Dirty Three: Vivid Live, 2019

Enough said, really.

One of the greatest performances I’ve witnessed. Maybe not the top one of theirs I’ve seen – there’s been a lot of good ones – but a full run of the s/t rocket-covered album and four Horse Stories tracks (‘1000 Miles’, ‘Sue’s Last Ride’, ‘Hope’ and ‘I Remember A Time When Once You Used To Love Me’) means that this was a night of no filler, all feeling. And it felt alive – sometimes sloppy, with unexpected interruption – but breathing, living.

There were space tubes, harmonica, accordion (“My first instrument and also my worst,” Ellis reckons), autographed soaps, internment advice from Phil Jamieson and the spectre of Tinder dates with Gina Rinehart. There was loose-pants dancing and a spit bucket, shouting and standing ovations.


But beyond that, there was ramshackle glory. Melancholy, darkness, sadness and the firm grasp of a maelstrom of joy. The feeling that music, at its best, can save you from your worst, but only through coming together. Through communion.

As the man said: “Remember: love is radical, so… go for it.”  They did, and so did we. And it was worth every moment.


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