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AAA Music | 11 August 2020

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Grinderman @ The Relentless Garage

| On 04, Oct 2010

London, 23rd September

The air is thick and heavy with expectation as the crowd awaits the feral and testosterone-driven Nick Cave to take to the stage with the rest of Grinderman – a band that consists primarily of the Bad Seeds but not in the way we know them. The habitual modern ballads have given way as Cave, with slicked back hair but no moustache, finds himself knee deep in the frenzied punk inspired rock and voodoo blues of current single ‘Heathen Child.’

Tonight proves what many know to be true already, that Grinderman is and has been for three albums worth, Cave’s reclamation of his bad-ass, free-jazz The Birthday Party self. “Gimme the money” he growls intently at the front row whilst Jim Sclavunos beats his cymbals to a pulp. Brilliantly erratic and frantically entertaining Grinderman have also matured as a band whilst retaining that childish sexual frustration and cocky letch as he cries “My baby calls me the Loch Ness Monster/Two great big humps, and then I’m gone,” with a wry smile.

Throwing himself around stage in the typical fashion Martyn Casey’s bass line reverberates around the room so loudly it feels like it might shatter your skull and melt your brain on ‘Worm Tamer’. With the epic slow burner that is ‘Kitchenette’ and the “stoner blues” that is ‘No Pussy Blues’ providing a brief rest bite from the more manic and frothing infectious guitar work.

Whilst grappling with faulty equipment and the constant screech of feedback, Grinderman have tonight managed to prove that the ferocity of their proto-punk is still alive and well with Cave bowing out to falsetto screams of “I am the Grinderman.”  If tonight is what a mid-life crisis looks like then I want in.

Author: Lauren Down