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Review: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

PUBLISHED: 14:08 20 July 2009 | UPDATED: 12:11 29 October 2010

Rob Garratt

This year's Latitude closed with a howl, growl, and thump when Nick Cave took to the stage.

Graduating from a penultimate Sunday evening slot with side project Grinderman last year, for 2009 he brought the full might of his regular backing band to Suffolk for a headline slot.

Rob Garratt

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Latitude

This year's Latitude closed with a howl, growl, and thump when Nick Cave took to the stage.

Graduating from a penultimate Sunday evening slot with side project Grinderman last year, for 2009 he brought the full might of his regular backing band to Suffolk for a headline slot.

The Bad Seeds are a wild beast ravaging unsuspecting pray, spewing strange blues-drenched, gothic grooves.

Dressed in waistcoat and suit, Cave prowled across the stage theatrically, spitting out his darkly-comic murder ballads.

The set opened with the thunderous roar of Tupello, and continued down a winding 25-year gothic path of hits - the joyous dance of Deanna, carnivorous groove of Red Right Hand and the death row contemplation of Mercy Seat.

It was newer tunes We Call Upon The Author and There She Goes, My Beautiful World that got the crowd simmering to boiling point.

The set ended abruptly with the profanity-strewn Stagger Lee - an update of the blues classic where the protagonist is recast as a gay devil-slayer - and there was no encore.

I've always being suspicious of Nick Cave, indicting him on crimes of melodrama and lack of subtlety, but I left the gig converted. There is a literary depth to his works, a messy and raged respect for American roots music in the Bad Seeds, and an irresistibly sinister, infectious feel to the music they make together.

ROB GARRATT

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