The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Some rock legends may flog the stadium circuit to death on autopilot. Not so Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
It's not often you get to see a genuine rock legend up close and at the top of their game but those who brave the lashing wind and blizzards last Sunday get just that.
Not only are they treated to a live performance of the much anticipated new Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' album Push The Sky Away in its entirety but the band then tear through over an hour's worth of classic songs, leaving the capacity crowd breathless and bludgeoned into joyful submission.
When Cave first came howling out of Australia in the early 1980s with his former band the Birthday Party few would have given odds on him still being around over three decades later.
Now 55, Cave has long been regarded as perhaps the pre-eminent songwriter of his generation with lyrics ranging from Old Testament hellfire and brimstone to exquisite ballads of love and sorrow.
Push the Sky Away is the 15th Bad Seeds album and while many bands would long since have switched to autopilot, churning out pale imitations of their early work and dragging their carcasses round the stadium circuit, Cave and his cohorts remain as inventive as ever.
And they don't do requests.
Backed by a children's choir, female backing vocalists and a string section the band showcase the running order of their new album, starting with opener We No Who U Are followed by Wide Lovely Eyes.
Then they up the tempo and menace with Jubilee Street and a fantastic Higgs Boson Blues before concluding with the hauntingly beautiful title track.
"We can do some other stuff if you want," Cave drawls before launching into a stunning version of From Her To Eternity, monumental renditions of Red Right Hand and The Mercy Seat and a dementedly wonderful Jack the Ripper.
The evening concludes with a raucous and ramshackle encore in the form of the blood-soaked Stagger Lee which threatens to lift the roof off the theatre.