20,000 Days On Earth

Presented as a sort of day in the life documentary, this film has Nick Cave ruminating on his childhood, his love of performing music and his career so far at the milestone of 20,000 days on earth (just shy of 55 years). It also shows some insights into the creative process of writing music and some studio performances of whole songs on the new Nick Cave And the Bad Seeds album Push the Sky Away.

And it’s really good! It’s very interesting spending time with Nick, driving along the coast road in Brighton, getting insights into his playful character and his constructed stage personality. As he plays with a new idea for a song at one point his band mate tells him it sounds like a Lionel Ritchie song and that’s it ruined! He is one of the few people that would write lyrics about driving down to Geneva with the Higgs boson blues, manage to work in references to Hannah Montana and somehow make it all work. The music is great too and the studio sessions feel very open and intimate and the film culminates with a live performance, crescendoing with a wall of noise.

Nick’s constructed world might not be to everyone’s liking, but I really enjoyed it.

4 on 5

Directed by: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Starring: Nick Cave, Susie Bick, Warren Ellis, Darian Leader, Ray Winstone, Blixa Bargeld, Kylie Minogue UK Release: 19th September 2014


2 Many DJs – Concorde 2 Brighton – 10/12/2009

2 Many DJs

I really like the 2 Many DJs mixes, but I saw them at Benicassim a few years ago and couldn’t quite connect with the set. Still, it was late and I’ve consumed a lot more of their stuff now (including the excellent album ‘Nite Versions’) and managed to get a couple of tickets for the C2 gig last night.

For those who don’t know them, David and Stephen Dewaele were part of an alternative rock band called Soulwax from Ghent in Belgium but became famous under their 2 Many DJs moniker for playing bastard pop, techno and mash-ups. The boundary between Soulwax and 2 Many DJs is a blurry one, the album ‘Nite Versions’ for example being effectively a 2 Many DJs remix of a previous Soulwax album (‘Any Minute Now’).

Anyway, so we arrive at their C2 gig last night and unfortunately I again found it hard to connect. The place was definitely packed out and atmospheric, but whether they were holding out their good stuff until the very end or whether it’s just me I don’t know. They seem different live to me than they are on record – much more standard and formulaic without any of the 7 minute building tunes I love. Their remix of Kids by MGMT, for example, on record builds up and the last minute or so ends with a twisted siren sound emulating the main melody, but when they played it live they missed half the song off. So you’re then left with just Kids by MGMT with a techno beat underneath, none of the character of their actual remix.

They did, however, play ‘Raspberry Beret’ by Prince which went down a storm!

2 on 5