Dirty Three

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Skapad den: 23 feb 2005
For all you aficionados of Dirty Three - "The Melbourne mafia".

Prior to Dirty Three's formation Warren Ellis studied classical violin and worked briefly as a schoolteacher in regional Victoria after completing a degree; he also played in The Blackeyed Susans, Paranoid, and the Nursing Mothers; traveled, busked, wrote music and performed for art openings and plays. Mick Turner and Jim White have musical history and experience from the numerous bands that they played in during the 1980s and early 90's and throughout the Dirty Three's existence each of them have contributed their respective talents to numerous artists and groups, as Ellis has also. Turner was a member of The Moodists for a few months prior to, and including the length of, their first European sojourn (1983-5), and was also a member of the Sick Things (as Mick Sick), Fungus Brains and Venom P. Stinger. White was also in Venom P. Stinger and played on some tracks recorded by Fungus Brains. He has also been a member of People With Chairs Up Their Noses, Feral Dinosaurs (this group also featured Conway Savage, later a member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and The Blackeyed Susans. He has also played on records by Hunters and Collectors and Tex, Don and Charlie.

Jim and Mick, a drummer and a guitarist of many Melbourne rock n roll bands throughout the 80's and the early 90's, after playing in Melbourne's vibrant and collaborative underground music scene came together with a multi instrumentalist/violinist and also a member of late 80's and 90's rock n roll bands, Warren Ellis.

The story goes that they decided to play together when a mate requested that music be played live at his pub in Abbotsford. At the trio's first live show, Ellis attached a guitar pickup to his violin with a rubber band, providing the instrument with a distorted, feedback-drenched tone unlike the violin's more traditional sound.

From then on they grew in stature and after becoming an institution of Melbourne's underground music scene, they then went on the road, relentlessly thoughtout the U.S., then after returning home to a wider audience, and after a meet with Nick Cave, Warren then joined the Bad Seeds, then he and Mick and Jim joined them for tour of Israel and Greece and then throughout much of Europe in 1995. While in Europe Dirty Three performed with Cave (also a participant on the Palace project) in London for a live soundtrack to the Carl Dreyer silent film 'La Passion De Jeanne d'Arc', at the National Film Theatre.

In late 2005, the band released their seventh major album, Cinder, which, though following in the spirit of Ocean Songs, diverges from all of their previous works on several points. It was the first Dirty Three album to feature vocals (those of Chan Marshall aka Cat Power and Sally Timms of The Mekons), though only on two of nineteen songs. The songs are also generally much shorter and more concise than their early work, which allows for the rather large number of tracks. Perhaps most notably, instead of the usual recording live technique, they opted, for the first time in their career, to record in the studio individually.

In May 2007 the band curated a weekend of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, and choose bands they admire and performed twice themselves. 2007 was also the year of the release of a live concert DVD, shot in Tokyo in HD by Taiyo Films with a multi-track sound record. Film director Darcy Maine also has completed a feature length documentary on the bands history for release worldwide.

Dirty Three's music is distinctive - there's bluegrass, country, blues and folk melodies, rock energy, elements of classical and chamber music in the violin, free jazz in the violin and drumming, Celtic and other European folk styles - there's a diverse collection of influences, though the style of music the trio play is uniquely their own, born from years of musical experience.

Their latter releases differ somewhat to their first few albums as a trio, which are harsher, more experimental in quality and form. The releases that followed have a prominence of melody, and are at times slower and sparse, but the music still retains the rawness and raucous sound of their earlier albums. The first few albums are typified by consistent fast and aggressive playing, while the later albums rise and fall and have slower moments.