European Tour: Paris

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Le Grand Rex – Paris/France – May 18th, 2015

Well Paris was my 7th and last show of this incredible tour and it definitely was a great one! Le Grand Rex is a venue that is mostly used a cinema so the front row where, like in Den Haag, pretty far from the stage which was almost as high as your average sized person. Security was a bit annoying but as soon as the concert started many people immediately rushed to the stage and in a way this concert felt more like a “normal” standing concert as Nick leaned a couple of times in the audience. I have to say one thing though, there was a lot of filming (is that a French thing? lol) and it really annoyed me at one point. I always try to be really quick and make sure I am not bothering anybody when I take pictures but a woman filmed Push the Sky Away with her phone basically in my face and I found it highly distracting. It’s the perfect song to end the concert and there is such a magical atmosphere during it. So that was a bit ruined for me. I was this close to swat the phone of her hand. lol I understand the irony as I link many videos on this blog but if you do it, make sure you don’t bother people! But yeah I had to rant a little about that!

Otherwise the concert was fantastic despite some technical issues which were made fun of. Some funny banter from the crowd too… Nick: This is Black Hair. Woman: Like Yours! Woman; You are the next Elvis! Man: Your songs feed my soul (or something along those lines). All very well received with a chuckle or a smile.

As you can see the setlist stayed pretty much the same but I am really happy that Avalanche was brought back as well as Watching Alice (by request).

This is the end of the tour for me but I will keep you updated with Spain and Moscow next week. In any case it was an incredible month. I really enjoyed the songs performed on this tour. Even the classic ones got a whole new makeover and sounded completely fresh. And of course we will never forget the return of Up Jumped the Devill! I can’t wait to see what Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds have in store for us… but first some time off because they really deserve it! :)

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Setlist

Water’s Edge
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The Ship Song
From Her to Eternity
Stranger Than Kindness
Love Letter
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
the Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street

Encore

People Ain’t No Good
Avalanche
We No Who U R
Up Jumped the Devil
Watching Alice
Jack The Ripper
Push The Sky Away

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Videos:

Interview Translation – Die Welt: “Sick Bags are just perfect for poetry.”

Hi folks,

There is an interview with Nick Cave published in German press and I still have not found out why, but I always find the German interviews hilarious and once again I present you a once English now German interview translated back to English in the middle of the night due to insomnia. How much reality makes it through will not be known probably, so take it or leave it ;)

This one was published in Die Welt. Frédéric Schwilden sat down with Nick Cave in Berlin.

Photos are by the incredible Chris John Dewitt whose photographs of more than three decades Berlin are wonderful and fascinating to younger folks who have a thing for it – like me. I choose some of my favourites. They are from the year I was born, 1985 when Berlin according to Nick was an artistic wonderland. The last one is a place that according to the photographer still looked basically like that in 2008. Some junkyard’s never get old it seems.

Links to original authors and photographers below.

The great musician and poet Nick Cave recommends steroids if you have trouble with your voice but thinks that Oskar Roehler uses the wrong syringes. An interview about racism and stew.

Nick Cave is in Berlin for a concert. During the 80s he lived here. Recently he wrote a poem about a tour of North America he did last year. It is called „The Sick Bag Song“ and is published as a book. He wrote it on airplane sickbags.

Frédéric: Did you have a pleasant journey?

Nick: Yes one can say so. I even slept which is very interesting. Usually I do not sleep well. Today I indeed slept 6 hours.

Frédéric: At dinner I recently sat next to a very successful lawyer. She said that after a 14-hour workday a glass of red wine and a Xanax do it for her. What is your formula?

Nick: I tried everything and experimented for a long time. Now I consciously try to avoid things like that but I am not always successful with that of course.

Frédéric: Nick Cave, I initially wanted to start this interview with the following sentence: I have to thank you, to your song „Jubilee Street“ I maybe had the best sex in my life.

Nick: I am very happy to hear that. Astonishing that you made it through the song. It is longer than three minutes.

Frédéric: You just wrote a poem. It is called „The Sick Bag Song“ and you wrote it on airplane sickbags. Aren’t these bags incredibly beautiful? They look so classy, like they have fallen from time and they are so well designed aren’t they?

Nick:
They are just perfect. Plus there are many interesting things written on them.

Frédéric:
For example: „Please ask your flight attendant for the proper disposal of a used needle“. You never asked the stewart didn’t you?

Nick: No. Never.

Frédéric: „The Sick Bag Song“ is a poem about life on tour. How do you prepare?

Nick: Before we go on tour? We rehearse a little. Of course not too much. But we do not pray or have a circlejerk, that is not our kind of thing.

