds in the rough,shining brightest at night- others may have gone to Bill Bailey (whose sound bleeds through on occasion) playing the Comedy Stage at the same time, but, as with a fine vintage, the more discerning choice is always Dusty.

(Lorna Irvine)

Download Grin here :



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