Friday, 22 April 2016

50 songs to take to my grave #45: There She Goes, My Beautiful World

Throughout this series, and its companion 50 Albums, you may have been thinking to yourselves: "Where's the Nick Cave?" Actually, you probably haven't. But just in case you were, it's a fair question. The reason it's taken so long is because I found it so difficult to choose which song and which album. In the end, I managed to get the songs down to just two. But my rule of one song per artist meant I had to choose:

There She Goes, My Beautiful World or The Ship Song?

Most people, I'm sure, would have opted for the latter. But as I've said many-a-time before - I am not most people. Of course The Ship Song would rightly feature in any worthy 'Best Songs Ever' poll, but I've taken the surprising step of going for a song that came some 14 years later. When Nick and crew released the ambitious double-pack 'Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus' in 2004, us fans were rather shocked at what we got. The boys had gone gospel. Or should that be gothpel? Anyway, it wasn't a bad thing. On the contrary, it was a quite brilliant set of songs. The big standout for me was this song about writer's block, where Nick's literary knowledge and trademark sense of humour combined to create possibly his most uplifting moment to date. Nick laments the loss of his muse while reflecting on how the great writers got their inspiration:

  Karl Marx squeezed his carbuncles while writing Das Kapital
  And Gaugin, he buggered off, man, and went all tropical
  [...]
  I look at you and you look at me and deep in our hearts babe, we know it
  That you weren't much of a muse, but then I weren't much of a poet


As I get older, it gets harder and harder to put a smile on my face. This song does it to me every time though. I never thought the Bad Seeds would include a gospel choir, but jeez it works in so many unexpected ways.

Now, I recently replied to a comment left by JC in which I noted there wasn't nearly enough Nick Cave on this blog. I vowed to put that right, starting here. Expect plenty more over the coming months as he really is worth a series of his own. In the meantime, enjoy the sounds of Nick's beautiful world...



Soundtrack:

And here's a quite sensational live clip filmed by Channel 4. A typically energetic performance of the great man, his ever-incredible Bad Seeds and a top quality quartet of backing singers doing the gospel bit. At one point towards the end, Nick even lets the backing singers take over. He was probably exhausted from all that running about on stage and was taking a breather, but still. If this isn't the best thing you see and hear this week, I'll eat Warren Ellis' mando-guitar-thing...

3 comments:

  1. I've got nothing to add. Apart from I shook Nick Cave's hand.

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  2. A quite wonderful post. Not the Cave song I would've picked off the top of my head, but re-listening to it here I can find no argument with your selection whatsoever. Magnificent.

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  3. The Abbatoir Blues tour was senstational. Saw it two nights running in Glasgow at what must be the worst venue in the city (was known at the time the Carling Academy but is now the o2 Academy)but the band overcame the issues around sound in a cavernous old cinema and delivered blinding shows. The DVD/CD of the tour that came out a while later kind of captures it but only kind of...

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