I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Nick Cave in the live setting. It’s been lots and has encompassed The Bad Seeds, Grinderman and solo shows.
There hasn’t ever been a duff show and he even managed, back in 2008 on the Dig Lazarus Dig!!! tour, to make a gig at the usually horrific (for sound and sight lines) Corn Exchange in Edinburgh bearable. Not least for the fact that his 18-song set was drawn from ten different albums – little did I know that the tour would be the last time I’d see Mick Harvey on stage with him.
The announcement in 2017 that the Bad Seeds were putting on a show at the cavernous Hydro Arena was quite disconcerting as I just couldn’t imagine it working in an arena of that scale. My mind wasn’t quite made up on whether or not to go when the ticket prices were announced and I decided that £70 plus booking fees was just too much. The subsequent chats with those who did go along did cause pangs of regret with a number saying it was as fine a spectacle as they had seen in years, although interestingly a couple of folk who have been fans since The Birthday Party days felt it was a tad on the self-indulgent side with Nick throwing himself into the crowd knowing he would be held aloft whereas the old days would have seen fights break out down the front!!
But let’s face it, Nick Cave has more than paid his dues over the years, making consistently great music and, just as importantly, making sure that every tour offers something different from its predecessors so that you never tire of going along.
So, when it was announced that he was bringing his latest show to Edinburgh, and that it would involve him taking part in a Q&A that would involve audience participation (with no subject matter deemed to be off-limits or taboo), as well as playing some songs solo on the piano, I was really keen to get myself along. And then I saw that the cost of the best seats in the house (it’s at the Usher Hall, an old fashioned but lovely three-tiered venue including what must be the closest seats to heaven in all mankind), I changed my mind and came to the realisation that I’m unlikely top ever see Nick Cave in concert ever again.
£93.50 plus booking fees. Even the seats in the gods are £33 from where I imagine you’ll stand little chance of interacting with things on the stage.
If it had been a full Bad Seeds Show, I might have considered it…..but it might have needed Grinderman to be the support act to be the clincher (and I haven’t forgotten that I’ve a few of their singles to feature in an on-going and occasional series). But the best part of £200 for myself and Mrs V to go to a talk show with a few songs? For that amount of money, I’d be looking for him to pop round to Villain Towers for a chat and cup of tea (but not owning a piano, the songs would need to be left off the itinerary.)
It seems the ‘Conversations with Nick Cave’ idea is building on what appears to have been a successful tour of a similar nature earlier this year in Australia and New Zealand. 14/15 songs per night appear to have been worked into each event – which, to be fair, is more than I would have imagined – with many of the more popular ballads such as The Ship Song, Into My Arms, God Is In The House, West Country Girl and Love Letter being mainstays alongside re-workings of the likes of The Mercy Seat and Papa Won’t Leave You Henry, while his cover of Leonard Cohen’s Avalanche has also been dusted down. It has also found favour with many aficionados in the UK and Europe who have parted with their hard earned cash and made the tour a sell-out…..bit it ain’t for me, babe.
mp3 : Nick Cave – I’m Your Man