Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Nick Cave – Edinburgh Playhouse 04/02/06

Filed under: Live Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 5:46 pm

God, love and fisting. Just three of the many topics that the legendary
Nick cave has chosen to discuss in the lyrics to his often dark, often
vengeful, yet always majestic songs. And what better arena for him to
touchingly retell these “sweetly apocalyptic” tales than Edinburgh’s
Playhouse a venue more associated with the epic, yet dreary grandeur of
the likes of Les Miserables amongst other esteemed plays and musicals,
with its glorious gothic architecture and style perfectly empathising with
Cave’s lamentations.

Though billed as a solo performance, three of his Bad Seeds do accompany
him on stage ably lifting Cave’s piano to new epic heights, with Warren
Ellis particular impressing on both violin and mandolin. He manages to
create intense moments of beauty such as when ordered by Cave to “break
their fucking hearts” on a sumptuous ‘Stagger Lee’ yet could easily
switch to as loud and destructive a noise as any guitar with his violin
on the likes of ‘Rock of Gibraltar.’

Always one for letting his emotions drive his thinking, the set list
casually gets swept away and requests are thrown out by the audience and
Cave duly obliges, with ‘Red Right Hand’ amongst the many dished out.

This relationship with the audience is all part of who Cave is and what
he represents. A genuinely funny guy who cares about his fans, the crowd
are enraptured by his wit and charm. Who else could get away with ending
a song by describing it as a “fucking beauty” or, after the opening
“Orpheus sat gloomy in his garden shed” of ‘The Lyre of Orpheus,’ digress
from singing to discuss just what a good lyric it was?

The songs back up these bold statements, with Cave able to make his piano sound as delicate as a feather or as brutal as a machine gun depending on what each song represents and emotes. What’s shared by each song though is a passion and a quality that few other artists share.

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