It’s almost as you can hear each tiny scale move individually within their mesh armored exterior. Warriors of passion, with a cause far beyond music, unpompously stiff with poise, icons of the other side. These guys are cool. I mean James Dean cool. I mean James Dean cool plus they rock the fuck out! They make Ferris Bueller look like the home schooled kid who eats his boogers and pulls his pants down all the way to use the urinal! Yet, it’s got to be more than the classy vintage skinny suits and mustaches. The sweltering crunch of guitars swelling and sweeping through outrageously surreal and intensively real lyrics adds a jackpot of points to the cool scale.
Yes the music is all there, its great music. So great, they have headlined European festivals with the likes of Radiohead, Jay-Z, and Neil Young on stage in front of thousands upon thousands of fans. Fans that have supported the Bad Seeds through 14 albums, countless Cave projects, and now this, Grinderman. Playing a sold out show at the 1,500 capacity King Kat Theater Seattle, WA 98121 during the 2010 Thanksgiving weekend, one could only be stoked to have the opportunity to see Nick and the boys in a theater setting and not the arena sized venue they’re used to playing across the pond. Grinderman released their self-titled debut in 2007, the band consisting entirely of Bad Seed members including Warren Ellis, Martyn P. Casey, Jim Sclavunos, and naturally Nick Cave.
A King of his own conquest, Nick Cave is by far not just an elite artist, but a performer that hypnotizes the crowed with the intensity of Zeus hurling lightning bolts from the heavens! He tramples the stage like a heard of rhinoceroses from one side to the other, while sound engineers duck and jive to clear cables, he stairs into each set of eyes he can see from his stage. He embodies you for a moment before he continues on to the next lucky soul. For Mr. Cave must be the Grinderman! Naturally superior from the world, theories and metaphors could be conducted to his Grinderman-ness.
Yet, I find myself veering sight while Nick tromps to the other side of the crowd, to see the fires of hell erupt from the stage. It was the devil himself, playing a fiddle. And if this devil went down to Georgia, he would fuck Johnny up! The man named Warren Ellis is a possessed and crazed lunatic of genius proportions. With a rack of at least ten guitars from electric mandolins, fiddles, 4 and 6 string guitars, and a pedal-tropolis of effects below, Satan erupted in flames from the beginning. My mind was ultimately perplexed at the sight, needless to say, it was awesome. Even Nick, after decades of friendship and work, gave Ellis a look of “what the fuck!?” during a few tripped out guitar solos, shredding his bow into strands of what must have been the mane of a unicorn. Seeing his face is like reading the deepest, most interesting, and insightful novel. He seeps passion. Yes, it is true; I believe Warren Ellis himself is the Grinderman.
Together all the boys played a show that was by far the most charismatic performance I have ever witnessed. Luckily, Mr. Cave has a wonderfully obsessed cult following across the United States, with a large portion residing besides me here in Seattle, so the likelihood of seeing either the Bad Seeds or Grinderman in your northwest future seems promising. Unless of course the entire 2012 thing is correct then we’re all fucked. Well, except for Warren Ellis… he is the Grinderman!
Check out Grinderman.com for more!