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Brighton’s adopted son comes home

Photo: Ben Hobson

Photo: Ben Hobson

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ the Brighton Centre, 23rd November

Standing among the huge crowd gathered at the Brighton Centre on Sunday, it was hard not to notice the sheer diversity of the people there: anyone from about 17 to 70; goths and rockers; punks and bikers; students and parents alike.

When you consider the fact that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have been going since 1984 and have recorded a mighty fourteen studio albums in that time, this is perhaps not surprising. The anticipation as everyone waited for this cult figure to appear was high – I knew that this was a band that was going to show how it’s done, and they didn’t disappoint.

Cave bounded onto stage with the energy, swagger and arrogance that would make Johnny Borrell look timid. The huge venue was perfect for this colossal performer, and I was instantly transfixed on the front man while he worked his magic on the crowd. “This is a song about a man tied to an electric chair” he shouted before launching into the astounding ‘Mercy Seat’. Undoubtedly the highlight of the gig, his raspy deep voice filled the venue while the song built to its climax – “and I’m not afraid to die”. The lyrics were espoused with a forceful sincerity that seems so rare today.

The Bad Seeds’ performance could not be faulted either. The rich sounds of electric guitar combined with organ, piano, and violin coupled with the sheer musical ability of every man on stage only served to make the performance all the more incredible.

Nick Cave is one of the legends of modern song writing and his dark, captivating performance tonight shows that his music has stood the test of time.

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