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Dirty Three, November 12, Dublin

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Loud, thrilling and energetic only begin to describe the performance at The Village this night. The Australian trio, along with Josh Pearson, were on top form.  It's great to hear a band unafraid to play at a proper volume, and there's nothing like leaving a gig feeling flossed between the ears.


Support by Josh Pearson from Texan band Lift to Experience was the perfect choice for tonight: just  enough apocalyptic fire in his belly to get the crowd excited but subdued enough to keep them under control. Strumming country songs and hymns straight from the back of the bible he was great; and far better then with Lift to Experience. Unfortunately his choice of effects pedals marred some of the songs as they seemed to cut out whenever he stepped on them.

Dirty Three descended on the stage like a bunch of outlaws. In Ellis’s case, a cardigan- wearing outlaw. Stomping on a loop pedal to start playing some intense wall of violins obviously recorded during sound check, the band jammed freely for a couple of minutes before breaking seamlessly into “Ever Since” from their new album. I have raved about Cinder before but as usual Dirty Three’s live renditions are more chaotic and blissful than in the studio. I'm guilty of  starting to pine for familiar material at gigs but not this time. I was enraptured the whole way through.

 Pearson returned to the stage later to play mandolin and bass on a couple of songs. “The Zither Player” (again from Cinder) stood out as being one of the best performances of the evening. The rest of the material was a smattering of songs from most of their back catalogue, a couple of tracks from Ocean Songs, “Everything’s Fucked,” “Hope,” and some Greek traditional music.

A mighty version of “Sue’s Last Ride” from Horse Stories stands out in my mind as an example of  why I love Dirty Three. Powerful and emotional without the need for words, there are few bands that can do this. Jim White continues to astound me as to just how he is the best drummer on earth because he doesn’t play drums but plays through them. There was little if anything to fault about the performance. Well maybe one thing, as entertaining as Ellis is when he does his pre-song rants it does cut down on the amount of music played. Then again, he is a funny bastard.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 November 2005 16:11  


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