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Warren Ellis of Dirty Three playing at the Melbourne 2010 Laneway Festival
Photo by Ros O'Gorman

The Dirty Three, The Drones, Dave Graney Salute Stephen "The Ghost" Walker

By Tim Cashmere
Tue, 01 Feb 2011 16:21:49 +1100

The Dirty Three, Nick Cave, Sand Pebbles, Dave Graney, Joel Silbersher, Ron S. Peno and The Skull Cave All-Stars climbed aboard the stage at Melbourne’s Forum Theatre last night (Jan 31, 2011) to pay tribute to, and raise money for, legendary 3RRR presenter Stephen “The Ghost” Walker.

To steal Walker’s catchphrase, anyone there was “feeling the energy” of over a thousand friends who had gathered to help raise money to get The Ghost over to Germany for an expensive MS treatment not yet available in Australia.
A heartfelt speech from the overwhelmed guest of honour was as touching as any of the fantastic performances blasting off the stage.
Speaking of the music, a who’s who of Melbourne’s music mafia played brilliant set after brilliant set. Whether it was the quirky Ron Peno playing a set of Died Pretty songs or the equally quirky Dave Graney leading an extended version of his band through his twenty year career (closing with a particularly epic ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Where I Hide’), the audience remained captivated.
Gareth Liddiard and Dan Luscombe of The Drones played a stripped back set of Drones songs sounding more like Liddiard's recent solo album than the usually electrified band that plays these songs.
The Skull Cave All-Stars played a number of The Ghost’s favourite songs, including Iggy Pop’s ‘Johanna’ (with Huxton Creepers’ Rob Craw on vocals), Joy Division’s ‘Transmission’ (with Black Cab) and many more.
The real highlight of the night was, of course, The Dirty Three. Rarely can an instrumental band entrance such a diverse audience with the ferocity of their playing, but The Dirty Three always succeed.
Last night the band were joined by Joel Silbersher on bass (of God and Hoss) for two songs and Dirty Three leader Warren Ellis’ bandmate from his “other” projects (The Bad Seeds and Grinderman) Nick Cave on piano for a majority of the set. The extra band members didn’t make the band any better and at times it felt like they were concentrating on keeping up with the original trio more than just playing along, but it didn’t stop them from putting in a spectacularly passionate performance.
Fans of The Ghost who couldn’t make it down to The Forum last night can still donate to his medical bills by putting money in the account below:
Acc No: 1000 9630
BSB: 063 002
Let’s get the ghost walking again!
Follow the author Tim Cashmere on Twitter.
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