When The Dirty Three played The Tivoli January 25, you got the feeling you were witnessing something memorable.
Originating from Melbourne more than 16 years ago, The Dirty Three have taken their music overseas almost more than they’ve been home so it was a treat to see them in action in Brisbane.
They played their ‘magnum-opus’ Ocean Songs in its entirety and it was not only beautiful to the ears, it was mesmerising to watch Warren Ellis (violin), Mick Turner (guitar) and Jim White (drums) perform together.
Ellis gave short, funny introductions to each of the songs from Ocean Songs.
The best thing about The Dirty Three is their ability to evoke such emotion and passion with no lyrics at all; their music transcends words, race, gender and class.
It speaks only to the soul in its purest form.
Ellis is a man on fire with that violin of his and consistently had his back to the audience; playing to White and doing the occasional side kick out to Turner.
They opened with “Sirena” with Ellis explaining it was a song about love and loss - a theme that seems to carry through most of The Dirty Three’s music.
But it wasn’t all about heartache, Ellis regaled the crowd with a tale of getting into trouble at the Chicago airport involving something illegal and a bit of back chat.
“This is a song about running from the Chicago pigs,” Ellis explained before they launched into “Sea Above, Sky Below.”
Beautiful to experience and engaging to watch, The Dirty Three also played the Laneway Festival after Echo and the Bunnymen had to cancel.
Hopefully they will return to Australia sooner rather than later as they are a band who seems to just get better and better with age.