Frédéric: You sleep in the Sheraton, in the Ritz, in the Grand Hyatt. How do you know that a hotel is good?

Nick: I don’ t really care for hotelrooms. They are just functional rooms that are there. I also don’t care about the bar or the bar food.

Frédéric: A huge problem when you travel long distance is jetlag. You write that steroids help with that. Can you recommend that without hesitation?

Nick: Right, I wrote that. But the steriods really help me more with my flu. I am a singer and when you don’t have a voice in the morning, steroids are genius. The only problem is that they have the tendency to cause some psychological problems. They lift you up totally. But they are really magic when it comes to the voice. If you can’t sing at all, you can do it like Maria Callas once you’re on steroids.

Frédéric: Your poem describes a tour of North America. Do you feel welcomed there? I have a hard time doing so.

Nick:
I feel very welcomed. Is it because you are German? Do you feel like an Arab? Look, that is your mustache. Shave it off and America will be happy to welcome you.

Frédéric: It is also that kind of expressionistic police work.

Nick: You have the advantage of being white. If you are black, it is completely different. There are so many Afro-Americans in prison compared to white people.

Frédéric: Is the American police racist?

Nick: Are you fucking kidding me? Of course. The police has a terrible problem. The cops do not look like polite policemen but like army guys, like Sci-Fi soldiers with Sci-Fi equipment. On top of that their perception is disturbed. They think: If two black people shoot each other, it’s their own business. A black business. Nevertheless America is one of the best places you can visit.

Frédéric: Let’s rather talk about art again. You have created a list of things that stop us most from being creative. The biggest obstacle is procrastination, the tendency to put something off for as long as possible. Do you do that?

Nick:
No, absolutely not. I just heard about it. I personally just have a thought and then realise it. That is how I work. It is not about motivation it is just about realisation. Maybe my work would be even better when there would be a moment between thought and realisation.

Frédéric: One of the possibilities of procrastination, you write, is a terrorist attack. When I saw the Twin Towers crash as a child I wished for a war in Europe cause of a terrorist attack because I thought then I would never have to go to school again. Is that reprehensible?

Nick: No, not at all. It is an astoundingly good idea indeed. In the end you always find a good excuse for not doing things.

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Frédéric: Oskar Roehler just made a movie about the 80s in Berlin. Blixa Bargeld and you are in it as well.

Nick: Personally I was amazed by Blixa’s actor. Fucking hell, that is really Blixa. But the Nick Cave guy, he had a completely different body type. Look, that was more a big guy. Big bones. On top of that the drug scenes were not correct. When film people try to show drugs, they always do it wrong basically. It just is not like that. Look, that guy just opens a casket with a syringe. And this syringe is just too fucking big. You put something like that into horses.

Frédéric: Lets talk about Berlin. What do you think of Berlin today?

Nick: I have no idea about Berlin how it is now. The only Berlin I know is the Berlin of the 80s. That Berlin had a society within the society. An artist society. We were unhappy and felt alienated and we flew from something. And we found refuge in Berlin, this city gave us an artistic unity. I have never experienced that kind of creative bond again. But what happens in Berlin today – I have no idea. What really comes up to me when thinking about Berlin are these sticky dumplings with red cabbage and stewed meat, that is genius.

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Photographs: http://chrisjohndewitt.tumblr.com
Original Interview: http://www.welt.de/kultur/pop/article141176444/Kotztueten-sind-einfach-perfekt-zum-Dichten.html

Translation: Anna

European Tour: Den Haag + Audio Goodie (bootleg of Sat. show)

World Forum Theatre – Den Haag / The Netherlands – May 16th, 2015

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Full bootleg available on Mega. As usual please respect the work of the tapers. Always share the files as you have downloaded them and do not sell them. Convert to mp3s for your personal use.

So on Saturday I headed to Den Haag to attend both concerts. I have to be honest with you, this won’t be like my usual in-depth ;) reviews, because after seeing three concerts in a row it’s a bit difficult to remember all the little details. Both concerts in Den Haag were taking place in the World Forum Theatre which is definitely more of a convention center than the perfect place for a rock concert, but I have to say the sound was amazing.

The concerts were solid from start to finish and looking at my notes I can tell you that once again (I know, I know) we got ferocious versions of Jack the Ripper, Tupelo and From her to Eternity. I also thought that on Saturday No More Shall We Part sounded even more emotional than usual.

On Sunday someone from the crowd shouted his love for Warren followed by a few others. It was quite funny as he replied something along the lines: “That’s enough love for today”. Nick replied: “I love you too, Warren… Since the first day I met you…” It was really funny to witness. I am also really pleased they played Sad Waters. One of my favourite song and I just love the violin part of the song. I find it really haunting.

