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Musician, novelist and screenwriter Nick Cave maybe have been born in Melbourne in the 1950s but he has always had the sensibility of a Texan preacher’s son, drawing heavily on rich gothic and biblical imagery in his lyrics, music, novels and films.
Nick Cave’s multifarious career started in Australia with gothic rock group The Birthday Party, a favourite of legendary DJ John Peel but less so with the record buying public.
When the Birthday Party split up, Cave went on to form The Bad Seeds, a multinational band that first performed live in 1984 and continues to record and tour 20 years on, recording albums like From Her to Eternity, Murder Ballads and Let Love In.
In 2006, Cave formed another band, Grinderman. He has also published two novels, And The Ass Saw The Angel in 1989 and The Death of Bunny Munro in 2009; and written the screenplay for the film The Proposition.
The list of Nick Cave’s collaborators is as eclectic as it is long: duets with Kylie Minogue, PJ Harvey and Johnny Cash; collaborations with Shane McGowan and Marianne Faithfull; and writing soundtracks for film directors including Wim Wenders and John Hillcoat.
Cave’s Meltdown in 1999 was poignant because it included what would be Nina Simone’s last ever performance in the UK. Other artists appearing included The Bad Seeds, the Dirty Three, Ewen Bremner, Jarvis Cocker, The Fall’s Mark E Smith, Bryan Ferry, fellow Australian icons in exile Sir Les Patterson, Dame Edna Everage, Kylie Minogue, Rolf Harris and Germaine Greer, and Billie Whitelaw in An Evening with Samuel Beckett.