Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ Birmingham Academy May 5th.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ Birmingham Academy 5th May 2008

Review and photo by Adam Coxon

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and what better way to spend it than in the company of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This evenings show is one of only three UK gigs that Mr. Cave and his band of merry men are performing on their tour.

This show sold out within a matter of minutes and straight from the ballsy opening song, “Night of the Lotus Eaters”, it’s obvious to see why. Cave is his usual captivating self and from start to finish, he shows all the energy of a slightly deranged teenager. He completely dominates the stage and frequently stomps to the front, pointing and characteristically snarling in the face of everyone present.

Next up is, “Dig Lazarus Dig”, the title track from the Bad Seeds brilliant new album. The album has received rave reviews throughout the music press. It marks a return to work with the Bad Seeds for Cave, after the release of the superb debut Grinderman album last year.

The band played a varied set which featured many songs from the new album. There were several highlights which included, “Red Right Hand”, “Your Funeral, My Trial“ and “Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)“. The highlight of the new songs had to be, “We Call upon the Author”. Cave conjuring up a demented, grinding sound from the organ throughout the song, playing it like he was possessed.

Cave ended the set with, “More News from Nowhere”, another song from the new album. The thing that is startling about a Nick Cave crowd is that every person in the audience knows all of the words to every song and each one sings along all the way through. This is strength to the proof that Cave’s song writing had been consistently brilliant during his many years in the music industry.

The band then returned to the stage for the first of two encores, Cave sporting a “Dig Lazarus Dig” T-Shirt. They kicked in almost instantly with, “Get Ready For Love”, which was extremely well received. All the way through the set, Cave was plagued by constant song requests being shouted at him from the audience. To many of them Cave simply replied with a polite, “No”, or, “We will not be playing that”. However, Cave finally succumbed when someone shouted, “Straight To You”. Cave accepted and commented, “That is one we definitely can do”. He then joked that it was next on the set list anyway and that the band now did requests, much to the audience’s delight.

The band left the stage after playing, “The Lyre Of Orpheus”. They quickly returned for a second encore. Cave sat himself down at the piano and played a very poignant rendition of, “Into My Arms”, which got possibly the biggest cheer of the evening. The show was brought to a close with one of Cave’s best known and best loved songs, “Stagger Lee”.

This is one band that the youth of today could learn a lot from. They’re still selling out shows wherever they go, still writing brilliant songs and still putting on one of the most entertaining shows around.

Highly Recommended!

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