ROCK / Going to the bad: Nick Cave - Town & Country

Kentish Town just wasn't big enough for the both of them. Camden's country-tinged rockers The Rockingbirds pulled out rather than support born-again country fans Moose, as it was obvious that one band in love with Gram Parsons was quite enough.

So Moose were allowed to show what you can do when you take the miserable guitar drone and feedback of the 'shoe-gazing' era of 1991 bands like Ride, Lush and, er, Moose, and spice it up with narrative lyrics and a bit of melody. They did a quaint, deadpan version of the theme from Midnight Cowboy, 'Everybody's Talking', and some sweet songs from their new CD XYZ such as 'Little Bird', but they were still much too static both musically and visually.

Nick Cave might have been hanging around the UK scene since 1981 like a bad smell from the charnel house, but the man from Melbourne still turns in a tremendously energetic performance, making more noise, more music and, most importantly, more connections than young Moose. He launched into his recent Bad Seeds songs, howling into the hole of his man's frantically strummed acoustic guitar as he ripped through 'The Mercy Seat', 'The Good Son' and 'Deanna', and thrashing about like the true heir of Iggy Pop. His Fat Elvis-period baritone switched effortlessly up to a scream or down to a gothic groan, and he spent a lot of time straddling the monitors in his pointy boots and blue Sta-Prest trousers, trading skin with the front row. 'And now, my favourite singer in the world, ever,' announced Cave suddenly, and to everyone's delight on stumbled a chubby, three-quarters cut Shane MacGowan. The ex-Pogues singer was apparently so drunk he could scarcely see, but in a surreal duet of Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World', he came in bang on time, the pair of them competing to see who could sing slowest and sound closest to excess.

Then, in a charitable mood, Cave re-formed The Birthday Party for the die-hard goths. 'Wild World', 'Dead Joe' and 'Nick the Stripper' showed how terribly grave his band used to sound, when Roland Howard's shrieking guitar dominated everything, instead of the simple rhythm section of today's Bad Seeds. People took Nick Cave far too seriously when he gave the signal to 'Release the Bats' back in 1981. He thought he was tracing rock back through punk to its origins in blues and American folk music, not setting himself up to be followed round by stick-legged youths in black who love The Cure and want to sleep in a coffin. Thankfully, The Bad Seeds returned, and given the foot-stomping reception accorded to the more rootsy 'New Morning' and 'From Her To Eternity', we could soon all be wearing cowboy boots.

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week