Introducing the new issue of Uncut

Stars Nick Cave, The Specials, Small Faces, Kacey Musgraves and more

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The last time I saw Nick Cave in concert was at the Royal Albert Hall, seven years ago. Billed as a solo show, it naturally featured Warren Ellis along with veterans from several Bad Seeds line-ups. There was a piano, too – but for the most part, I remember Cave uncontained, striding up and down the front of the stage, occasionally dragging microphone stands and sundry pieces of equipment into the crowd as he encouraged audience members to listen to his heartbeat. This was May 2015, since when a lot has happened both to Cave and elsewhere in the world.

Cave and the Bad Seeds’ transformation over the course of Push The Sky Away, Skeleton Key and Ghosteen has been remarkable, not least for the way that the band have grappled with new creative directions and working practises. Although it’s hardly been surprising: as Cave himself once noted, “The game is never won / By standing in any one place for too long”. Many of these latest career developments – especially on Skeleton Key and Ghosteen – are discussed by Cave and the Bad Seeds in this month’s cover story. We learn about lost songs, near-forgotten gems and sundry sonic outcasts that may not have made the official tracklisting for either of those albums, but whose genesis and development shines a light on what exactly Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds do and how they do it. There are also, I’m pleased to report, a lot of big laughs to be had here: check out the wild times on “King Sized Nick Cave Blues”. “By any measure, a flat-out lyrical triumph,” Cave assures us. “You can’t buy that stuff!”

Elsewhere, there’s more new interviews with The Specials, Kacey Musgraves, Ry Cooder, Shabaka Hutchings, Supergrass, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, David Crosby, Low, Caravan and Kenney Jones – who lifts the lid on a bounty of Small Faces’ discoveries. A typically busy issue, in other words. And if you ever make it to Essaouira, a port city on the coast of Morocco, best follow Nick’s advice and check out the funky spice shop on Place Moullay Hasan…

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