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photoessay | nick cave & the bad seeds

photo essays

photoessay | nick cave & the bad seeds

Three Gates Media

A few years ago, when Nick Cave last toured I had the somewhat crazy idea that next time he came to town, I'd be the person taking the killer photo in the pit.  Fast forward to a few weeks out from Nick Cave's most recent tour and I am reminded of that ridiculous statement made in jest.  Not deterred by a lack of skills or lenses I take up the challenge to get a press pass. I'd never done it before officially (always just managed to get my way in through someone, somehow) so when I contacted them and they said 'Security is tight.  Photographers will only get one song.  You need to do a review' I wasn't surprised when it didn't eventuate.  Instead, I went with my ticket and secured a spot at the front.  It's about the experience, not the photograph of the experience, right?  A few minutes before the show, the stage manager explained to the two blokes either side of me how best to support Nick Cave when he leant into the crowd.  It was like a flight attendant's safety instruction. Then he looked me in the eye and said, 'you miss, you're going to have his nuts in your face all night'.  Though I might have put it more delicately, awkwardly, he was right.  If you've been up the front of a Nick Cave gig you know how raucous it can get.  I was completely absorbed in the music and the man and the devastating beauty of the grief that is Skeleton Tree.  But as if by way of apology for the crotch situation he held my hand and sang to me.  I snapped a few, mostly blurry phone pics when I couldn't help myself but when he had a go at a bloke for taking photos ('you're such a big man, you don't need that tiny phone') mine went straight back into my pocket.  The gig ended and I pulled it out again to post the three least blurry pics to Instagram.  Twenty seconds later I got a message with 8 love hearts from Susie Cave and I lost my mind.  In the morning I woke to a message from her requesting permission for Nick Cave's Instagram (@nickcaveofficial) to share my 'incredible' (least blurry) pics.  I say yes and I check his account.  Nick Cave follows 5 people: Susie Cave (@susiecaveofficial), Susie Cave's label (@thevampireswife), his movie (@20000_days), someone called Deo De Silva (@deoism) and ...Three Gates.  I'm sure it's not the man himself, it might have even been an accident, but I'll take it. They share one of my 'incredible (least blurry)' pics and I'm really glad I didn't get that press pass.  Like life, it's a brief shining moment, but you have to enjoy it while it lasts.