'THE MIDNIGHT MAN' - NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS LIVE AT MANCHESTER APOLLO 25.11.08 BY MEL AND VANESSA
Vanessa persuaded me to go and see "Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, "Nick's a phenomenal performer, he really gets into the music, and you’ll love him”. So without any further intimidation I agreed and waited patiently for the day to arrive. Nick & The Bad Seeds have recently finished a USA tour, an invigorated Nick stormed into the North West tonight with a blistering performance.
On arrival we secured our places against the rail "you really do have to be up front to take in the sheer magnificence of a Nick Cave show". Chatted with some really nice people who were just as eager as us to get the show on the road, and waited. The anticipation was electric, but first we had to endure the support act, Joe Gideon and the Shark, a two piece brother and sister combo. I say endure, but really, they weren't that bad, pretty strange sounds, plus being a support act to Nick Cave are huge boots to fill. Guess they weren’t our cup of tea, but having listened to them on MySpace this morning I kinda dig em!
At approx 9 pm the lights went down and The Bad Seeds started to filter on to the stage. All eyes fixed on the stage door ready for Nick to make his entrance, and oh what an entrance! The maestro emerged in his uniformed three piece suit and white shirt, looking very dapper,
long black hair flowing, to the heartbreaking melody of ‘Hold On To Yourself’ (favourite track off the new album). Nick stalked into view exuding an overwhelming charismatic force that is totally unique. From that moment on I knew we were in for a fabulous evening. Nick's vocals were incredible tonight, menacing, tender and full of passion.
Nick stalks the stage as if he was the mischievous sprite of a preacher man, the staggering emotions he provokes amongst the audience is a joy to watch (especially amongst the women). As always Nick actively engaged in some friendly audience banter, even down to pointing at both of us individually whilst singing ‘Dig Lazarus Dig’ and changing the words from ‘Like Miss Boo and Miss Quick’ to ‘Like Miss Blonde hair and Miss Black hair’ pretty cool.
He positively encourages audience banter, asking them "what do you wanna hear?", I heard a woman shouting "Get naked" was this a song title or request? such is the sheer animal magnetism he generates. He then selected a guy from the audience and asked his name “John” he said and Nick proceeded to dedicate the song to him, throughout the show he made a few references to John.
He paced the stage in all directions, pointing his fingers and singing menacingly into people’s faces such a force of charisma. He is a delight to photograph too with his ever changing expressions and poses.
The Bad Seeds were as professional as ever, never missing a beat, Warren Ellis is just incredible to watch (if you can drag your eyes away from Nick Cave that is, he gave a stellar performance, hauntingly beautiful violin and mandolin playing, superb!
The finale erupted with Nick singing 'Hard On For Love' which he cheekily dedicated to his Mother and ‘Stagger Lee’ he gave a mind blowing performance and bide Manchester goodnight and thank you.
We rounded off the evening off with a brief meet and greet with Nick, he was quite congenial and posed for some photos. Thanks for a memorable evening.
Hold Onto Yourself/Dig Lazarus Dig/Tupelo/The Weeping Song/Nature Boy/Red Hand Right/MidnightMan/God Is In The House/Love Letter/People Ain't No Good/Moonland/The Mercy Seat/Deanna/We Call Upon The Author/Pappa Won't Leave You Henry/Get Ready For Love.
Finale - Lyre Of Orpheus/Straight To You/Hard On For Love/Stagger Lee.
Gig Reviewed by Mel & Vanessa
Photos and video By Mel