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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Nick Cave Limbers Up For Forthcoming Fictionalised Documentary By Joining The Bad Seeds @ Brighton Dome

Brighton's most prized and revered songsmith, performer and poet, Nick Cave, is just days away from joining the Bad Seeds and opening their UK tour at Brighton Dome.

Following on from this year's critically acclaimed album, Push the Sky Away, Cave is soon to be the subject of a movie that takes a somewhat skewed angle as filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard capture on film a fictionalised day in the life of Cave.

The film, called 20,000 Days on Earth, creates a collage of fictionalized (but mostly unscripted) scenes that are meant to add up to a day in the life of Cave. 

The scenes have been described by Forsyth and Pollard "as kind of constructed real situations in which Nick can improvise." 

He's pictured, among other things, writing in his office, going to a therapy session, eating with collaborator Warren Ellis and watching Scarface with his sons.

Cave agreed to participate because he "trusted Iain and Jane enough ... they presented something that wasn't just telling the Nick Cave story we do or do not know." 

In turn, Forsyth and Pollard wanted to preserve the aura Cave has cultivated: "The important thing for us was not breaking the mythology."  

Long-term city resident Nick Cave is into his fourth decade as frontman of his sometime main project, The Bad Seeds. 

Shooting of the documentary began during writing sessions for the recently released, Push The Sky Away, which clocks in at nine tracks and is the group"s fifteenth studio record to date.

"Well, if I were to use that threadbare metaphor of albums being like children," said Cave, "then Push The Sky Away is the ghost-baby in the incubator and Warren (Ellis)'s loops are its tiny, trembling heart-beat."

He was, from 1980, the frontman of Melbourne-based The Birthday Party, before upping sticks and moving to London, then West Berlin. 

The band were notorious for their provocative live performances which featured Cave shrieking, bellowing and throwing himself about the stage, backed up by harsh pounding rock music laced with guitar feedback. 

He utilised Old Testament imagery with lyrics about sin, curses and damnation.

Cave adds: "I'm not religious, and I'm not a Christian, but I do reserve the right to believe in the possibility of a god. 

"It's kind of defending the indefensible, though; I'm critical of what religions are becoming, the more destructive they're becoming. 

"But I think as an artist, particularly, it's a necessary part of what I do, that there is some divine element going on within my songs."

After establishing a cult following in both Europe and Australia, The Birthday Partydisbanded in 1984.


But it was his next project, the Bad Seeds, which has remained at the forefront of creative output:

"If you are involved in making art you have to sit down and do the work. It"s not like there"s a matter of choice. 

"Songs for me don"t just drop out of the sky whilst I have a blonde sitting on my lap. It"s quite an excruciating process. 

"I say all that but I"ve never enjoyed being in the Bad Seeds as much as I am now."

Recent album Push The Sky Away is infused with a naturalism and warmth that makes it the most subtly beautiful of all the Bad Seeds albums. 

The contemporary settings of myths, and the cultural references that have time-stamped Nick"s songs of the twenty-first century mist lightly through details drawn from the life he observed around his Brighton seaside home, through the tall windows on the album"s mysterious and ambiguous cover.

"I enter the studio with a handful of ideas, unformed and pupal; it"s the Bad Seeds that transform them into things of wonder. 

"Ask anyone who has seen them at work. They are unlike any other band on earth for pure, instinctive inventiveness."

Nick Cave plays Brighton Dome on Thursday 24th October. See for more details.

by: Mike Cobley

Related links

Nick Cave


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