As things build towards Cry of the Cave People on Saturday, another band interview: this time, with Dickson Telfer, writer and performer extraordinaire, but also of Artisan, a three-piece outfit from the Falkirk area –
What attracted you to the idea of a Nick Cave covers night?
I thought it’d suit our singer, Ronnie’s range and tone, plus there are so many good songs to choose from.
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?
We’ve picked two fairly recent ones, from 2012’s Push the Sky Away, and a classic everyone will recognise. It was a combo of songs we liked, songs we thought we could do justice, and songs that made sure the contemporary stuff was acknowledged. Personally, I think Push the Sky Away is one of his and the Bad Seeds’ best.
Cave uses some pretty interesting instrumentation at times. Did that inspire you to change things up from your usual sound?
Not really. We’ve put our stamp on one of the tracks though, using a guitar sound Cave didn’t.
Any particular challenges in rehearsal? Were there any songs you had to leave on the cutting room floor?
Thankfully, the tracks we picked worked, so nothing was cut. Ronnie found some of Nick’s phrasing quite challenging at first, but he got there in the end.
Have you something special up your sleeve for your performance, or would you have to kill us after you tell us?
Yes, and yes.
Finally, do you have any particular Nick Cave anecdotes you’d like to share, either from one of his gigs or otherwise?
Believe it or not, I’ve never been to a Nick Cave gig before but he’s on my list of ‘bands I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t yet’, along with The Cure and Underworld. And he’s sold out at the Usher Hall next month too. Oh well, maybe next time…