A Little History: Photographs of Nick Cave & Cohorts 1981-2013 by Bleddyn Butcher
Out: Sept 4th 2014. Published by Allen & Unwin. In stock at Amazon.co.uk
Australian photographer Bleddyn Butcher has spent more than thirty years chronicling a legend. Nick himself describes Bleddyn’s photos as ‘the props around which my memories collect.’ It’s understandable, considering Bleddyn’s uncanny timing, as when Bob Dylan showed up at Nick’s trailer at Glastonbury. Over the years, Bleddyn Butcher has made his bones as the quintessential Cave documentarian. He has produced the most iconic images of Nick Cave ever photographed, the best of which are assembled in A Little History: Photographs of Nick Cave & Cohorts 1981-2013.
Every picture has a story attached, and Bleddyn recounts the behind the scenes details with a gleeful, dry wit (and a healthy respect for his subjects) that I think everyone will appreciate. In one story from the Berlin years, Bleddyn is at the Risiko with Nick and some friends. Blixa proceeds to set fire to Bleddyn’s brandy. In another, Bleddyn describes nearly falling out a window while trying to shoot the tight space of Eucrid’s lair at Yorckstrasse. In another, he waits all day in the large ballroom at Hansa Studios, watching the natural light fade. In walks Nick, well after dark. Bleddyn sets up his light, and asks him to sit at the piano. The result is the iconic silhouette of Cave bent over the baby grand at Hansa Studios, which for me, evokes the sorrowful essence of Your Funeral, My Trial. Indeed, flipping through the pages of ‘A Little History’ is like a watching a Kinetoscope of Nick Cave’s career, with a soundtrack running in your head. All of the cohorts and collaborators of the past thirty-odd years are represented, in what Nick Cave calls, a “book of rescued moments.”
A LITTLE HISTORY is a stunning collection of 100 photographs. The jacket cover photo is a well-chosen portrait of Nick during ‘The Singer’ period. The flip side of the jacket reveals a hidden poster of Nick, in his Maynard guise. And that’s just for starters. A LITTLE HISTORY will be equally prized by Cave aficionados and those who appreciate fine photography. It is the perfect coffee table book for Autumn 2014 and X-mas gifting. In stock now at Amazon.uk.
Review by Morgan Wolfe for Nick Cave Fixes blog, September 4, 2014.
View Nick Cave’s career in pictures , a set of Bleddyn Butcher’s iconic images.
Below, The Birthday Party performimg at The Moonlight Club, North London. October 1981.
The Birthday Party, LONDON OCT 1981. Photograph by Bleddyn Butcher
‘The band was an unruly beast, champing at every bit, straining at every leash.
Everyone had an opinion; they all had to be heard.’
A Little History: Photographs of Nick Cave & Cohorts 1981-2013