Monday 19 December 2011

Grant Hart: The Glee Club, Nottingham 4th December 2011

My sides…my aching sides... Grant Hart, writer of some of the most gut wrenching songs in modern music (‘2541’, ‘The Main’, ‘Diane’) performing in front of a six feet tall, three dimensional model of the word ‘Glee’. That’s an irony worthy of Alanis Morissette.

Grant is a mercurial performer…as excited as I was when I saw a short UK tour announced (well ‘announced’ is the wrong word – maybe ‘apologetically released to a couple of Internet sites by accident’ would be more accurate), my glee (that word again!) was somewhat tempered by some recent YouTube footage of a rather unwell Mr Hart wrestling with his back catalogue. Well, as we all know, camcorders and ‘phone cameras are not the most flattering of recording devices and I am delighted to reveal that Mr Hart is looking pretty darn good. As I mentioned in my last post, Grant has had quite a life and to get through all the experiences that he has had and still be able to stand upright and string a sentence or two together is quite an achievement.

This was the first time I had seen him perform solo and I wasn’t disappointed. He started well and just got better. His Guitar playing may never get him shortlisted for Dream Theater, but he accompanies his voice with aplomb. But the voice…oh my days. Possibly not quite as throat shredding as the ‘glory days’ in Husker Du, but still capable of raising the hairs on the back of your neck. ‘Admiral of the Sea’ and (of course) ‘2541’ were real highlights, showcasing what an expressive vocalist he (still) is. Not even a misbehaving Guitar during the latter part of the set (expertly fixed by the support act) could dampen the enthusiasm of a small but partisan crowd. What Hart lacks in audience repartee, he more than makes up for in intensity and he has that in spades. This was a really great show, with some Husker Du gems played alongside quality material from his most recent ‘Hot Wax’ album. I even managed to score a cheap copy of the beautifully titled ‘Oeuvrevue’ CD from the merch stand.  

I may be in a minority of one, but I really have no interest in a Husker Du reunion. For a start, given the bad blood between all three if the recent Bob Mould autobiography is to be believed it ain’t exactly top of anyone’s New Years Resolutions list. Instead, I’d prefer Grant Hart to get some kudos for three decades of brilliant tunes.  

'Shoot Your way To Freedom' - Nova Mob


  1. I wish there was an "agree" button, and I could click on it a few hundred times!

    I have actually never seen Grant perform with a band, only solo. He has never disappointed me, and I expect he never will. I could listen to him all night, if he would/could go on that long.

    I have all the CDs/records, and I do enjoy listening to Husker Du on occasion, but I'm with you. Never mind a reunion, and let's see Grant get some recognition for all his amazing work.

    His upcoming "The Argument" is really going to be brilliant, and I'm eagerly anticipating its release.

  2. I was lucky enough to see him with a band a few times in the 90s...first off with a pre Nova Mob band, touring the 'Intolerance' album and then three or four times with NM. Every gig was superb. My only wish is that I'd get to see him on the Drums as he's one of my favourite Drummers of all time. Maybe one day...

  3. Saw him at the Princess Charlotte in Leicester (much missed venue) sometime in the 90s but it was a really disappointing gig and PA was atrocious