To celebrate the start of Nick Cave week, an invention of my own which culminates, of course, with Cry of the Cave People on Saturday 5th October at the Citrus, here’s a short interview with Kenny Mackay, lead guitarist of Isaac Brutal and the Trailer Trash Express:What attracted you to the idea of a Nick Cave covers night?Some bloke asked us in a pub. [ACF note: that was me.] Seemed like a good idea at the time! [ACF note: it seemed like a good idea to him even after the first pint!]
How did you come to choose your set? Was it your favourite Cave songs of all time, the ones you reckoned were most playable, or a mixture of both?Most of the band have absolutely no interest in Nick Cave. It was a case of a) can we play it, b) can the non-Cave acolytes pick it up relatively quickly and painlessly and c) would we absolutely not fuck it up!
Cave uses some pretty interesting instrumentation at times. Did that inspire you to change things up from your usual sound?No. We’ve already got a mandolin player!
Any particular challenges in rehearsal? Were there any songs you had to leave on the cutting room floor?There She Goes My Beautiful World. It was totally unsingable. There was also a plan to have a go at Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart, but that never got anywhere. And Sonny’s Burning would probably been a step too far for our drummer!
Have you something special up your sleeve for your performance, or would you have to kill us after you tell us?Two of the songs don’t have a guitar solo. That’s groundbreaking for us!
Finally, do you have any particular Nick Cave anecdotes you’d like to share, either from one of his gigs or otherwise?First time I saw Nick Cave was when the Birthday Party played the Nite Club in 1981. Those were the days when we had an Edinburgh Rock Festival and Richard Strange had brought his Cabaret Futura club up to Edinburgh for a week. Great gig. Strange was the support for all the bands and he was on great form too. The second time I saw Nick Cave was in Cockburn Street the next day, with Rowland S Howard and (my memory likes to pretend) the paunchy cowboy himself, Tracy Pew! But I suspect it was just Phil Calvert! Either way no one paid them the slightest attention because no one knew who they were!