How does Nick Cave do it? How does he manage, in a career approaching its fourth decade, to turn in consistently riveting performances?
The key is that he still believes. The conviction, the passion, the trust in his own artistic endeavours all remain strong, fortified by a body of work that is increasingly impressive as the years roll by.
Cave hollers at the front rows with the zeal of a man possessed
It’s why at tonight’s show – billed as a homecoming for Brighton’s favourite adopted son – Cave hollers at the front rows with the zeal of a man possessed, as keen as ever to broadcast his funky, foreboding tales.
That back catalogue is extensive, affording Nick and co the luxury of selecting a few rare gems amongst the usual crowd-pleasers. But it’s the most recent album that anchors the set, the evening beginning with the record’s centerpiece, Jubilee Street. Cave and sidekick/cult hero Warren Ellis throw themselves into the task from the off, dispatching across the stage microphones, violin bows and anything else that gets in their way.
Of course, our man’s longevity is intrinsically linked to the swaggering Bad Seeds, a band capable of switching effortlessly from the eerie electro dynamics of We Real Cool to the balls-out menace of The Mercy Seat (a song that every right-thinking sinner must see live at least once.)