Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Manchester Academy - 2.5.01

Unlike a lot of gigs i've attended recently there's barely a teenager in sight. Most of tonight's audience are predominantly goths in their late 30s to early 40s. This, the first extensive UK Tour the Bad Seeds have undertaken in well over a decade. Their new album "No More Shall We Part" is the follow up to 1997s "The Boatman's Call".  Now forty four, Nick Cave has lost none of his magnificent edge and powerfully physical stage presence. He has the appearance of a sober and serious bible salesman in his black suit, but the moment he starts singing backed by the Bad Seeds the place erupts in adoration. His melodramatic vocals must be exorcising a hell of a lot of demons.

Murder ballad "Henry Lee" is delivered with much enthusiasm and sheer gusto. While "God Is In The House" and the magnificent "Weeping Song" have everyone, myself included, in a state of euphoria. Unlike a lot of bands who simply go through the motions on auto-pilot ploughing the back catalogue, Nick Cave really puts on a truly unforgettable performance. Who else could play a two hour set and still leave the crowd waiting for more. Each song like a mini-drama, a story telling device that is compelling as it is mesmerizing. Lyrically beyond description, yet sung so beautifully and eloquently.

I really can't fathom out why Nick Cave and The Bad Sees aren't more successful. They're producing some of the most cutting edge music around at the moment and as a live act they're simply out of this world.

Nicholas Paul Godkin