On recommendation from Q (because sometimes that’s how this works), I’ve hunted down some Dry the River. Q describes them as “the world’s hardest folk band”. How on earth could I pass that up?
Lead singer Peter Liddle reminds me of something Ricky Gervais once said about Mackenzie Crook in The Office. Something about how he had a little fledgling face, like a bird that had hatched too early, and because of that he could say the most horrendous things to you and you wouldn’t mind.
This song, Bible Belt, is extraordinary – delicate but fierce, like a fishbone in the heart, and lyrically strong. So yes. Dry the River. By all means.
And you say ‘my love, you take the cards that you’re dealt’
And when it’s dark outside, you light the fire yourself
Darling when the ice caps melt
When the devils in the bible belt
Don’t you cower in your bed
I’ll be at the five-four-five
You can meet me at the railway line
Don’t look so staid…
And the trick of it is, don’t be afraid anymore
Cross the falls to the southern river
Where the robbers drank
Ooh, I know that I was wrong
Ooh, that means every little thing
Further incontrovertible proof that Nick Cave is cooler than you. Cited this year by Justin Vernon, when making a similar point to the New York Times.
“O ALL THOSE AT MTV,
I WOULD LIKE TO START BY THANKING YOU ALL FOR THE SUPPORT YOU HAVE GIVEN ME OVER RECENT YEARS AND I AM BOTH GRATEFUL AND FLATTERED BY THE NOMINATIONS THAT I HAVE RECEIVED FOR BEST MALE ARTIST. THE AIR PLAY GIVEN TO BOTH THE KYLIE MINOGUE AND P. J. HARVEY DUETS FROM MY LATEST ALBUM MURDER BALLADS HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED AND HAS BEEN GREATLY APPRECIATED. SO AGAIN MY SINCERE THANKS.
HAVING SAID THAT, I FEEL THAT IT’S NECESSARY FOR ME TO REQUEST THAT MY NOMINATION FOR BEST MALE ARTIST BE WITHDRAWN AND FURTHERMORE ANY AWARDS OR NOMINATIONS FOR SUCH AWARDS THAT MAY ARISE IN LATER YEARS BE PRESENTED TO THOSE WHO FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE COMPETITIVE NATURE OF THESE AWARD CEREMONIES. I MYSELF, DO NOT. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OF THE OPINION THAT MY MUSIC IS UNIQUE AND INDIVIDUAL AND EXISTS BEYOND THE REALMS INHABITED BY THOSE WHO WOULD REDUCE THINGS TO MERE MEASURING. I AM IN COMPETITION WITH NO-ONE.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY MUSE IS A DELICATE ONE AT THE BEST OF TIMES AND I FEEL THAT IT IS MY DUTY TO PROTECT HER FROM INFLUENCES THAT MAY OFFEND HER FRAGILE NATURE.
SHE COMES TO ME WITH THE GIFT OF SONG AND IN RETURN I TREAT HER WITH THE RESPECT I FEEL SHE DESERVES – IN THIS CASE THIS MEANS NOT SUBJECTING HER TO THE INDIGNITIES OF JUDGEMENT AND COMPETITION. MY MUSE IS NOT A HORSE AND I AM IN NO HORSE RACE AND IF INDEED SHE WAS, STILL I WOULD NOT HARNESS HER TO THIS TUMBREL – THIS BLOODY CART OF SEVERED HEADS AND GLITTERING PRIZES. MY MUSE MAY SPOOK! MAY BOLT! MAY ABANDON ME COMPLETELY!
SO ONCE AGAIN, TO THE PEOPLE AT MTV, I APPRECIATE THE ZEAL AND ENERGY THAT WAS PUT BEHIND MY LAST RECORD, I TRULY DO AND SAY THANK YOU AND AGAIN I SAY THANK YOU BUT NO…NO THANK YOU”