Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Adelaide 2009


15. Jan. 2009, 10:58

Wed 14 Jan – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave commanded centre stage with Mick Harvey to his left (guitar, keyboard) representing the old and Warren Ellis to his right (violin, mandocaster, maraccas, flute) representing the new. I don't know the other Bad Seeds by sight, but there were two drummers, another on keyboards and another on bass. (Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.)

The set comprised of more intense works, apart from The Ship Song (in traditional style) and Love Letter with Nick soloing on keyboard.

Controlled chaos rained with the fuel seeming to flow through the wick of Warren Ellis and firing through the rest of the band. The standards were pulled off with typical amazing power, and yet I didn't feel that Nick unleashed himself fully for these. Rather, he seemed to keep something in reserve for the new batch of songs. Cave pulled something special out of the bag for these, performing almost half of the new album.

Several generations rubbed shoulders in the crowd, with some people almost falling off the balconies with enthusiasm. Cries for Stagger Lee throughout the night were rewarded with the final encore. While not my favourite song, live it is spectacular, with Nick thrusting himself about the stage in his dirty old style.

There was a definite contrasts with Nick's last concert in Adelaide (with Grinderman, effectively a subset of the Bad Seeds). There was a more "spiritual" feel in the house, with a balance of mellow songs that accentuated the contrasting chaotic ones. This time it was pretty much in your face raw power.

Getting the classics Tupelo and Straight to You which were not in his set last time here was nice, though I wasn't blown away as much as I have been at times when connecting with the recorded versions. In the opposite direction, Deanna and Papa Won't Leave You, Henry - songs that I can take or leave in the original recordings - were turned into thunderous powerhouses most definitely here for your soul.

Highlights for me were, much to my surprise, his new material: powerfully opening with Hold On To Yourself, bringing the room to a whisper in Moonland one moment and blasting it the next, singing good times in Midnight Man, and bonus groove breakdown in We Call Upon the Author.

Despite the years, they've still got it. Don't miss the opportunity when it comes to experience Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in all their manic glory.

Here is what I can remember of the set list. The order is not quite correct. Any corrections are welcome in the comments.

Hold on to Yourself
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Red Right Hand
Midnight Man
The Weeping Song
Nature Boy
The Mercy Seat
Papa Won't Leave You, Henry
Get Ready for Love
Hard On for Love
The Ship Song
We Call Upon the Author
More News From Nowhere
Love Letter

Straight to You
Stagger Lee
Akzeptierte Übermittlungen
Nick Cave, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


  • BlackCoffeeDuck

    Wicked!!! I'm seeing them next week. About the members of The Bad Seeds. The two drummer are Thomas Wydler which has been in the longest member after Mick Harvey since 1986. Jim Sclavunos is the drummer in Grinderman but started playing 'percussion' in the Bad Seeds but now is getting more and more 'drums'. Conway Savage is the keyboard player. Martyn P. Casey has been the bass player for 20 years now. he's from Perth and was in The Triffids before The Bad Seeds. James Johnston has been a some-time member since Blixa Bargeld left filling in on guitar, organ and piano but I don't think he's come out this tour, His band is Gallon Drunk. And you know Warren Ellis and Nick Cave off course. I could write 4ever about this, can U tell I can't wait 2 see them?

    16. Jan. 2009, 2:15
  • stretts

    thanks for the review - was a great show a reviewed the show on my blog at if anyone is interested

    16. Jan. 2009, 5:45
  • EncouragingSlug

    Cheers, ZarkoSnare. The Mercy Seat was awesome of course. Not sure about Today's Lesson. I think I zoned out for one or two songs. Thanks BlackCoffeeDuck for filling in the details. Thanks to your post about Night of the Lotus Eaters I discovered that it was Wydler on the left kit and Sclavunos on the right. Interesting how it roughly goes old to new from left to right. I saw a youtube clip (Today's Lesson) of some European show and they were in the same positions. Sigh - it would have been great to see the Bad Seeds with Blixa. Have you had that pleasure? Anyway, I'm sure you'll have a blast at the show. stretts - your review is fantastic (apart from the atrocious spelling, grrr! ;-)

    17. Jan. 2009, 7:23
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