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Dirty Three photo by tiina liimu 2012

Biltmore Cabaret, October 1, 2012

Warren Ellis’ dramatic performance takes on a passionate presence and intensity as if each moment could be the last. A masterful consistency with new material continues till the heart-stopping encore with “Sue’s Last Ride”, from 1993′s Horse Stories. A transcendent encounter leaving the crowded yet intimate Biltmore audience of old and new fans standing in a state of awe.

This Australian instrumental trio Dirty Three is currently touring the 2012 album, Toward The Low Sun, out on Bella Union records. The evening touched points with an enduring twenty-year repertoire. Mid-set, Ellis hangs over the audience, swinging side to side, one arm clenched to a ceiling pipe, effortlessly coaxing the listeners into a call and response wail, as if to summon “Ocean Songs.” Deeply lulled into the moment the entire venue is moved into an oblivious darkness with the lights to returning to reveal Ellis on his back plucking away at his violin.

He opens the show with a delightful audience rapport connecting to their last visit to Vancouver. Lyrics are not necessary for this raw and potent music to translate and communicate; however Ellis indulges the keen attendees with a humorous yet poetic stream of consciousness banter, number to number. Between songs he announces to the listeners that this is “one of the most beautiful audiences of the tour” and is met with a front row of coy and humble expression.

Dirty Three is: Warren Ellis on violin and keyboards; an unwavering and melodic Mick Turner on electric guitars; Jim White on drums playing equally with fluid abandon and astute attentiveness. Ellis is also the multi instrumentalist and wielding force with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. Visual artist, Turner and White pair as the Tren Brothers and are known for their work with Cat Power and Bonnie Prince Billy.

- More Betty

Dirty Three photo by tiina liimu 2012