Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More on The Cavester

Nick Cave, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

The day started with a train ride into the city. I haven't been on a train in a while. Nothing really changes though.
The first thing we (Clare and I) had to do was find a clothes shop. I'd sat on a nail or something and ripped a big hole in my favourite linen pants :( So I bought a new pair of jeans and wore them immediately.
We wandered along Swanston Street for a while, me acting the tourist with my camera.
Then we crossed the river and headed down to Southbank, along the south side of the Yarra River and mecca for yuppies everywhere. Strolled through the Arts Centre's Sunday market and then went in search of lunch. Clare had gnocchi and salad. I had a plate of Indian bits and pieces. It was nice at the time but I've had heartburn ever since.
Then we headed off to the Arts Centre. Clare suddenly stopped going "Oh shit!". She'd forgotten the tickets!!!!!!! Really. Never seen her look so pale and sick. We went up to the reception area where the show was and they were able to confirm that she had, in fact, bought tickets (credit cards are handy sometimes) and we were given "lost ticket" vouchers. Phew!!!!!
From there we went into the Nick Cave exhibition. Fascinating. It covered Nick's career from the early days with Boys Next Door right through to the present day. Lots of photographs everywhere. Bits and pieces relating to his influences, some books from his library. (A few bobs' worth there I must say!) The main focus, however, was on his notebooks. He uses these to write songs (and two novels) in. All hand written. Fascinating to see the development of his lyrics from initial couplets or verses to the finished piece.
Then we went up to the ANZ Pavilion on the top floor of the Arts Centre where the Conversation was to be held. Had a glass of champers while waiting to get in. All very civilised.
Then: The Conversation. So interesting. He was actually very funny. Lots of serious musings too but a lot of humour. The host started the ball rolling with a few questions. She was a bit of a dipstick though and her questions were naff. For example, Nick had spoken about going to Art School early on and failing second year, which seemed to have devastated him at the time. Stupid woman began her next question with "So, if you had been an artist..." I mean, he is an artist. The look on his face was priceless. From then on it was questions from the audience. He talked a lot about not having a muse as such but, rather, that writing was his job. Go to the office, sit down, write. I'm not sure that would have been the case in his earlier days when he was full of drugs and drink. Clare commented to me later that it's only a job if you're being paid for it. The unpublished writer is not looked upon as 'employed' as such. Good point.
He also spoke about fame and how he's quite happy to be able to operate more or less as normal, except perhaps in Australia. He doesn't have the papparazzi following him around at every turn and he's thankful for that. I think also, he has nothing to hide either. He's never tried to pretend that he lives a normal life with no vices or whatever. There's nothing new the papparazzi could uncover. And, also, he's straight these days so no more scandalous behaviour. Plus, he's 50.
There was also a funny story told about sitting outside his trailer at Glastonbury, or some other huge music festival (he couldn't remember which). He saw a bloke, in a big hat, walking across the mud towards him. He thought it was some roadie coming to hassle him about something or other. Anyway, the bloke reached and him held out his hand to shake, saying "thanks for the use of your song" or something like that. It was Bob Dylan. Nick wasn't sure if Bob actually knew who he was. The way the story was told was very funny. Loses a lot in the translation to here.
The four songs he sang, with long-time band member Mick Harvey accompanying him, were beautifully done. I was so pleased that they did The Ship Song, one of my all time favourite Nick Cave songs.
It was all over too soon. An hour and a half all up. I could have sat there all day listening to him.


Janet said...

Isn't it just awesome to listen to and see someone you've loved for years? Sorry about your pants; put a colorful patch on 'em and make 'em all funky :-)

Julie said...

Yes it is.
Don't know if I can slavage them but i'll have a go.

sujaco said...

Whoa! Nick Cave. Thanks for all the good details.

Julie said...

You're welcome :)
He was supercool!