Thursday 23 July 2009

Icon #19 Nick Cave

Nick Cave is a one off. There really isn't anyone else quite like him. Unconventional, uncompromising and not easy to pigeon hole.

I'd be lying if I said I'd been a fan for years and years. I discovered him one afternoon a couple of years ago when my best friend played me one song,

I'm not in the least bit religious (apart from The Church of Anfield) but 'God is in the House' is one of my favourite songs of all time.

I can remember where I was the first time I heard it, who I was with and that we both got quite emotional. It just evokes something in me that few songs, maybe no other songs, are able to. Truly a little played classic.

I don't usually do this with Icon Posts but here, for me, is the definitive version performed on 'Later With Jools Holland'.

So why isn't Cave hugely popular? Why will some groan as they see who I've chosen to write about tonight? I think it's because Cave is a major investment. His music has changed so much from his post punk beginnings with The Birthday Party to his now excellent Movie Soundtracks. (Oddly I don't have many soundtracks but I do own his collaborartive work with Warren Ellis (fellow Bad Seed) for 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' and it's excellent.) You have to work a bit with Cave, dig around his music for the depth, but once you crack the surface there's so much there to enjoy.

The Bad Seeds are of course Cave's band and they've been around since 1984. They do defy definition but last album Dig Lazarus Dig is worth checking out for the uninitiated.

Honestly though Cave is one of my icons for one magical song that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and for one afternoon in St Albans when I sat and watched the above video and realised that I may have just missed out on something after all. For others he'll be iconic for so much more than that and I apologise for this being personal piece, but when he got suggested today, I really didn't have a choice. Skippy and Rolf can wait.

'...and we've bred all our kittens white, so that you can see them in the night.'

Tonight's post is dedicated to Suze and Jen H. And a bit to The Giant who saw the Bad Seeds way back in 1985 with Billy Duffy from the Cult and because he played me 'that' song in the first place.

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