Nick Cave's return to NZ

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 10:48 20/06/2014

It was pretty cool news yesterday - Nick Cave will be playing four New Zealand shows, two in Auckland, two in Wellington.

Some tour announcements don't mean a thing to me, others make me stop and think - man, how good is that going to be? (Answer: really good). In recent years I've wrestled a bit with being a Nick Cave fan. You may remember that a couple of years back I talked about Cave as actor rather than artist; I was close to done with his music. I couldn't find any joy in listening to it; he'd flooded the Nick Cave Market with far too much Nick Cave Music. I'd been a fan for a while, but I was bored with it, the soundtrack albums were pretty, quite lovely, I could enjoy them without having even seen the movies (in one case, anyway) but there was just too much to wade through. And there wasn't a lot that was sticking. Nick Cave returns to NZ

My plan for getting back on track with Cave was to read this book of interviews.  It kinda worked. I was newly enthused, interested again in giving him a go anyway.

And then he released Push The Sky Away and I was back on his team. I love that record. It's got a handful of the very best songs he's written in a decade or more.

But the thing that makes me look forward to this Cave show is the fact that I've seen him before and it was - easily - one of the Best Gigs Ever. That is the reason his show later this year will be worth going to. He could have released a series of flops (and he hasn't, by the way) and the gig would still be a ripper. I'm sure of that.

It's also interesting to think of him in a context without the Bad Seeds. A big part of what makes Cave great is that band, absolutely. But this show is a small ensemble playing music from across his whole career; this could mean Grinderman songs recast, it could mean snippets from the soundtrack work and it could mean reworkings of pre-Bad Seeds material. It could be that Cave is going to update some of the Birthday Party songs. Even the idea that some Birthday Party and Bad Seeds songs might mingle is something to think about.

And if none of that happens - if it is just songs from the Bad Seeds albums - well, it's been a decade since we've seen Nick Cave in New Zealand. And nearly a decade before that. He's no Joe Cocker or Lloyd Cole visiting this country every two years, you miss one show you simply see the next.

And he is devastatingly good on stage. And that catalogue - the idea that he will cherry-pick from across it. That and the fact that he seems very much on form currently. Well, I was excited about yesterday's news. Makes up for hearing that the F**king Eagles are doing another show...

What about you? What do you make of this Nick Cave tour announcement? Were you excited about this? Or does it need to be Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds? Or were you never a fan? Seriously, his show at Wellington's Town Hall back in 2005 was one of the very best

I've ever seen.

See here for tour dates and ticket info, tickets on sale from early July

Postscript: Here's the setlist from last night's Got It Covered DJ set for anyone that's interested.

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