LITTLE IS KNOWN OF SAINT AVE THAT IN THE 4TH CENTURY HE served as Bishop of Myra in Lycia, in the sou region of Asia Minor. The saint of merchants and sailors, he is most famou thexp‘a‘tron of children, the original from which the figure of Santa Claus was derived. ds speak of his saving drowning sailors off the Lycian coast, delivering condemne eath and resurrecting murdered children.
Perhaps the most endurin St Nicholas, however, tells how he released three girls from a life of prostitutio ' bags of gold through their window one night. It is presumably from this ale-that his emblem - three balls representing those bags of gold — is drawn. St Nicholas is also the saint of pawnbrokers.
' ' ikel that Nick Cave, who has sung of sailors and ships and sex and murder and mone ’
ldmn at least a passing familiarity with the legend of his sainted namesake. It is easy 0 'nehW
From the Birthday Party to the Bad Seeds, NICK CAVE has ploughed a furrow th corners of the human soul. Will his solo piano and spoken word show at the Edinburgh Festival
offer a glimmer of light as he preaches to the faithful? Words: Damien Love
incident — the holy man wrapped in night beneath a brothel window, gold in his hands and temptation inside his heart, sin and salvation within reach — would captivate him.
Over the past few years, Cave’s tangential fascinations with Christian
h te darker
history and ideology have intensified and joined with a more general in ,. 1' V ~‘ "" *‘ _
into the contradictiolig~ 9f .15pirituaLlifeledon'an‘ earth‘ly'plane. While a use
1_'~_‘___,m___-_,..-... mun—w»- ’of”bi'blical imagery and language has remained constant throughout his career, Cave's relationship with that language has changed markedly. If his writing for the Birthday Party and the early Bad Seeds records can be seen as
a knowing investigation on the fringes of a storm of blood and todsa no.1, *4"
damnation, his more recent work — as with the war-rhuaustere “rot” Boatman’s Call, his last albtmproperm has moved through that tempest into: a’place. of.stilt-contemplative serenity at its centre. :
Cave says. ’I think it's just about growing up or growing through things never had much sympathy for the human race, and I think tha . -. change in that it’s a much more compassionate record to 0 5| “3| human beings. It's quite a differentview of’things from that I've had in past. The lyrics werenit disguised in any way.’ i i f: . In keeping with this recent denuding, Nick Cave will be appearing..-
event on the Fringe of this year’s Edinburgh Festival. He’llgbgri, " in: his songs with spoken word performances — which begs the‘question‘; " he will be reading. Memories linger-of—twO mesmerising spokenVVdrdifg broadcasts: the first, a session for Mark Radcliffe’s old night slot, cohsi 4‘
< o w“ ’The writing of that album — it took 39 years to arrive at this conclusion, W
at a piano, cut from the formidable armour of the Bad Seeds .-“FF¥5?_7"A‘7 V' '
Cave’s reading from The Lives Of The Saints; the other, a self-revela‘tof” "ii’cf '
3 piece delineating his relationship with the Bible entitled Th [iv-glisci V1 Word. -
Of course, when he last appeared in the city around Festival‘ he read from his debut novel And The Ass Saw The Ange/ﬂag bilious Old Testamental torrent of a book — Beckett and Faulkner~
C singing the blues, capping off Cave's personalised appropriatiﬁ‘ language of the American south. Rumours persist of a s progress, and the prospect that some portion ONhis ayfib‘e‘3e‘i5"‘ Edinburgh is a tantalising one. Has his prose style, like his lyric; undergone a process of paring down and moved closer to a voice gen completely his own? v .
Though appearing solo, Cave is to be supported by The fray)", otherworldly instrumentalists for whom he has in We something of an evangelist. Further intrigue is aroused by thepos's’iljgjity .
may perform together, as has happened in the past,
collaborating on a live soundtrack for La Passion De Jeaanaébi-" Dreyer’s extraordinarily intense 1927 film. Whatever happens; W” taxi-1;»: nights of end-of—the-millenium Gospel music are in the off' 4..., 1...: ’ Though he can often be found sketching the melanc .435: y sombre world of beauty stretched beneath the oppression"'_ my”: . there still exists inside Nick Cave the sort of dirty minded blamééf ' who would labour for hours to extract a joke from the fact known by his three balls. And, indeed, hallelujah. xi"; 3!. -