Grinderman, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Wednesday 06 October 2010
There was some debate over Nick Cave's shadow at this outing of the much-discussed "supergroup" comprising Cave and long-time collaborators Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos. The spotlight banged into Cave's mangled frame and cast a huge silhouette across one wall of the venue. It seems interesting that, because of the sometimes limited views of the stage, this shadow is all some audience members saw of the singer. It wasn't so much an image, as a negative impression of the real performer.
And that's "negative", as in opposite, not a moral judgement, and that's pretty appropriate. For while many have found Grinderman's lyrics offensive (the epic "Go Tell the Women" talks of "consensual rape in the morning"), it's a question of whether you shackle creativity – and that's something you either buy into or you don't. For those who don't, Grinderman has been a release from Cave's brooding soundtrack since their debut album in 2007. And Grinderman is not just cathartic in terms of facial hair (Ellis and Cave look like Pogonology Appreciation Society members). It's also an excuse for the Bad Seeds members to "rock-out": garage-inspired, feedback-infused bluesy guitars rule here, instead of piano-flecked ballads. The audience tonight are of an older, more appreciative calibre, bringing head-banging back into fashion.
The band begin with "Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man" ("And he sucked her and sucked her dry/ And he bit at me and said goodbye") then work through much of their new material: filthy hymnal "Heathen Child", the epic "Palaces of Montezuma", "Evil" and "No Pussy Blues" ("I thought I'd have another go, I called her my little ho", not one for the feminists in the audience) before departing on "Bellringer Blues". What being a Grinderman actually means is open for debate. A lot of it seems to be middle-aged horniness, presumably an underrepresented milieu, but a refreshing change.
filmIn Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer: What we know about JJ Abrams' film
Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'