Forgive the extreme hyperbole, but I’ve just come back from watching Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds put on the show of their lives at London’s O2 arena and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. I’ve seen the lanky Lothario play a handful of times before and he’s always been nothing short of amazing – let’s never forget the time he basically hypnotised a fair maiden in the crowd at Glastonbury 2013 while singing ‘Stagger Lee’ – but this was something else entirely. From the moment he sauntered out onto the huge stage in his immaculately tailored 1970s suit he had 20,000 people rapt, thrusting his hips and twisting his torso into the front few rows before grabbing the hands of fans and placing them directly onto his chest, as he seductively whispered, “Can you feel my heart beat?”.
Now I was sitting a fair distance from the stage and wasn’t one of the lucky ones that got to press Cave’s actual flesh but I’m pretty certain that I could feel it too. And you know what? It felt good. For two and a half hours I couldn’t take my eyes off him, even when a topless bro bounded onto the stage and did some funky air bass guitar, mistakenly thinking he was at a Red Hot Chili Peppers gig. It’s no mean feat making a cavernous venue like The O2 feel as intimate as a visit to the lady doctor, but Cave’s spellbinding performance felt deeply personal and was all the more powerful for it.
As such, I am now fully ready to join the cult of Cave. I’ve already had a thorough search on eBay for flowing white gowns and I’m prepared to not get all weird about sharing him with all of his other wifelets. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for cults – in fact, my parents dabbled with one around the time I was born – but that’s another story for another time. There’s something fascinating about the likes of Father Yod, the white-haired wizard who headed up the Source Family in 1970s Los Angeles, running a vegetarian restaurant and fronting a psych-rock band before perishing in a hang gliding accident. Nick Cave has all the makings of a perfect cult leader: he’s outrageously charismatic, has piercing eyes and looks super-good in black. Going by the number of reverential tweets by people who went to the UK shows he also wouldn’t be short of a follower or three. Join us, won’t you?