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Nick Cave addresses cancel culture’s ‘lack of mercy’

by moneylab

“There’s a lack of mercy, a lack of forgiveness,” said Nick Cave in a recent interview, referring to the act of shutting down and cancelling people in today’s culture.

If you’re faithful to the good Euronews Culture parish, you’ll know that we’re big fans of Aussie singer-songwriter Nick Cave.

From his music, his mastery of language, his art, and the ongoing dialogue he has with his fans through his open forum The Red Hand Files, the Renaissance man frequently feels like a voice of reason in tumultuous times.

His eloquent and considerate takes on all matters relating to creative expression, as well as a wide range of topical subjects, has made him an open-minded critic that exposes the increasingly troublesome tendency to ignore the complexity of issues in favour of ‘one-size fits all’ boxes to lump people in. Furthermore, he is one of the few public figures who dares to call out dogmatism in all its forms – and always with compassion.

In a candid new interview with The Guardian, the artist addressed accusations that he was “anti-woke”, in reference to a comment he made in 2019, when he said he was “repelled” by wokeness and its “lack of humility”.

In the interview, Cave clarified that “the concept that there are problems with the world we need to address, such as social justice; I’m totally down with that.”

However, he added that he didn’t “agree with the methods that are used in order to reach this goal – shutting down people, cancelling people.”

“There’s a lack of mercy, a lack of forgiveness,” he said. “These go against what I fundamentally believe on a spiritual level, as much as anything. So it’s a tricky one. The problem with the right taking hold of this word is that it’s made the discussion impossible to have without having to join a whole load of nutjobs who have their problem with it.”

Nick Cave attends the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey - May 2023
Nick Cave attends the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey – May 2023Gareth Cattermole/Pool Photo via AP

Back in 2019, Cave wrote on The Red Hand Files that “regardless of the virtuous intentions of many woke issues, it is the lack of humility and the paternalistic and doctrinal sureness of its claims that repel me.”

In the same post, he described his duty as a songwriter as “not to try to save the world, but rather to save the soul of the world.”

He explained: “This requires me to live my life on the other side of truth, beyond conviction and within uncertainty, where things make less sense, absurdity is a virtue and art rages and burns; where dogma is anathema, discourse is essential, doubt is an energy, magical thinking is not a crime and where possibility and potentiality rule.”

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds on stage at the 56th Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland - July 2022
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds on stage at the 56th Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland – July 2022Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP

In the same recent interview, the celebrated singer also addressed the public’s misunderstanding of his politics after he called himself “temperamentally conversative” in his memoir “Faith, Hope and Carnage” – one of our favourite books of 2022.

Cave denied he was a Tory, saying he had never voted for the party, but clarified that he does associate with the term.

“Conservatism is a difficult word to talk about in Britain, because people immediately think of the Tories,” he began. “But I do think small-C conservatism is someone who has a fundamental understanding of loss, an understanding that to pull something down is easy, to build it back up again is extremely difficult.”

2024 is a big year for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, who are gearing up to release their new album ‘Wild God’ on 30 August.

Cave has called it “a complicated record, but it’s also deeply and joyously infectious.”

The band will be touring the album throughout Europe beginning in September this year.

Here are the tour dates:


24 – Oberhausen, Germany – Rudolf Weber ARENA
26 & 27 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
29 – Berlin, Germany – Uber Arena


2 – Oslo, Norway – Oslo Spektrum
3 – Stockholm, Sweden – Hovet
5 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
8 – Hamburg, Germany – Barclays Arena
10 – Lodz, Poland – Atlas Arena
11 – Krakow, Poland – TAURON Arena
13 – Budapest, Hungary – Papp László Sportaréna
15 – Zagreb, Croatia – Arena Zagreb
17 – Prague, Czechia – O2 arena
18 – Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle
20 – Milan, Italy – Milan Forum
22 – Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion
24 – Barcelona, Spain – Palau Sant Jordi
25 – Madrid, Spain – WiZink Center
27 – Lisbon, Portugal – MEO Arena
30 & 31 – Antwerp, Belgium Sportpaleis


2 – Leeds, UK – first direct arena
3 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro
5 – Manchester, UK – AO Arena
6 – Cardiff, UK – Utilita Arena
8 – London, UK – The O2
12 – Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena
15 – Birmingham, UK – Resorts World Arena
17 – Paris, France – Accor Arena

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