serious

There'll be informative six-page features . . .

The Bad Seeds were amazing.

I ended up driving through to Glasgow, because the doors opened at an unnervingly early hour (seven?) and I suspected that they meant it. I was right, too - when i arrived a bit after eight I'd missed most of the support band.

I was slighty concerned when I found the venue (the Academy) that it might be the old Citizen's Theatre. I was bothered all evening by the thought that maybe the Citz had closed down and nobody had told me, but on checking around it's a different victorian theatre a block west of the Citz, so that's OK. Nice place, marred only by being sponsored by, and named after, one of Britain's best-known catpiss rebottlers.

The support band were, I think, Silver Ray, and antipodean three-piece instrumental outfit who seemed quite entertaining. I caught one and a half songs, which translates into about twenty minutes. The last song was introduced as the last song "which probably means about half an hour". I'd like to have seen more of them. There were a guitarist in a suit and green shirt, a pianist/keyboard player in check trousers, and a drummer who was obscure behind his kit but played very well.

After a reasonable wait for the stage to be set up for the Bad Seeds, they came on. On the last tour they had an impressive number of poeple on stage, but this time there were more of them - twelve all told, I think, who as far as I can tell were the same eight as on the album plus four backing singers who may or may not have been among the ones on the record. They were very good, actually. I wouldn't have thought that they were a good idea, but they added a lot to the sound (which, incidentally, was immense).

They kicked off with Abbatoir Blues and then played a set - a good length of set, too - entirely from the new album(s). They must have played nearly all of them, and damn fine it was too. Some of them didn't really work for me on the record, but they did live. They really did work live. Of course, it helped that they were going through a humungously loud PA, but the extra singers, two keyboards and two drummers (usually one playing the kit conventionally and the other standing with other percussion) made, as you'd expect, quite an impression.

So, after playing for a good long time, they left the stage and the crowd went wild. I don't think I've ever seen that good a response to an established act being so pointedy willful, but the reaction to the new stuff was pretty much what you'd expect to get from old favourites. I half-hoped they were going to clean up on arrogant-old-bastard points by either refusing an encore or coming back on to play any of the new songs they'd missed, or perhaps the B-sides of the last couple of singles. They relented, though, and came back on to play about eight or ten crowd-pleasers ("What do you want to hear?"), starting with The Weeping Song and City of Refuge, both of which had me thinking about the Middle East. The latter's always been a favourite of mine, and I've never understood why it doesn't get talked about and asked for more often. Nick's seemed to be veering more towards current affairs on the last couple of albums, and I wondered whether the choice of songs had any message. Then, after much audience prompting it was time for The Ship Song. There was also Red Right Hand and Stagger Lee, both of which were damn scary. At points during RRH the floor was shaking from the bass drums. I'm used to feeling the bass in my chest, but realising that the floor is literally shaking does add a certain something to the occasion. Lay Me Low was introduced as being destined for disaster, but was instead carried off wonderfully. I'll never be able to hear My Way again without smirking, I'm sure. Deanna was a little muddy at the start, but not for long, and Cave was on fine form, skinny and jerking in his pinstripe suit, pointing his long finger accusingly at the audience. He's on damn good form at the moment. The new haircut makes him look like an an escaped convict, which is most appropriate. I must say, though, that he was seen smiling a couple of times too. God Is In The House had a loud laugh in the middle when someone beat him to the "Hallelujah", and again I was wondering - is a song about the smothering effect of parochial religion intended as a comment on Recent Events?

The last song didn't actually feature the Bad Seeds at all. Nick said goodnight and they all left, but not before he'd stopped the backing singers leaving, so they finished the night with an a capella version of New Morning. Again, I wouldn't have expected that to work but I enjoyed it a lot. A few more arrogant-old-bastard points for Mr Cave (perhaps to make up for the few he'd lost earlier for thanking us for putting up with the main set), and off home for me. I had been going to go to the pub if I got back in time, but (rubs in differences in opening hours) it was half-twelve by the time I was back in Edinburgh and I wasn't sure how much longer that pub would be open for. It might have been closing as early as one, and what would be the point dragging myself across town for something as early as that?
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  • Current Music: Bad Seeds - Lay me low
Excellent. I'm off to Mancs on Monday to see him so I'm glad to hear he's on fine form.

I really like "God is in the House" -- I love the idea of breeding the kittens white so you can see them in the night.
I like it as a song lyric. It's terrifying as an idea. I can cap it, though - there's been an at least semi-serious suggestion that wild deer in the US should be made luminescent so that people don't drive into them.

I certainly hope they're as good in Manc as they were last night. You'll have a terrific time if so.
wild deer in the US should be made luminescent so that people don't drive into them.

OK, but make the wolves and lynxes glow too. Otherwise it's kinda unfair.
*grin* Glowing deer would certainly be a worrying vision, especially if you've had a few. I guess there's less chance of hunters drunkenly shooting their mates instead!

> hunters drunkenly shooting their mates

It's the way they would have wanted to go... :-)
(Anonymous)
indeedles - it's a 1am-er.

we stayed for a while past that, but the barstaff were glaring at us so we went to favorit for a bit...

anonymouseth
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Huh. Silver Ray sound like they're into their Dirty Three.

(A couple of years before the Dirty Three became hip, I saw them supporting the Black-Eyed Susans. The fans despised them. These being the same people who would be buying all their records three years later. Four songs in fifty minutes.)
It did occur to me, yes. They didn't seem anything like as mournful, though. Quite fun, in fact.
two drummers (usually one playing the kit conventionally and the other standing with other percussion) made, as you'd expect, quite an impression.

Aw, now you've got gone & me all nostalgic for CSC again! 8-P
Raaaaa, sounds excellent. I'm bouncing even more about seeing Mr Nicholas "Laughing Boy" Cave this Thursday now :)
Excellent write-up (as always) but lj-cut dammit! You're taking up valuable real-estate in my "friends" view! ;-)
'City of Refuge' has always been my favourite track off Tender Prey, much more so than 'The Mercy Seat' (though that is also a fine track).
I'd be hard-pressed to choose between them. And while they usually do The Mercy Seat, City of Refuge is a rarer treat. It worked especially well with the two drummers.