National Chocolate Eclair Day was also the day I saw the life altering performance of Nick Cave ( & The Bad Seeds. )
I came to be a fan of Nick Cave during his Grinderman time and the hits of yesteryear.
In preparation for the show I started to watch “One More Time With Feeling” , a documentary on the making of Skeleton Tree, his latest album.
I don’t think I got 6 minutes in before falling asleep because it was late and I was tired.
So I went to the show with no idea about what Nick Cave has been up to pretty much since ‘Stagger Lee’.
When the show started, the rest of the band assembled on stage and started playing some eery intro music.
Then Nick walked out, gallantly, and yet, somehow, I was stricken.
The thought “this man has lost a child” flashed through my mind.
I could just sense it.
He was charming and charismatic and full of energy but I just knew this man before me experienced a trauma like no other.
And I mean beyond the fact that he is known as the Prince of Darkness, beyond that he could be Danzig and Leonard Cohen’s love child
I saw him, and I somehow saw my dad, presenting the way he ‘should’, yet demolished on the inside.
I could see it radiating off of him from my balcony seat.
The darkness in me recognized the darkness in him
The next morning I went to watch the rest of the documentary (which is to say virtually all of the documentary )
While it was playing on my laptop, I did some iPhone google research.
“Nick Cave hears how his son Arthur died after falling to his death on LSD” is the headline from the first article that pops up
Arthur fell 60 ft off a cliff in Brighton at the age of 15. His twin, Earl, remains.
In a more interview-y segment of the documentary, Cave says, “…all of this stuff I’m saying now, it just, it feels like a lot of bullshit to me. It may mean something, but in the end, there’s something that happened… and there’s a kind of ring around that event, or it’s fenced off… and everything else is okay around it, but there’s just something that happened in that short space of time that we can never get that far away from… that we’re attached to this event, and that we move away, and we’re like on a rubber band, and life can go on and on and on, but eventually it just keeps coming back to that thing. And that’s… that’s some kind of trauma, I guess.”
“One more time with Feeling” was all too close to home. It showcases the family carrying on, but it’s clear that they will never be ‘whole’ again.
The show was incredible at the time, but it has a whole new lens on it now that I’ve watched the doc. Even though I had ‘sensed’ his emotional injury, I didn’t really know it for sure at the theatre and found myself thinking, at the time, ‘C’mon man, play Dig! Lazurus, Dig!’.
It all makes way more sense now.
The experience was much more spiritual than the lack lustre eclairs I pounded back before the show
I mean, they were ok, but they definitely didn’t make me weep like the world was ending.