Nick Cave – Victoria Park – you should have been there!

Time moves on , but not it seems for Nick Cave. Four years after one of the finest gigs Victoria Park has ever seen came another. I was lucky enough to be at both.

In between, we’ve been treated to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis performing around the country a stripped down version of recent material which was long on intensity but lacked the vaudeville of the Bad Seeds and of Cave’s antics.

I have never seen Cave attack a show harder than he did here “There she goes my beautiful girl” that came after “Get ready for Love” was spectacular.

As always, much of the back catalogue is simply milked – there was a shambolic “weeping song” as an encore” and a rambling Higgs Bosun Blues that just couldn’t end, but these were supported by great straight versions of Mercy Seat and Jubilee Street with the Bad Seeds playing tightly , supplemented by three backing vocalists who came centre stage for White Elephant and Ghosteen speaks – two more highlights.

We all have personal favorites, From Her to Eternity and Tupelo are getting on for forty years old now – I was sorry that Deanna and Stagger Lee appear to be retired but they have made way for the new material – Bright Horses and I Need You were aching, the set is more balanced these days, Cave moves from crowd surfing to brooding over a keyboard within a few long strides.

Amazingly – we could watch Cave in black and white on the side-screens and in vivid Technicolor just yards in front of us. Here he is going suitably mental as he concludes Red Right Hand- in monochrone!

It helps getting a late summer night so perfect that we were wearing tee shirts as we sauntered back to Mile End and Bethnal Green

And it helps when the supporting cast includes Thomas Yorke and Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead (Smile), the Sleaford Mods, Kae Tempest and Aldous Harding – Jehnny Beth too.

Stay West if you want to watch the Eagles , point east if you want nights of edgy rock and roll. My now not quite so young son came two night in a row, spanning the generations and Cave has a following that now arcs over four decades of followers.

This picture, taken within feet of where we stood for three hours prior to and during Cave’s show, is my favorite. Where is the mike? It is being held by someone in the audience, – visible to the left of  Cave’s jacket.

Thanks to my friends for being there.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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