Posts Tagged ‘Pleasure Heads Must Burn’

The Birthday Party played the legendary Haçienda Club in Manchester once in 1982 and once in 1983, and, per Haçienda policy, both shows were videotaped for posterity. The Birthday Party’s two most recent releases at that point were also their two best albums, Prayers on Fire and Junkyard, and based on this footage there’s a strong argument that they were as good as any band in the world at that moment.

The shows were released under the title Pleasure Heads Must Burn on VHS by Ikon in 1983 and then again on DVD by Cherry Red in 2003. The DVD release had a bunch of nifty extras such as a bizarre video for “Nick the Stripper” and some other Dutch and Australian and British clips.

In the 1982 show Cave is wearing a pale blue (possibly grey) blazer he would probably not be caught dead wearing today; a year later his jacket is black. So many of their best songs are represented here, “Hamlet (Pow! Pow! Pow!)” and “Dead Joe” and “Release the Bats.” Both shows are shot in an immersive, “up the bracket” style that is very effective.

The Haçienda July 22nd, 1982:
Dead Joe
A Dead Song
Release the Bats
(Sometimes) Pleasure Heads Must Burn
Big Jesus Trash Can

The Haçienda, February 24th, 1983:
Hamlet (Pow! Pow! Pow!)
Pleasure Avalanche
6” Gold Blade
Wild World
The Six Strings That Drew Blood
Sonny’s Burning
She’s Hit

Nick the Stripper promo video

The Ace Cinema, Brixton, UK, November 25th, 1982:
Fears of Gun
Hamlet (Pow! Pow! Pow!)

Trade Union Club, Sydney, Australia, May 14th, 1983:
Deep in the Woods

VPRO TV Studios, Götterdämmerung 2000, Netherlands, July 1982: