Arguably Australia’s most successful cultural export of the last twenty years, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – both collectively and individually – are also the most prolific. In the last eighteen months alone, Nick Cave, alongside fellow Bad Seeds; Warren Ellis (violin, mandocaster) Martyn Casey (bass) and Jim Sclavunus (drums), have released an album and toured under the name Grinderman – a bump and grind exaggeration of the Bad Seeds groove. Warren Ellis and Nick Cave have also written and released the soundtrack to the Brad Pitt produced movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; bassist Martyn Casey has revived his former role in the reunited Triffids performing at last year’s Sydney Festival; and the longest serving Bad Seed, Mick Harvey (guitar and organ), has released a solo album (his fourth) entitled Two of Diamonds. Harvey has also performed as guest musician at The Triffids reunion shows and most recently has been remixing the entire Bad Seeds back catalogue in 5.1 surround sound.
It’s when The Bad Seeds are all together though, that the magic really shines, as anyone who has seen them at any time during the last twenty years can attest to.
With a set list that tilted heavily toward old favorites from his inimitable catalog, Cave won the crowd early and never let go, barnstorming through the rockers, casting a spell during the ballads, and effectively mixing camp with creepiness on sinister tales like “Red Right Hand” and the spectacularly vulgar “Stagger Lee”-the latter putting a decisive exclamation point on the night’s proceedings. Hollywood Bowl 2008
On record too, the Bad Seeds continue to revitalise with each release, a statement backed by their success of this year’s album Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! which received the winners gong for the 2008 ‘Album of the Year’ award in the prestigious MOJO magazine. Dig was also The Bad Seeds highest placed US release to date charting at no. 68, whilst back in Australia, Dig was to be the first nomination in the Triple J – Album of the Year’ awards, and has also been nominated for three Aria Awards. The back catalogue continues to impress also with a national newspaper survey voting ‘The Ship Song’ from 1990’s Tender Prey being voted the #3 Australian song of the last twenty years while their 1996 album, Murder Ballads was the subject of a recent TV and DVD documentary ‘Classic Albums’.Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds available at