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Grinderman - Forum, London, 20/6/2007

  by Jon Rogers

published: 16 / 6 / 2007

Grinderman - Forum, London, 20/6/2007


In an impressive double bill, Jon Rogers at the London Forum sees aging rockers Grinderman and Suicide which many younger bands could learn a lot from if they were less bothered about their career strategy

If you think that rock is merely the preserve of ‘yoof’ then you had really better think again as tonight Alan Vega and Martin Rev led the counter charge with Nick Cave’s latest band charging through. As special guests to Grinderman up first are proto-punk/electro pioneers Suicide. As throughout most of their career the duo of Martin Rev and Alan Vega leave most of the audience bemused about their mixture of punk attitude, industrial noise and electro pulse. Most simply don’t know what they’re being confronted with and a lot are probably too young to know a great deal about them. Visually, admittedly, the band aren’t up to much. Rev mans a large pre-programmed synth and Vega, dressed in a ludicrous red hat, stalks the stage like some deranged Marcel Marceau. Despite those limitations Suicide manage to kick up a storm with their assault on the senses and a storming set that includes a wonderful version of 'Ghost Rider'. Despite their now aging years Suicide could teach the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs and Travis and great deal if only bands of that ilk would bother to listen instead of mapping out their career strategy. The main attraction though is Grinderman (or as one tout outside beforehand liked to call them, “Grin-der-man”) and the Kentish Town venue is backed to the rafters to see this one-off show. They certainly don’t disappoint. A shade off being 50-years-old Cave and company give a masterclass in just how an unreconstructed punk rock-blues band should be. Opener 'Grinderman' is seductive and sees Cave do his best cock-sure Jim Morrison impression as he oozes libidinous desire. The rest of the set is, largely, taken at a much more frantic pace as the band rampage through the likes of 'Electric Alice', 'Get It On' and '(I Don’t Want You to) Set Me Free'. Even the slower-paced 'Go Tell the Women' is stunning. The highlight though belonged to rousing version of 'No Pussy Blues', Cave’s humorous tale of an aging Lothario vainly trying to get a woman into bed. Well, the highlight that is until the encore. Grinderman don’t return empty handed but bring on stage Suicide for a run through of 'Love Bomb' and 'Harlem'. The former is sarcastically dedicated to former Blur frontman Damon Albarn. This version of Suicide’s 'Harlem' largely consists of Vega and Cave shouting out what seems to be “super cunt” a lot. Despite their aging years, in rock ‘n’ roll terms, both Suicide and Grinderman could easily teach the younger pups a thing or too.

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Grinderman - Forum, London, 20/6/2007

Grinderman - Forum, London, 20/6/2007

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