Saturday, December 11, 2010

'Prisoners need not apply': Grinderman live

Ending a quick US jaunt in service of "Grinderman 2", Nick Cave brought Grinderman to LA. Essentially a scaled down Bad Seeds tuned quartet-style to the key of filthy rock'n'roll.

Grinderman is Cave, Warren Ellis on violin and guitar, and the rhythm section of Martin Casey & Jim Sclavunos.

The enigmatic Armen Ra opened the evening with his theremin, doing a proper job of setting an unsettling tone for the proceedings.





Warren Ellis in full flight...

Grinderman hit the stage promptly, and unleashed their trademark noise, quickly adjusting to the eccentricities of the house sound system, then pushing it to overload levels.

To watch these guys in any of their configurations is always a joy, and the stripped down setting worked perfectly in a smaller venue. It's interesting to note that a performer of Cave's caliber, that controls the room completely, is something of an endangered species these days...



The finest example of said control came towards the close of their set, during the frustration anthem 'No Pussy Blues', from their first album.

Cave leered through the verses, setting up the story of the man who would do anything for his dearest, but not in turn receive the one thing he was looking for...
As the band lurched into the bridge, he held up his hands and clapped out a simple beat, then repeated it. The crowd took it up, then Cave dropped out the band and the whole room echoed with only clapping...

The band blitzed into the chorus, and the house levitated...Such a simple trick proved so brutally effective, and a welcome antidote to eons of hapless singalongs...
A reminder, once again, that no matter the configuration, their are few bands working at this level...

2 comments:

  1. your Warren Ellis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Ellis

    my Warren Ellis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Ellis_%28musician%29

    thoughtfully cross.referenced by WikiPedia...

    ReplyDelete