Another repeat posting tonight – this is what was going to appear last week until I had a change of heart.
Oh, the ignomy of being bumped in favour or Embrace….
In fact I’ve posted this song more than once before, but boy oh boy is this a song which deserves a revisit.
Back in the early to mid 2000s, when Llŷr and I shared the flat of filth, we used to buy The Guardian every Saturday, not because of any political leanings (although we pretty much agreed on that too), but because of The Guide, a little booklet which came with the paper, and provided an overview of the week’s important cultural moments.
Specifically, we were both obsessed with Charlie Brooker’s Screen Burn column, where the man who is now perhaps best known for being the co-creator of Black Mirror (or for being married to former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, depending on your own private obsessions) would provide scathing, savage dissections of whatever he had seen on TV that week. Whichever of us bought the paper had first dibs at reading it, would flick immediately to Brooker’s column, and then sit either openly guffawing or shuddering in giggles until the other gave in and asked that they read aloud what was making them laugh so much.
Every now again, sealed inside the same plastic bag The Guide came in, was a CD, and so it was that
I we first came into possession of some songs by Nick Cave.
(Actually, as I’m writing this now I think that it might have been with The Observer. Doesn’t matter really, I don’t think. Point is, it was a freebie.)
I’d never really listened to Nick Cave at this point; I’d heard the records my brother had when we were in our teens, back when Cave was churning out much more gothic, and to these ears, unpleasant noise, and had decided he wasn’t for me.
But I was aware that his sound had matured over the years, and so we gave the CD a listen.
And heard what remains one of my favourite songs. Ever.
It was, I think, the first song on the CD, and I lost count of how many times we repeat played it, so blown away by it were we.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
And it still hits me every time. But now for different reasons.
Before Llŷr passed, whenever I heard that record, I would be astonished by its beauty, its intellectual and existential qualities counterpointing its simplicity.
But when I hear it now, all I can think of is that Saturday morning, when we sat with the sunlight streaming into our living room, silent as it played, followed by either one of us saying: “I think I need to hear that again.”