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NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS

1 May 2001

Buy No More Shall We Part - Nick Cave
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Just two songs in, but already, the merely curious are converted. A cautious greeting has, by the end of 'As I Sat Sadly By Her Side', mutated into rapturous applause. It's almost suspicious. The frantic, jerky movements of Cave's elongated frame are so extraordinary, so concentrated and passionate, it's practically hypnotism.

The huddle of photographers snapping away beneath ol' Nick's feet are certainly under his influence, fighting for any sort of angle before walking away in a daze, disorientated by the beautiful din conjured up by the Bad Seeds at the end of a thoroughly incapacitating rendition of 'Oh My Lord'. From here on in, we've crossed the line into blatant, shameless worship.

It's fully deserved. Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people know better. Therefore, some music is right, and some music is wrong, and sometimes, personal preference is irrelevant. Let's not discuss what is wrong, let us just be clear on one thing. Some musicians are impressionists, some are artists, while a handful are possessed by a form of genius so expressive, so explosive, and so emotional, that all hyperbole is irrelevant. As such, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are right. Unequivocally.

Right because, after years of exposure, old hands like 'Do You Love Me' can sit comfortably beside the haunting apprentice of 'Love Letter', both tracks documenting the irresistible frustrations of human relations without resorting to bitter resentment or alienation. Right because the Bad Seeds can reduce the likes of Mogwai and Spiritualised to mere dabblers in the art of sonic terrorism, particularly when burying 'Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow' under decibels of pure white noise.

And right because there's no one capable of replicating Cave's unique world view, rejecting the obscure miserabilism and misanthropy of contemporaries in favour of something inexplicable. It's the ability to maintain the wryest of lyrical grins on 'God is in the House' whilst tackling small-town "teetotalitarism", and to leave you perched between the furious extremes of heaven and hell throughout a crazed rendition of 'The Mercy Seat'.

It's the power to produce music that transcends fashion, marketing, gender and all the varied demonic factors the music industry use to remind us what we like. Throughout, Nick Cave stands alone in a crowd, a tangible, historical figure to be passed through the ages, dealing the classics of the future to a select few. A select few you sorely need to be a part of.

 

Aaron Scullion
Photographer: Aaron Scullion

 

This Review by Aaron Scullion was Originally on the Dot Music Review Page

 

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