Setlist

Water’s Edge
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The Ship Song
From Her to Eternity
Stranger Than Kindness
Love Letter
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
The Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street

Encore

Babe, You Turn Me On
We No Who U R
Up Jumped The Devil
And No More Shall We Part
I Let Love In
Jack The Ripper
Push the Sky Away

Babe, You Turn Me On by request with no lyrics. ;)

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Just a few of my pictures on Flickr.

Reviews: Soundz – De VolkskrantUniversLust for Life

Fan review: Stubwah’s Webblog

World Forum Theatre – Den Haag / The Netherlands – May 17th, 2015

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Setlist

We Real Cool
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The Ship Song
From Her to Eternity
Stranger Than Kindness
God Is In The House
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
the Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street

Encore

Sad Waters
We No Who U R
People Ain’t No Good
Jack The Ripper
Push the Sky Away

Push the Sky Away

And a couple more of my pictures here. I didn’t take many this weekend as I wanted to enjoy every minute of the show. I am a bad blogger, I know. ;)

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Quick note…

I know the audio links are about to expire or have already expired but I am currently still out of town for the tour so you will have to wait till next week to get new links. So stop sending me emails & msgs now. ;)

And thank you Anna for the Copenhagen review!

I can already tell you that Den Haag was absolutely amazing. More on that when I come back.

European tour: May 12th, 2015 – DR Koncerthuset Copenhagen – Review

I saw two shows of this tour. Berlin and Copenhagen. And it was like meeting two siblings who have the same eyes, but one is dark-haired and serious and one is blonde and funny. Copenhagen was the blonde.

When I learned one thing about concerts in other countries, it is: Expect everything. So I was prepared for everything from boredom to an absolute blast. I think I got the second one though in a slightly different way from what I usually mean when I say „blast“ and „concert“ in one sentence.

People in Denmark are relaxed. The DR Koncerthuset is a pretty impressing place, but going in was easy. No one was searching through my bag or touching my body from chest to shoes like I am used to in Germany. I just got in, no big deal. There was a very calm atmosphere inside. Nobody seemed to be in a rush. It helped me with my usual pre-concert nervousness and I appreciated it very much. Thank you Denmark!

We got in and sat down with a little shock. We got tickets for row two but there was no row two cause the places of row two we had were basically row one. The stage was very low and it reminded me of the evening at Kampnagel when Nick Cave did the Bunny Munro Evenings together with Marty and Warren in 2009. I am used to the front row, but front seats have something about them that makes me feel uneasy. Anyway: I was placed in front of Warrens instruments. After I accepted to feel exposed like that I was quite happy about the view I would be able to get on Warren’s work.

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The venue is very high, with a huge organ many meters over the stage. People were seated in a circle around, many were very high up above looking down on the stage from the complete other side. It was fantastic. I loved looking up to the ceiling during the show and before.

When the lights went out nobody was applauding. Relaxed Denmark again. Lovely country. I saw the band behind the curtain already and from the other side it looked funny like they were unsure if to enter the stage or not and I think I saw a little pushing around there. Once they got on stage people were getting excited of course.

Nick entered the stage and looked around, he also seemed kind of fascinated by the way people were all around him. He sat down at the piano and I was thinking we get Water’s Edge like they did all other evenings so far, but as soon as I heard the flute and the loop I knew it would be a different opener – We Real Cool that was. Everyone who visits shows regularly knows that is quite exciting when you sit there and something unexpected happens with the setlist – especially at a Nick Cave show. Nick stood up and walked up and down the stage. I realized I like it better when he starts the show like that and not at the piano. A start like that fits him better.

Foto

Again I felt that I am not made for sitting in row one. I felt restless and strange there.

During Brompton Oratory Nick Cave was begging a woman to come down to dance with him. She did it but it took a while. So he started the song alone and used the time for the I-Phone moment of the evening: A lovely woman seated next to her man who was next to me filmed at that point. Nick was suddenly coming down and in a very slow move grabbing her I-Phone and putting it into her cleavage. I think I put my hand in front of my face. It was a very strange moment. He walked away and came back singing „The smell of you still on my hands…“ while looking at her. I was somewhere inbetween amusement and discomfort in those seconds.

Then the lady from up above arrived and they did a little dance like I think we have seen in Belgium already. It reminds me of a mixture of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave in Henry Lee and Bruce Springsteen’s action during Dancing In The Dark.

During Higgs Boson Blues he managed that people stood up. It was my personal revelation. Finally standing. But people were sitting back down. So did I. Some stayed crouched in front of the stage.

