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On a dark damp Halloween night at Barrowlands , in Glasgow's east end , I ventured out to see Australia's finest export Nick Cave and the bad seeds. Climbing the steps to the venue, past the merchandise on the first floor, £20.00 for a T shirt, £10 for a mug ... you would be one to pay that! I made my way up  to a packed second floor, the famous ballroom, full of expectant loyal fans, a real mixture of ages, from 40 and 50 something couples to teenagers dressed in Halloween outfits, maybe out for activities after the gig?

At 9pm the lights go down, and with huge applause, the band take to the stage. Starting off slowly with We No Who Ur from the latest album release Push The Sky Away, then onto Jubilee Street, then lifting the mood with an old favourite Do You Love Me. Ellis is spell binding, changing instruments with ease, from violin, which he regularly launches the bow into the backdrop, only to continue playing with his fingers, to flute and guitar. During Red Right Hand, Cave knelt down, clasping out reached audience hands like an evangelist preacher passing on his healing powers. He does seem to have a genuine affection for the world famous ballroom, saying " Glasgow Barrowlands, the best venue in ... Glasgow ! " He still struggles with the Glasgow vernacular though, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head when song requests are volunteered from the audience. The crowd are treated to many favourites from his extensive back- catalogue, Merci Seat, Stagger Lee, Tupelo and From Her To Eternity all gratefully received.

As Cave settles down to the piano, slowing things down once more to play People Just Ain't No Good, a fight breaks out in the audience, to my left .I'm sure the irony of the situation passes the battlers by, a bust up over bad dancing and spilt beer is soon defused without the intervention of the infamous Barrowland bouncers. Too soon it is the last song , the moody  Push The Sky Away, until they return for one encore. The final song, announced as a new one, Give Us A Kiss, was dedicated to the late Lou Reed , after some heckling from an audience member. 11pm and its lights on, and we are funnelled out , tramping over the many discarded empty plastic beer glasses, all in agreement that we have witnessed one of today's greatest singer , song writers and performers.

Set List

We No Who UR
Jubilee Street
Do You Love Me ?
Red Right Hand
From Her To Eternity
West Country Girl
Into My Arms
Love Letter
He Wants You
Watching Alice
People Ain't No Good
Higgs Boson Blues
Hiding All Away
The Mercy Seat
Stagger Lee
Push The Sky Away


We Real Cool
(Are you) The OneThat I've Been Waiting For?
Give Us A Kiss

Review by Ian Anderson
Photo by Melanie Smith (Manchester show)