Nick the StripperThose of you with iTunes are probably already aware of the huge variety of radio stations available there for live streaming. I recently found one, Devil’s Night Radio, that I have become a fast fan of because of the insane variety in their programming. At any given time you’re as likely to hear Hank Sr. as you are the Stooges.
As often happens with music I hear, it was something I heard on Devil’s Night Radio that has inspired this post. While listening the other day, I heard a song called “Nick the Stripper” by a band called The Birthday Party. The song, driven by bass and horns, could have been a routine strip club grind number. Instead, the music is slowed to a dirty funk, and we learn that “Nick” is a male stripper who is “hideous to the eye.” Nick Cave’s truly scary sounding voice completes the picture of something you hope you never have to see.
Nick Cave, along with Mick Harvey, and Tracy Pew, played together in bands previous to forming The Birthday Party; the name change came as the band evolved from playing punk covers to playing darker, feedback-laden, raw blues-type music. The Birthday Party would split in 1983, with most of the members going on to successful solo careers.
The Birthday Party, despite lack of any real commercial success, has proven to be continually influential to modern bands, particularly “goth-rock” bands. “The Party have been indirectly held responsible for the rise of a visceral new hardcore, ranging from The Sex Gang Children, through Danse Macabre to March Violets,” the New Musical Express wrote in an early-80’s article.
“Nick the Stripper” comes from 1981’s Prayers on Fire, which was The Birthday Party’s first album with that band name (the two earlier disks were released under their previous name, The Boys Next Door).
Nick the Stripper.mp3