The concert took an interesting turn when he made a crowd of people sit on stage. It was like in school and reminded me of old Beat Club sessions. All these people around his feet while he was playing the piano. I got the impression there were many very young girls and that was maybe what made me think of a kind of school lession. I am unsure if I liked it when it comes to the tension of the show. I sat on the stage for a little while during Black Hair, but I hated it. Sitting there was as nervracking as sitting on my damn chair plus I thought my view was quite fucked compared to the absolutely fabulous sight I had when I just stood up, cause sitting on stage makes you unable to see the whole band. I know Nick Cave has fancy shoes, but I can’t entertain myself with them for 2.5 hours. Standing was like being front row without any other people cause they were all on stage. So I just stayed in front of the stage with a couple of others standing and therefore able see the whole band, to dance, sing and shout a lot more and have more fun.

Most people seated on stage were again: Very relaxed. People drinking beer up there, cuddling couples, all that sort of stuff you would expect happening at…yeah…a folk concert? Like I said, unsure about it though the atmosphere was very comfortable. Maybe too comfortable? Nevertheless I loved that evening in all it’s strangeness and I was too happy about the possibility to watch Warren Ellis using his instruments. I longed for that since quite a while now, but the stage was always too high usually to see everything properly except during that evening in 2009, but he had different instruments back then of course. So it was brilliant and maybe one of the best bits of that tour for me.

I think the band was in a good mood. I had a good view on Thomas and Marty as well and they seemed like they were into it and their sound was powerful. I loved that when touching that narrow stage the vibrations were running through my body in such a good way. Not like when the bass from the speakers is torturing your chest and ears but just the whole thing physically running through your veins making you feel like the music is curing all madness and pain you might have hosted inside of yourself.

I think I got a lot more energy from that show than from the Berlin evening though I think Berlin was more „together“, darker and with more tension – more classic Nick Cave. But I had a bad headache that night and could not stand so much without thinking my skull will explode while in Copenhagen it was a big party during the non-ballad parts.

I think I am the same broken record like Valerie, but it is true: Jack The Ripper is an oustanding performance. It blows you away and so does From Her To Eternity. Both work incredibly well in that concept and Jack The Ripper has a new style that I would love to see more of in the future. When I think Nick’s peformance lacks a bit of his usual intensity during some parts of this concept cause of all these lovely extras that nevertheless seem to partly kind of break the tension I can say: Once I see that performance of Jack The Ripper I know it does not matter so much, it is there and it will hopefully always be.

Therefore I will not repeat my view about other massively played „hits“ now, cause I don’t want to put negativity into my recap of that night.

I really like his lovely crowd-engaging Brompton Oratory performance. It combines a romantic tenderness with a very tongue in cheek aspect and I think I have rarely seen Nick perform like that. It is very refreshing and melts my heart.

I got my first setlist in the end thanks to the nice man who told me to just wait a moment and he will bring it once we please stop crawling on stage. I never do things like that usually but I was so curious if We Real Cool was planned or spontaneous. Remembered me of the Berlinshow when many people were running on stage to grab what was not nailed on it and they had to hunt them back down.

That is it.

European Tour: Brussels + Audio Goodies (full bootlegs of both shows)

What a weekend! Those two concerts at Cirque Royal were so mindblowing that I am not even sure I can put what I’ve experienced into words! I spoke to a few fans who have been following the tour from the start and they all agreed that Brussels really stood out and were probably the best concerts so far.

Cirque Royal – Brussels / Belgium – May 9th, 2015

Full bootleg available on Mega.  As usual please respect the work of the tapers. Always share the files as you have downloaded them and do not sell them. Convert to mp3s for your personal use.

Anyway, on Saturday Nick Cave was very relaxed and in a playful mood. Despite the fact that people didn’t stand until the encore, he was seeking contact and engaging a lot with the audience from the start. Every song was delivered with such intensity and emotion. I am going to sound like a broken record but Jack the Ripper and From her to Eternity were once again the highlights for me.

As for the fun anecdotes, one lucky lady got to go on stage to slow dance with Nick while he was singing Brompton Oratory. A really beautiful moment that I am sure she won’t forget anytime soon. He said it was a first. No kidding! There was a little more rage than usual against people taking pictures right into his face (enjoy the moment people!) and one man had actually his phone smacked out of his hand. The look on his face when he begged Nick to give him back was just priceless. Another funny moment was when Nick accidentally mistook a cane for a selfie stick. I don’t think I have ever heard Warren Ellis laugh so hard. He quickly apologized and the man was rewarded with a hug and Up Jumped the Devil.

