Nick Cave has been on the music scene for the best part of 30 years, first emerging in the early 80’s with the Berlin-based Birthday Party and continuing to this day with his collection of Bad Seeds.
He’s written novels, screenplays and has even had the honour of playing himself onstage in Wim Wenders’ classic art house angel-flick ‘Wings Of Desire’. And lets not forget the 14 albums he’s recorded in his years fronting The Bad Seeds, the last of which, Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!, proving that these days he and his band are just as important as they were in the beginning.
Its with this impressive rap sheet in mind that I and thousands other Bad Seed disciples flock upon a sold out Carling Academy to witness one of modern day culture’s true treasures. Its safe to say that we were excited.
With 14 albums worth of material to choose from, there was always going to be one or two classics missed in the overall set – none more so than ‘The Mercy Seat’.
However that seemingly unforgivable exclusion aside, one would have been hard pressed to find any faults in a performance which contained countless highlights – In particular, the exchange midway through the show between Nick Cave and an overexcited fan had us mesmerised, the scene eventually ending with Cave comparing the chap in question to a Duracell Bunny and providing the crowd with a surreal yet amusing rabbit-like impression.
In terms of the music, the set unsurprisingly was dominated by the groups latest album with the eponymous ‘Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!’ igniting us early on. Elsewhere tracks such as ‘Today’s Lesson’, ‘Midnight Man’ and ‘We Call Upon The Author’ were all given that extra dimension and oomph, which inevitably comes with an exceptional live show. The nostalgia hunters in the crowd wont have been disappointed either as the band churned out versions of older material – The sinister ‘Tupelo’ was electrifying if at times terrifying; ‘ Right Red Hand’ tip-toed along quietly before exploding for the heavenly yet harrowing climax and the heartbreaking ‘Ship Song’ let Saint Nick show a more sentimental side in a night which had him dripping sex appeal…yes ladies, even yours truly was left swooning.
The crowd took the role of backing vocals on ‘The Lyre Of Orpheus’, the first tune from a much-welcomed extended encore which was followed by the one song fans would never have forgiven the Bad Seeds for exempting. The classic ballad that is ‘Into My Arms’ rang out blissfully for all the couples in the crowd before the band left us for good in typically morose and dark circumstances – ‘Wanted Man’ and ‘Stagger Lee’ wiped away the ‘luvy duvyness’ provided by the earlier treat and afterwards had us wondering when we would get the chance to see such a blistering, creepy and at times touching performance again. Thankfully Nick Cave will return to Scotland to play this years Hydro Connect festival with another of his projects, this time Grinderman. It’s safe to say, I for one am excited.