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Dirty Three - Union Chapel, 22/8/2000

  by Matthew Willson

published: 13 / 1 / 2002



Dirty Three - Union Chapel, 22/8/2000

intro

The darkly lit architecture of the Union Chapel formed a perfect surrounding for the epic post-rock noise of Australian trio Dirty Three. A good turnout was improved by the prospect of a support slot


The darkly lit architecture of the Union Chapel formed a perfect surrounding for the epic post-rock noise of Australian trio Dirty Three. A good turnout was improved by the prospect of a support slot from Lupine Howl, formed from ex-members of Spiritualized. First however we were treated to a solo acoustic set from Patrick Duff, ex-singer from Strangelove. His songs started off promisingly, with intricate and quietly powerful acoustic guitar picking and pure romantic-sounding vocals reminiscent of Nick Drake. The necessary measure of self-parody needed to pull off an act like this was, however, clearly lacking in his pretentiously sincere expression, cooing vocals and lyrics, which quickly descended into the territory of cringingly bad poetry. At the worst, Lupine Howl were going to be the sound of a bunch of over-indulgent musos set free of the calming influence of Spiritualized front-man Jason Pierce. While this proved partially true they were quite tolerable, with noisy rushing songs, driving funky basslines and a feedback-laden climax. Their jamming sounded most like Spiritualized's "Electricity", but they lacked any of the quieter emotional moments of their former band's songs. A little bit samey, and perhaps not something to rush out and buy on CD, but quite entertaining as a support act. Dirty Three were who we were all waiting for of course, and they put on an excellent show, made just as interesting by the on stage antics of their charismatic lead violinist Warren Ellis as their intense noise-making. We were kept at our ease throughout it all - each song got a humorous rambling introduction to explain its purpose. The furiously emotional sound of their songs seems to document darker moments, with titles like "Everything is Fucked" and "I Really Should Have Gone Out Last Night". The band's line-up and sound is quite unusual, and interesting to watch. They are purely instrumental, although the intensity of their sound makes vocals seem unnecessary - they seem to squeeze the epic sounds of the very serious 9-piece Godspeed You Black Emperor out of their three instruments, in a much more dynamic and accessible way. Backed by some very skillful drumming and intense post-rock guitar work, Warren Ellis unleashes a torrent of intense, loud, rushing and beautiful violin work, playing his instrument in a very unconventional way while leaping about the stage, kicking and dancing...orgasmic is hardly the right word, but it fits. Dirty Three find it hard to match their live sound on recordings, and it's easy to see why. They are an experience not worth missing.



Picture Gallery:-
Dirty Three - Union Chapel, 22/8/2000


Dirty Three - Union Chapel, 22/8/2000



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interviews


Interview with Warren Ellis (2003)
Dirty Three - Interview with Warren Ellis
Much acclaimed Australian trio the Dirty Three recently completed a tour of Europe. Violinist and frontman chats to Olga Sladeckova about the tour and the difficult recording of the group's sixth and latest album, 'She Has No Strings Apollo'

live reviews


Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 12/5/2003
Dirty Three - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 12/5/2003
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