The Man in Black

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I sat in the audience at Indus Restaurant, Ubud, Bali….it was hot, humid and their was a general buzz of excitement in the air.

A crowd of 200 people had gathered for ‘ An Evening with Nick Cave’, part of the 2012 Ubud Writers and Reader’s Festival line up.

I felt a  fraud, an impostor….I was neither fan nor friend of Mr Cave….I had never understood the allure, listened to an albums, read a book or followed him in the press.

Yet I was in the audience, sat amongst die-hard groupies, being who worshipped at the altar of St Nick….middle age women blushing at the very thought of an evening in HIS presence, grown men proudly wearing ‘ Pussy Riot ‘ t-shirts.

My general assessment of the situation was that the entire audience was on heat…for Mr Nick Cave.

And then there was me…nevously I wrote in my travel diary the names of those I knew would sell a body organ to be in my place…It is to them that I dedicate this blog post:


Scott Gray


My cousin Andrew and his wife Emma

Then he appeared…the man in black…

He read from his book …captivating the room with his wit and charm

He answered questions , signed things books, postcards, pieces of paper

Then he left

What did I make of it all? What was all the fuss, the hype, the heavy breathing about?

I concluded three things

  • Nick Cave has lived the rock and roll lifestyle… IN STYLE since 1973… He has dared to pursue a lifestyle most would not have the courage nor faintest desire to…He has earnt the right to tell his story, it is a very colourful story ,worthy of an audience
  • Nick Cave the artist has stood the test of time…he has been writing, producing, performing and collaborating in music industry for nearly 40 years…He he has done so with conviction, passion and unrivalled self belief
  • Nick Cave idolises Johnny Cash, sites him as one of his personal heros…My heart softened upon hearing this, something I could relate too…and all at once I felt a new understanding and appreciation for this modern-day man in black.

So is Nick Cave Australia’s version of Mr Cash?…The attire– the formal black suit, the pride in his appearance suggest so….His craft– his ability to tell stories, beautiful stories through music to which people connect suggest so- His story– A man who has been to the brink and back ( many times over it would appear), who lust for life and love remains a constant, suggest so.

And prehaps after all, I was meant to be in the audience on that balmy night in Ubud… was me after all who would benefit most from meeting Nick….

For now my own journey of discovery can begin, a door has been opened, Nick Cave’s words and music have lured me in….I might just be beginning to understand….

Note- I insert this song clip as in Ubud, Cave referred to Johnny Cash covering his song ‘ The Mercy Seat’ as the ‘ Greatest Honour / Compliment’

Note-I have placed this blog post under the category ‘ Friendship Fire Starters- Music’, as it is my friends who inspired this post…..A Friendship Fire starter is a term I use to describe  something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people….I think that sums up Mr Cave’s music nicely xx

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 01:50:52

    Kate……how can you not love Nick! One of my favourite songs is ‘into my arms’ – love it! Beautiful song! 🙂


  2. Jen
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 02:41:58



  3. Jen
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 03:06:02

    Lisa Mitchell also did a beautiful cover of ‘Into My Arms’ – check it out x


  4. Catch Up With A Mate
    Aug 22, 2017 @ 10:55:35

    Reblogged this on Catch Up With A Mate and commented:

    Thinking back to all the wonderful holidays I have had – and a good number of them have been in Bali. I’ve been lucky enough to attend the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival twice as a volunteer. And each time I’ve been swept up by the magic of the written and spoken word, the humidity, the heat, the hospitality that is uniquely Bali…

    A post from 2012 worth revisiting…..


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