Push the Sky Away ended the concert and as it was magical as Nick Cave slowly walked on the chairs and made its way in the middle of the audience in the room that was barely lit. The song is still haunting even after having it heard so many times now. Rock and roll did indeed got down to our soul that night.

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Setlist

Water’s Edge
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The Ship Song
From Her to Eternity
Stranger Than Kindness
Love Letter
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
The Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street

We Real Cool
God Is In The House
And No More Shall We Part
We No Who U R
Jack the Ripper
Up Jumped the Devil
Push the Sky Away

I didn’t take many pictures as I was very close, but as usual there are here.

Playlist:

Cirque Royal – Brussels / Belgium – May 10th, 2015

Sunday is a bit of blur but the concert was equally as fantastic.  I will leave you with a couple of videos for this one and I think this fantastic bootleg speaks for itself: Mega link. As usual please respect the work of the tapers. Always share the files as you have downloaded them and do not sell them. Convert to mp3s for your personal use.

(*) Will reupload when it expires.

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Setlist

Water’s Edge
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The Ship Song
From Her to Eternity
Nobody’s Baby Now
Love Letter
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
The Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street

We No Who U R
People Ain’t No Good
Breathless
Stranger Than Kindness
Up Jumped the Devil
Jack the Ripper
Push the Sky Away

Now I have read a couple of Belgian reviews criticizing the performances, saying they were too theatrical and that Nick Cave was being too charming with the female audience. I think this is part of his performance and what makes it an incredible show. He is just not there to sing, wave goodbye and leave. I think the interaction with the fans and him is what makes it such a different show every night. And those few people who shared a moment, even just a second, will leave the venue with the widest smile on their face.

Pictures for Sunday on Flickr.

Playlist:

European Tour: Berlin – Stuttgart + Video Goodie (full Berlin concert)

Friedrichstadtpalast – Berlin / Germany – May 6th, 2015

Setlist

Water’s Edge
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The ship Song
From Her To Eternity
Stranger Than Kindess
Love Letter
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
The Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street

Encore

We No Who U R
Up Jumped the Devil
Avalanche
God Is In The House
Nobody’s Baby Now
Breathless
Jack the Ripper

Push the Sky Away

Videos:

Black Hair. Really funny moment where Nick explains that the song is not about his hair. Some guy shouts that it’s dyed and he is all: “Bullshit! It’s natural. It’s magic hair!” and just bursts out laughing.

 

Someone actually recorded the full show. You can watch it on YouTube or download it at Mega (mp4 file about 1.25 Go).

Reviews: Berliner Morgen Post

Fan review:

Karolina Drozdowska on Facebook. I actually got there late, as my companion (my very pregnant best friend) had a small pregnant lady’s emergency – but her big belly and the look of complete panic on her face got a very nice Friedrichstadt-Palast employee to open the doors for us and show us to our seats in under 10 seconds. So we came in one minute into Water’s Edge. Our seats weren’t great, but when Nick sat at the piano I could look straight into his face and I also had a quite nice view of Warren’s back. I’m rather used to the Polish concert atmosphere, so I was surprised at how reserved and well behaved the German fans were – Nick was standing at the very edge of the stage during some songs and almost no one tried to grab or touch him – maybe it was partly because it was a seated concert, so people felt they should behave. My last Nick concert (Gdynia 2013) was a near death experience, with people literally fighting over who gets to touch him, desperately wanting him to touch them, bless them, love them, fuck them, like he was a photo-negative version of John Paul II, only a much better, singing, dancing, piano-playing one. The Berlin audience was very polite. At one point Nick saw a girl in the first row that he liked and reached out for her, and she just sat there, intimidated for a bit, before she finally touched his hand (making me die a little inside). At another point, a girl climbed onto the stage, walked to him and gave him flowers. Nick hugged her before demanding a vase to put the flowers in (he got a pint glass and placed the flowers on his piano). And the songs. The ship song which almost made me cry, Mercy Seat, dark and dreadful, Jubilee Street (this song should only be played in concerts). Jesus Christ, I’ve actually forgot how awesome Up Jumped the Devil is! And Avalanche… Before playing Black Hair Nick said: “This song is called Black Hair… it’s not about my hair”, and some guy in the audience (if you’re reading this, I love you) shouted: “No, cause yours is dyed”. “Fuck you, no way!”, Nick replied, pretending to be mortified, “This is, um, magic hair”, he said, before cracking up completely and laughing. “I don’t think I’ll be able to sing it now”, he said, but he managed it beautifully. They played for two and a half hours. Brilliant, brilliant, fantastic. The best concert of my life. Till the next one, that is.

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