Valerie’s Koko Review

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds @Koko

By Guest contributor Valerie

Edit: MP3 & MP4 of Where the Wild Roses Grow with Kylie Minogue in the comment section.

As requested here is my “review” (sounds more like being hyper enthusiastic lol).

Well this past week has been quite special to say the least! I decided to celebrate my birthday in London with three Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds concerts. One for every decade I guess! If the Apollo Hammersmith ones were well-planned (mini review and a few pictures on my blog) I had no idea I would win the Koko Camden ballot (I did enter with 4 or 5 emails! lol) I bought two tickets to share with Ann, a fantastic fan, and friend now from Belgium as well, and booked yet another weekend in London. Nick, you are a lovely, but an expensive passion (but so worth it).

(review/pics under the jump

Before diving into the event, I have to say that I really enjoyed meeting other fans at the concerts. It´s the first time I really get to do more than one show (and in another country) and to share this with other Bad Seeds fans is quite amazing. So thanks Ann, Muriel (check her site as she is a talented seamstre!), Wendy and Simon for making the waiting in the queue fly by. Hi to the two men from Switzerland also! And major props to Deo who came all the way from Australia to follow the entire tour!

The whole thing was very well organized. We queued a little before 3pm to get our wristbands and then went out to queue for the actual concert. I can’t believe I queued for so long but once again it is really worth it to be so close.
Wristband BlogToBeAlive on Flickr


Two thumbs up for the pub across the street who let us use their toilets and had to lyrics of Jubilee Street at the entrance! I thought it was a nice touch.

Jubilee Street lyrics

We were let in at 7pm and it was quite the maize to get to the stage and I seriously hope noone fell down those stairs in the dark! Koko is really an intimate venue and I am curious to see how it will show on screen since the concert was being filmed for the upcoming 20,000 days on Earth documentary. I feel like the camera’s were mainly on the sides and on stage, so they were not in the way of Nick’s performance and he didn’t aknowledge them at any point I think.

The band came on stage around 8:15pm. Nick was wearing a black suit with a shiny gold shirt and looked fantastic. Maybe a bit more disco than rock ‘n roll… Maybe Kylie Minogue had something to do with that, but more on that later. I thought he was on top form and seemed to have recovered from whatever he had last week. He really seemed to be enjoying himself and smiled quite a lot. Early on a guy asked to stroke Warren’s beard to which Nick replied: “It´s quite lovely isn’t it? You can suck it too, it´s slightly more expensive.” Another guy heckled something like on but not sure why. Nick asked him to show himself to which Nick replied: “You are fucking beautiful!” Is it just me or men are getting more love than women on this tour? lol

Setlist: Koko

Here is the actual setlist (thank you to Brian on Facebook).

We No Who U R
Jubilee Street
Red Right Hand
Watching Alice (for Laura)
Higgs Boson Blues
Hiding All Away
The Mercy Seat
Stagger Lee
Push The Sky Away
Where The Wild Roses Grow (with Kylie Minogue)
From Her To Eternity
Into My Arms

Nick announced also that it would be a shorter set but he had no idea why… Maybe because you had to be in Amsterdam the next day, Nick!

They played Watching Alice and dedicated to Laura in the audience. Before starting on the piano he joked and told Conway to just sit there and try not to fall off his stool. He actually got up and went off the stage with his glass of wine! Quite funny!

I thought the whole show was flawless and once again being so closed with Nick perched over you singing his heart out is an amazing experience. I think he might actually start to look less terrifying during some songs. 😉 For me the highlights were Hiding All Away, Stagger Lee and From Her To Eternity. Really powerful performances. Into My Arms was also quite beautiful with the audience singing along. They ended, as usual, with Push the Sky Away. This song was far from my favourite on the new album but there is something quite soothing about it when played live. The lyrics And some people / Say it’s just rock’n roll / Oh, but it gets you / Right down to your soul might seem like lazy writing but it takesall  it’s meaning after such tremendous set.

They came back for the encore with no other than Kylie Minogue! I have to say that since the show was being filmed for the documentary I had hoped for a special guest, but I still can’t believe that she joined him for Where the Wild Roses Grow. Absolutely magical. It’s safe to safe the entire audience was shocked. I even broke my no picture rule to take a few! Nick looked so happy and their chemistry is still intact.

