Mar 22, 2012

Dirty Three @ Sydney Opera House

At some point in my life I didn't need/use/ Dirty Three to sustain me. Many years ago I had seen them as a support act in Melbourne. I was astounded by their music. A violin player as a lead man for crying out loud. And not just any lead man. A manic blunderbuss of energy. So "Horse Stories"came and went. They were greatness personified if there was any doubt at all. But I lost touch. Not intentionally. It just happened. Life moves on. But I knew one day I would need them back in my life. To sustain me again. To fill me up. A couple of years the circle turned in full when the legendary three piece returned to Sydney to play "Ocean Songs" in full. Grown men cried. I shook with revelation. I knew my place in life and Dirty Three were always going to be part of the ongoing tapestry.

Fast forward to 2012 and they return with a new album (first in seven years) and a first time playing at the Sydney Opera House. Or 'The Pub' as Warren Ellis put it. A full house was ready to bathe in electric charges, in sound and fury. For two hours we were given a lesson in music. A lesson in why I can quite confidently say this now. Dirty Three are the greatest musical act this country has ever produced. Or likely ever too. Their music is combative, inspiring, tender, ferocious and inclusive. Mick Turner stands quietly, watching. Carefully making sure each of his guitar plucks are in tune with the other two. Jim White is like no other drummer. Always moving, always searching for that perfect rhythm. Each stick like an artist's brush. Warren Ellis is like that crazy guy in your town or suburb who lives alone and no one really knows. Yet he is friend to all of us. He lives in France. Looks elegant in his grey suit. Sounds like he could be from Padstow or Moonee Ponds. He tells us tales of Gina Rinehart and Bono. Justin Bieber and amphetamines. He plays us Boz Scaggs before the show. He tells of dying and loving. Fucking and getting fucked. He shreds his violin with ferocity and passion that is rarely seen. He talks to the audience as if they just bought him a beer. He howls and cries. He tells us that 'you are never alone with the Dirty Three'. He tells us 'Everything is Fucked'. Yes it probably is Warren. But we don't care. Because we have you. 

Set List
Rain Song
You Greet Her Ghost
Sometimes I Forget You've Gone
The Pier
Rising Below
Moon On The Land
Some Summers They Drop Like Flies
The Restless Waves
The Zither Player
Everything's Fucked
Ashen Snow/Ends Of The Earth

Sue's Last Ride


  • At April 01, 2012 , Blogger Slowparade said...

    Another quality review. I too had some time apart from the Dirty Three but I am in love with their latest album. I think it is the best thing they have done in more than a decade.


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