Beyond The Blackout #1 - 1984

The Birthday Party - Pleasure Heads Must Burn (video)

Well, will the wonders of modern science ever cease? The flick of a switch, the push of a button, and you can have Nick Cave in your own living room! I can remember praying that I'd get the chance to see The Birthday Party play live - and now here they are on their own videocassette. Wow!

If you love The Birthday Party (you either love them or hate them) then you'll love this tape. It is a live recording of the band over two nights in 1983. It also includes a band-made video for Nick The Stripper that is the best thing on the tape. You know all those great weird images on the "Release The Bats" single that you always thought it came from a video? Well, here it is, and it's just as good as you thought.

Nick Cave has short hair and Tracy Pew looks like he's about 16! Only Rowland "Human Insect" Howard looks exactly the same. The video is shot with a lot of red light and fiery images - which has an eerie effect combined with the young Nick dancing around with HELL written across his chest in dripping red letters. At one point it looks like they might be sacrificing a goat, but Nick just ends up singing to it instead! There's also lots of bizarre looking people dancing around the band and someone has a stick puppet thing of a pig's head. Real or fake - I'm not sure.

The sound quality is great throughout and the picture, although not crystal-clear, is good for the band - just a little dark in some spots.