The Dark Seeds @ The Gov, Adelaide 26/2/2023

The Dark Seeds was a one-off Fringe performance of Nick Cave songs at The Gov on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I am not even sure how one would even start to pick what songs to play from Nick Cave’s vast catalogue, but vocalist Steve Barry did a great job with the selection played.

The band started with a beautiful Let Love In, following it up with The Weeping Song. Steve’s vocal range definitely suited the Nick Cave songs and Peppa McGee on backup vocals/duets were wonderful.

The steady build-up of Jubilee Street was one of the highlights of the show. Red Right Hand with the band bathed in red light, was a powerful performance and Peppa made the song Where the Wild Roses Grow hers.

You are never too old to learn new things. I didn’t know the song O Children, but apparently it appears in the movie Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows and what a beautiful piece of music it is. A brutal Stagger Lee rounded out set one.

Set two started with a trivia question “What is Nick Cave’s middle name?”, the winner receiving a stubby holder. With only piano and guitar, the Leonard Cohen song Avalanche, which Nick recorded for his 1984 From Her to Eternity album, was played stunningly. “Doing a cover of Nick Cave doing a cover song,” laughed Steve.

Henry Lee once again featured Peppa on vocals and The Ship Song was played for Steve’s daughter, as it is her favourite (and mine) Nick Cave song.

Then things got darker as the band delved into The Birthday Party, with Hamlet, once again all bathed in red light. Peppa sang lead vocal on Jack the Ripper before the band delved into Grinderman territory for Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man.

Officially that concluded set two but Steve asked “You are not going to make us go off and come back, are you?” The Mercy Seat followed, Steve howling out the words to the bands crashing sounds. There then seemed to be some confusion. Was this the end of the show? Do we have time for one more? Eventually, Hey Joe was played in “more the Hendrix style than the Cave cover”.

I missed seeing Nick Cave on his recent tour, but The Dark Seeds, although not the real Nick Cave, gave me a lot to love about this show.

P.S. Edward is Nick Cave’s middle name

Live Review By Geoff Jenke

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