Grinderman – live review from Primavera

title="Gman"

Grinderman
Primevera
May 2011

There is some biblical thunder going on up there. Breathing fire and brimstone and speaking in tongues with songs of lust and fury Grinderman are, perhaps, the best rock band in the world. Their sound is all at once tough, dark and spliced with a foul, black humour. Like a bunch of gunslingers posing as god's servants they take the stage in beautifully cut suits and some of the best hair and beards on god's own stinking earth.

Formed as the Mini Seeds as a break from the Bad Seeds in 2006, the band are far more than a side project now. They are running loose round Europe on the festival circuit, kicking out the jams with one serious, unholy racket. They are energising, explosive and the set they play is so riveting it gives you the same sort of rush that seeing Robert johnson in a shack or Little Richard pimping his stuff in the fifties or the Stooges at their must feral must have done. Sometimes you get the chance to peer into the true heart of darkness of rock n roll and you get to see something like this, a seething, mesmerising seesaw of filthy genius.

It's rare to see rock n roll this below the belt dirty and dissonant.

When the Birthday Party first came over to the UK in the early eighties they were a shock to the system for many but for some of us they were a reaffirmation of a lonely, noisy road that we were already on with their out of control filth and smoking bible blues they were quite brilliant. Those early shows will stick in my mind as a yardstick of how out of control and yet how cleverly compacted and intense rock n roll can be.

Nick Cave then coasted into middle age with the Bad Seeds with music that seemed like it was matching a certain maturity with a refinement that never lost its dark soul.

Grinderman were a return to the 'fuck you' roots of the band and have become a vehicle for the wild side of Cave who looks splendid in his sharp cut, pin stripe as he prowls the stage lost in a world of words and preacherman shapes. Grinderman is the soundtrack to a dissolute middle age and a return to the feral fuck you of his youth. it's a leering sex beast and the best music he has done. The band are great, they make a lot of noise for a four piece, Cave is perfectly foiled by the enigmatic Warren Ellis who never seems to flinch hidden behind his tumbledown beard. Ellis supplies some of the great noises from his battery of unusual instruments - great squalls of sound that explode from the song's gasping chassis before tucking back in to add to the bump n grind of the music. the spine is bludgeoning perfection from Martyn Casey's rock solid and Jim Sclavunos brilliant drums. Sclavunos a clever drummer he has the raw power but also fractures the beats, adding emphasis when needed, underlining the drama and the tension.

Gridnerman and Primevera. Now this is a combination.

One of the best rock n roll band's in the world at one of the best festivals in the world... Perfect.

Primevera, sighted on the Barcelona seafront, has everything that a British festival normally doesn't. It's warm, it's near a great city and it goes on all night. It also has an amazing bill of bands. Suicide are on later, Public Image just played and Shellac are on tomorrow. It's hardly the beer and burgers converter belt of grab your money, dustbin indie we have to normally put up with.

Grinderman must have about 20,000 people watching them deal out a great combination of songs from their two eponymous albums. They don't play straight though, they fuck with them, there's new bits, jammed out sections, added splotches of filthy sound from Cave's terrified keyboards that he slams into when he's not prowling the stage. There's razor sharp guitar aggro and a shit tight rhythm section. It's a seesaw of zigzagging sound, gunshot blues through a mangle- taking the audience on a wild trip. Only at primavera could something this extreme, this wild seem like a natural headliner.

And you know what's really cool. The audience go with it. Thousands of fresh faced Spanish kids being taken on a devilish ride by this pied piper of the dark side.

All rock n roll should be this horny and deadly and it should also come armed with the sort lyrics that pour out of Cave's mouth- poetic shrapnel, doggerel and sheer blissful story telling poetry that is both parts dark and darkly funny.

Grinderman are on top of their game and wham you see band this good, this tight with each other, this off the wall and this perfect then you are in luck. They end with a loose, out of control and utterly thrilling version of their drooling 'No Pussy Blues' a song that some called a mid life crisis. Tonight it sounds anything but. It sounds like a strident, no holds barred work of unbridled lust - like Grinderman themsleves, the very definition of rock n roll.

Read a recent LTW interview with Grinderman HERE

10 thoughts on “Grinderman – live review from Primavera

  1. Pingback: ATP (USA) announce ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ Festival : Louder Than War

  2. Pingback: LTW Playlist W/C 30th May 2011 : Louder Than War

  3. Pingback: Suicide- live review from Primavera : Louder Than War

  4. Hurtigt bredbånd

    It was a great show. Still remember it as one of the best things i ever have experienced.

    Hurtigt Bredbånd

  5. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  6. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

  7. hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this site, since I experienced to reload the website many times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

  8. google

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  9. I was reading through some of your content on this site and I believe this internet site is very informative! Keep putting up.

  10. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

Have your say...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *