Nick Cave

Book review: Faith, Hope and Carnage

The cover of FAITH, HOPE & CARNAGE by Nick Cave and Seán O'Hagan

Faith, Hope and Carnage by Nick Cave and Seán O’Hagan
My rating: five stars

I’ve been a fan of Nick Cave’s work for a couple of decades, but I admit to having held a certain amount of cynicism about the guy (and parts of his output) over the years. Partially this was a bit of a pose, part of it was (perhaps justified) criticism at the increased deification and man-of-letters mantle he’d been gifted by certain parts of his fanbase, and by his home country of late, which of course disregards the fact that he had to fuck off to England and Germany before earning any sort of praise here.

The news of the death of Arthur, Cave’s son, put paid to that. Selfishly, it allowed me to focus more on the work than the man – it seemed like a particularly cunty act to want to run down a man (remember that Nick Cave & the Bad Everything photo?) in the wake of such terrible events. How would someone bear such a thing? How would they survive? How do you keep getting up in the morning?


Book review: Nina Simone’s Gum

Nina Simone’s Gum by Warren Ellis
My rating: five stars

Let’s get something out of the way up front.

Warren Ellis is a fuckin’ delight.

Like, a we’re pretty lucky to have him-level delight.

Nina Simone’s Gum is a rare thing: a shortish book that seems to be filled to the brim with delight. It’s about Ellis, but not really. It’s about chewing gum, but not really. It’s about a sense of the man as conveyed by a worshipful consideration of a legendary singer’s ephemera.

It is inexplicably, joyfully Warren.


Book review: Nick Cave: Mercy On Me

Nick Cave: Mercy On MeNick Cave: Mercy On Me by Reinhard Kleist.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So let’s get this out of the way first: I am a Nick Cave fan. Not a rabid one, no – I don’t believe he excretes perfect songs into the world, and almost every album he’s associated with could do with having about a third chopped off it – but I like him well enough. I’ve seen him play a couple of times, and have most of the records. Hell, I’ve even read his books a couple of times. (Well, not the Bunny Munro one. )

But there’s something important to know: I like him while disliking him.

Film review: The Proposition

This is an older review of mine, presented here for archival purposes. The writing is undoubtedly different to the present, and the review style may differ between publications. Enjoy, if that’s the right word. 

There have been few Australian films as hotly anticipated as The Proposition. The combination of director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave (who have created film clips together, and were previously teamed on the thoroughly disturbing Ghosts… Of The Civil Dead) and a cast including Guy PearceRay WinstoneJohn Hurt and David Wenham served to create quite an appetite. The good news is that the expectations created by such a gathering of talents are surpassed with this film. It’s a truculent, smouldering piece that, while managing to have a core story that’s straight out of a western, manages to address issues which still dog Australia today.