The first time I saw the Dirty Three (circa 98?) was as a support act to P J Harvey at the Olympia and it was the perfect way to see them, with absolutely no idea who they were. It’s only happened to me on a handful of occasions where I’ve been so captured by a support act, and I came out raving about them (I even bought a t-shirt!). Warren Ellis was captivating with his wild manner and look, and was the perfect focus for this tight three piece and their long meandering soundscapes.
It was only the next time I saw them that I really appreciated the drummer Jim White, he dropped his drum stick at one point and continued playing with the other hand while he picked up a spare stick, without missing a beat. I’ve seen this done before, but it just seemed so effortless and flawless, it was almost like it was part of the plan.
Since then Warren has gone on to bigger and better things, and Nick Cave and himself seem largely inseparable on soundtracks and with the Bad Seeds. Jim has played with Somg, Cat Power, PJ Harvey, Beth Orton and Bonnie Prince Billy among others, which is an impressive line up in anyone’s opinion! It’s a rare treat to see them back on stage together, and this is one not to be missed!