(related page: Birthday Party)

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds are an Australian alternative rock band that was formed in Melbourne in 1983 by frontman Nick Cave, multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey and guitarist Blixa Bargeld. The band has featured international personnel throughout its career and presently consists of Cave, violinist and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis, bassist Martyn P. Casey, keyboardist Conway Savage, and percussionists Thomas Wydler (Switzerland) and Jim Sclavunos (United States). The band has released fifteen studio albums and completed numerous international tours.

The band was founded after the demise of Cave and Harvey's former group The Birthday Party, the members of which met at a boarding school in Victoria, Australia. Deviating from the noise rock roots of their contemporaries, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have produced alternative rock that has been influenced by various genres, such as punk rock, gothic rock, no wave and blues. Their early material—From Her to Eternity (1984), The Firstborn Is Dead (1985), Your Funeral... My Trial (1986) and Tender Prey (1988)—primarily featured a post-punk sound....(read more at Wikipedia).

Links To Peel

Peel venerated the Birthday Party, regarding them as a benchmark for other bands, and thus it was no surprise that Cave's new venture, named after the Party's last release, would feature heavily on his shows. John particularly favoured The Mercy Seat and the cover of By The Time I Get To Phoenix, remarking on the latter that it was the only time a Jim Webb song had reached the Festive Fifty.

They recorded one session for the show, at a time when they had just returned to London from an Australian tour and when recording sessions for the debut LP From Her To Eternity had only just started and when they were still known as the Cavemen. Two of the tracks are from the LP and the other is a cover of a Screaming Jay Hawkins song that otherwise only exists in live recordings. In fact, only one of the three has ever seen an official release, which explains why the session is frequently requested for repeats on BBC 6Music.

They accrued five Festive Fifty entries, the last with The Ship Song, which marked a departure towards a more melodic style. Characteristically, this provoked indifference in Peel, who claimed to prefer the band's "rather more tormented vein" and claimed Cave's vocal style had begun to resemble that of Billy Joel (whom John actively disliked): on another occasion, he compared it to Neil Diamond.

Nonetheless, Nick's solo live set (TX 11 October 2001), part of a broadcast to honour Peel's purported 40 years on the radio, concluded with a tribute to John, albeit with reference to his earlier band.

The former Birthday Party singer was indirectly mentioned in the Bongwater song "Nick Cave Doll", which reached #50 in the 1991 Festive Fifty. Cave was also referenced in the Half Man Half Biscuit session track "Mr. Cave's A Window Cleaner Now" (recorded 1995-07-11, first broadcast 05 August 1995).

Festive Fifty Entries

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Mercy Seat

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Mercy Seat



  1. God Is In The House
  2. Mercy Seat
  3. Into My Arms

Other Shows Played

(The list before was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add more details if known.)

(JP: 'I have to admit, and you'll probably hate me for this, that I didn't much care for the last LP from Nick Cave: difficult to say exactly why. I mean, the reviews when they came out in a sense confirmed my own initial reaction, which was entirely instinctive, but I mean it was well reviewed by the kind of reviewers like Q Magazine. I've got nothing against Q Magazine: some people that I quite like work for it, but at the same time, if they give a record a good review, it usually turns out to be something which I can't bear, and the records that I do like, if they get reviewed at all, are kind of "no star" records, very much so. I'm sure Q gave the recent Nick Cave LP quite a good review. There was something missing at the heart of it, you know, which is why I go back to 1986 and this.')
  • 27 March 1992: Straight To You (single) Mute
  • 05 April 1992 (BFBS): Straight To You (CDS) Mute (JP relates that he once nearly ran over Nick Cave in Piccadilly Circus)
  • 09 July 1994: By The Time I Get To Phoenix (CD - Kicking Against The Pricks) Mute
  • 10 February 1995 (with Flaming Lips?): What A Wonderful World (LP: Have A Hellfire Kinda Christmas) Hellfire
  • 16 December 2004 (Peel night): There She Goes, My Beautiful World (2xCD-Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus)' (Mute) (chosen by DJ Colin Murray)

See Also

External Links

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