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Apocalyptic balladeer and frontman of the Bad Seeds
It isn’t hugely notable that Nick Cave transformed from wild child leader of The Birthday Party to The Bad Seeds' rumble-throated balladeer of love and impending doom. What is notable is that he did it without losing one iota of his edge, wit and uncompromising vision. Nobody else so delicately weaves together songs that simultaneously seem suited to both weddings and funerals. Within that murky meeting point of romance, tragedy, faith and comedy lurks Nick Cave, a grinning reaper holding a bible and a rose.
Cave formed The Birthday Party with future Bad Seed Mick Harvey, Rowland S Howard, Tracy Pew and Phil Calvert in 1977 in Melbourne. Originally called The Boys Next Door, the band rechristened themselves after moving to London and earned a ferocious reputation for their raucous amalgamation of rockabilly and post punk. The band broke up in 1983, Cave going on to form the much more restrained Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds that same year.
As the Bad Seeds went from strength to strength with an impressive run of albums in the mid to late-'80s, Cave started to diversify with acting (Wings Of Desire), screenplays and soundtracks (he did all three for Ghost… Of The Civil Dead) and his debut novel And The Ass Saw The Angel. With the addition of Warren Ellis to the Bad Seeds, Cave found a musical soulmate with whom he would create the soundtracks to a range of films, including The Proposition, Lawless (for both of which Cave also wrote the screenplay) and The Road.
The Bad Seeds hit a rich seam of form throughout the '90s and early '00s with Murder Ballads, The Boatman's Call and No More Shall We Part. In 2006, Cave formed the band Grinderman with three of his Bad Seeds bandmates, releasing two albums in 2007 and 2010 before abruptly disbanding.
Cave's second novel, The Death Of Bunny Munro, was published in 2009, followed by the semi-fictional documentary 20,000 Days On Earth. In 2015, Cave's son Arthur died tragically when he fell from a cliff near his home in Brighton. Arthur's death would hang heavy other Cave's work through the rest of the decade, particularly the startlingly raw 2016 documentary One More Time With Feeling and the 2019 album Ghosteen.
In 2018, Cave opened The Red Hand files, a website where fans could submit their questions and he would reply with frank honesty. During lockdown in 2020, he performed a live-streamed solo concert from Alexandra Palace, later released as Idiot's Prayer.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis released Carnage in 2021, their first non-soundtrack album as a duo. To support the album, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis announced a UK tour for September and October 2021.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have announced a UK tour for September and October 2021 to support their album Carnage.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have announced 2021 UK shows in:
- London (two dates)
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis tickets for their 2021 UK tour go on sale from 10:00 on Friday 23 July 2021.