Music: Nick Cave opens his cellar to rarities

(AFP) – Nick Cave, archangel of a twilight rock, still as intense on record and on stage, extracts rare or unpublished pieces from his treasure trunk, at the end of an autumn tour in theaters and before a return to the summer festivals.

This is the second time that the Australian has undertaken such an exploration of the work he has forged with his Bad Seeds, his group since the 1980s. “B-Sides & Rarities Part II” (“Face B and rarities, vol. II “) is released this Friday, 16 years after the first harvest of its kind.

“I’ve always liked (the first one) + B-Sides & Rarities +, more than our other albums. It’s the only one I gladly listen to. There is something about the modesty of these songs closer to their spirit. original “, explains in the notes of intent the artist, who no longer speaks in the press since the accidental death in 2015 of Arthur, his 15-year-old son.

“B-Sides & Rarities Part II” continues, according to this still slender sixty-year-old, “this strange and beautiful collection of lost songs from the Bad Seeds”, with 27 nuggets unearthed over the period 2006 to 2020.

In 2005, the first batch of rarities came from the 1988-2005 archives raked by Mick Harvey, childhood friend and musician who accompanied Cave for a long time within The Birthday Party or the Bad Seeds. Volume II has this time been compiled by Cave and Warren Ellis, proof of the central position that the second now occupies in the universe of the first.

– “Sense of risk” –
Last week, the two friends also gave under their two names two shows at Pleyel in Paris, as part of a European tour, accompanied by three singers and another musician.

Warren Ellis “has become the discreet and reassuring force on which Nick Cave leans and which he uses to move forward”, writes Christophe Deniau in “Nick Cave the uneasy” (Le Castor Astral).

This Australian with the beard of a hermit was part of a formation, the Dirty Three, which impressed Cave with his “freedom”, his “spontaneity” and his “sense of risk”, as Christophe Deniau recounts. Ellis first appeared as a simple violinist on Cave songs in the 1990s. Then, the one who became a genius multi-instrumentalist (he co-signed the album of poems set to music by Marianne Faithfull released this year) took to the stage at that time with the Bad Seeds.

In the 2000s, Cave and Ellis together compose film soundtracks and discover through this that leaving “breaths” in their music allows them “to expand their production”, further dissects the author of ” The uneasy “.

The switch took place on the album “Push The Sky Away” (2013) when Ellis co-signed the tracks with Cave, an honor that Mick Harvey did not have at the Bad Seeds. After the loss of his son, Cave got closer to Ellis to invent “his own way of telling the inexplicable”, as Christophe Deniau sums it up.

– “Growing aura” –
Cave thus tried to mourn with the opus “Skeleton Tree” (2016) and “Ghosteen” (2019). And when he wanted to express himself in the face of confinements and the health crisis, it was quite naturally with Ellis that he joined forces for “Carnage”, signed under their two names (2021). These three albums have also made up the corpus of concerts given recently in Paris, a city that Ellis knows well since he now resides in the Paris region.

Coming back to these records, “B-Sides & Rarities Part II” also allows you to hear for the first time “Earthlings”, from the sessions of “Ghosteen”, a jewel of sepulchral beauty.

For those who could not see them in theaters this fall, Cave and Ellis will return with the Bad Seeds for a tour of the summer stages, from Primavera Sound in Barcelona on June 4, 2002 to Rock en Seine in the Paris region on August 26. 2022. “It’s a great satisfaction, the more time passes the more Nick Cave has a growing aura,” said AFP Matthieu Ducos director of Rock en Seine.