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YMMV / The Birthday Party

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The play

  • Jerkass Woobie: Stanley is not a particularly likeable character - he seems to enjoy tormenting Meg out of spite, and it's implied that he's somewhat of a shady character who may indeed be guilty of some wrongdoing. However, it's hard not to sympathize with Stanley after the psychological (and perhaps unseen physical) torture Goldberg and McCann put him through, to the point where he isn't even able to speak when he's taken away.

The band:

  • Face of the Band: Nick Cave was the attention-grabbing frontman from the beginning, and his solo success only made him moreso in retrospect. Downplayed in that listeners recognize the importance of all the members to the band's sound and quality, not just Cave.
  • Funny Moments:
    • "The Friend Catcher" is considered one of Rowland S. Howard's greatest achievements in guitar feedback and one of the seminal moments of the band becoming The Birthday Party. The lyrics?
    She, by the hair of my chinny chin chin
    HEE haw HEE haw HEE haw HEE haaaaaw!
    • "Figure of Fun":
    And I'm impressed by everyone
    But I impress no-one
    It's irritating!''
    • "A Dead Song" sounds like Igor trying to sing at a concert while writing the lyrics on the fly and simultaneously forgetting them.
    • Nick's occasional comments during live shows could be quite funny.
      Nick: (Trying not to laugh) "Sex horror\Sex vamp- You win, you got the stick!"
      • From Live 1981-82:
      "Thank you, I love your haircuts as well."
  • Signature Song:
    • "Release the Bats", much to the band's chagrin, was an indie hit and became one of the seminal vampire songs alongside "Bela Lugosi's Dead" that Goth Rock fans latched onto.
    • "Shivers" was this for the band's The Boys Next Door incarnation and for Rowland S. Howard overall as a songwriter and musician.
  • Signature Style: Wailing madman vocals of sex and violence over walls of sharp guitars and feedback, driven by a thick, sleazy bass and sharp, crisp drums. Or: strip club music in hell.


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