Nick & Kylie at Koko

This is going also to sound cheesy but I felt really emotional because at 12 years old I received Murder Ballads and it was my first Nick Cave album. I loved Kylie (still do) at that time and I got into his music thanks to this duet, so that song has always held a special place in my heart. It was just like a dream to see them perform together!

They ended this perfect evening with Deanna.

And I ain’t down here for your money
I ain’t down here for your love
I ain’t down here for your love of money
I’m down here for your soul 

You are indeed Nick.


15 thoughts on “Valerie’s Koko Review

  1. Nick & Kylie

    Valerie & Anna, sorry about the spam filters catching you. Anna, you should register with WordPress and/or I’ll add you as a contributor so you can navigate. I’m not sure why it’s being so picky. I’d check in more often but I’m working on an old (very slow) laptop (desktop computer is down) and I am getting ready to move apartments on the 15th. Slight hysteria. Only slight. 🙂

    • I looove the audience in the video. How they (you all @Valerie ;)) sing along and swing from side to side, its amazing and makes the atmosphere so happy in that room, I bet many hearts nearly bursted 😀

      Ah Morgan if we don´t talk again before gooood luck for the move! 😀 I guess you already go crazy preparing everthing as its so soon 🙂 Changing environments can be so much fun but also stressful of course. I think it has a certain… kind of “cleaning effect” as well.

      And oh I am registered with WordPress but I have not added any website so my name has no link behind 🙂 Thought it was normal that its so picky, hehe.

    • I have the same issue with my self-hosted WordPress blog, More and more comments end up in spam even though they are fine. Not sure what is going on. If you need help while you are moving, I can definitely take care of approving comments etc You can make me a temporary mod or something. I swear I won’t mess with the rest of the blog. 😉

  2. Also here again (Humparion in the forum, should add my avatar there maybe for less confusion :)): Thank you so much for that beautiful review Valerie! Glad to see its also posted here, read in on your blog already 🙂 And oh its moving to read how it has been an extra special night for you because of Kylie, that must´ve been a perfect finish to your massive birthday party 😀

    And you got Nick in that shimmering shirt! Envy! 😀

    Chris, I saw that vid! It was such a rare thing to happen! Wonderful you could be there. Blixa joined Nick in 2009 again at an event for Bunny Munro. As German is my mother tongue I was maybe even more impressed by Blixa reading the book, but I think some people in the room nearly fainted when they sang together and my heart got wild as well 😉 It was when Nick talked about how he misses Blixa and that he has an altar where he prays for Blixa coming back 😀 It is also one of my favourite memories to do with everything NCATBS when Nick stood at the side of the stage smoking and watching Blixa read while he was stepping from one foot on the other constantly and looked like he was excited about it. I still tell that to everyone again and again, it was just so lovely 😀

  3. Wow, great write up Valerie! Good for you for going to all those shows. This was a nice set selection too. It would be awesome to see Nick and Kylie though I had a similar experience seeing Grinderman in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall.

    Nick just seemed so inexplicably happy and smiley all that night. It was downright odd, but the energy was amazing. Then during the encore, the most amazing thing happened, as I’d hoped, Nick announced their very special guest, Blixa Bargeld to the stage! Just, wow! Blixa came out; everyone kissed. You can guess the song. During the final verses Nick just held Blixa so close with one arm around his neck. It was a nerve tingling, tear jerking experience for me to see that love after five years. As far as I know, this is the only time Blixa joined them on stage before or since his departure. I still get shivers just writing about it. I wish I’d had a decent camera with me to post a picture, but I have never seen a pic or heard a boot of this historic event ever. I will never forget it though.

    Thank you again Morgan, for hosting this site so that we might share these rare and special moments with others who would appreciate them.

    • Thanks Chris!

      I think he should just do a “Nick Cave & Friends” concert because obviously having guests puts him in a great mood! Your concert sounds amazing too! I would have loved to see Blixa as well, but as you’ve read on my personal level Kylie being there meant the world to me. 🙂

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